After reading Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life, I newly discovered the dangers and harmful effects of many toxic ingredients that I had previously been using on my skin! It was definitely an AHA! moment, I realized that after all all these years that I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise, I was actually ignoring the importance of using healthy products and cosmetics.
Did you know your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it? That means that if you are using cosmetics filled with chemicals, your intoxicating your body. These chemicals can in fact be absorbed through your blood stream! This is why it is SO important that you use natural and safe ingredients on your skin, this will especially be beneficial in the long run.
Sometimes it can be tedious work to read over labels, but most of the time, if there are ingredients that you can’t pronounce, that are extremely long, or simply that you don’t even know what they are, your best not to buy it! To help you along they way, here are some ingredients that you can familiarize yourself with. Once you are aware of them, they will be much easier to notice in your everyday products, and you will be well equipped to being an all-round healthy version of yourself!!
1. BHA and BHT: Used as preservatives in many lipsticks and moisturizers. It is also a masking agent, meaning it is used to hide nasty smells of other chemicals in the product! It is suspected to be an edocrine disruptor, this means it could disrupt the system of cells that carry hormones to the bloodstream… I think it’s best to stay away!
2. Coal Tar Dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “Cl” followed by a 5 digit number: These potentially contain heavy metals that are TOXIC to the brain! Enough said!
3. DEA, TEA and MEA related ingredients: These may cause cancer as well as irritation. They are often used to add creaminess to products.
4. Debutyl Phthalate: Possible reproductive toxin… It is a plasticizer anyway, who wants plastic on their body! It’s also know as Phthalates often found in FRAGRANCE, so beware!
5. Formaldehyde: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate: These ingredients are labeled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a human carcinogen!
6. Parfum (Frangrance): Can trigger allergies, asthma and are linked to cancer and neurotoxcicity. Even products that say “unscented” can contain this ingredient.
7. Parabens: Another reproductive disruptor.
8. PEG Compunds: Polyethelene Glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” it is most often found in cream bases. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency it is classified as a developmental toxicant based on evidence that it may interfere with human development. Umm… Not thanks!
9. Petrolatum: Often found in lipsticks, hair products and are used as moisture barriers. This is another potential cancer causer and we definitely don’t need anymore of those!
10. Siloxanes: Ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”: These are most often used to soften, smooth and moisten. They are once again dangerous because of their harmful reproductive effects.
11. Sodium laureth sulfate: In other words, a foaming agent! Harmful right? Not quite! This has measurable amounts of 1,4-dioxane which is persistent and can remain in the body for quite some time, as well as ethylene oxide which could harm the nervous system!!
12. Triclosan: An antibacterial found in deodorant, toothpaste and cleansers. It may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. It also passes through skin, and could be, yes another, hormone disruptor!
13. Aluminum: First, it clogs pores and second it can foster cancer cell growth!
14. Hydroquinone: A skin and hair lightning agent that can cause cancer, affect your reproductive system as well as your immune system. No thank you!
Well that’s it for now!
I know, it’s A LOT to take in, I was overwhelmed too when I first found out about this stuff…But there’s good news! The more you learn about it, the better it gets. I got most of this knowledge from David Suzuki’s List of Dirty Dozen ingredients, so be sure to check it out for more detailed information. Another good resource is Jessica Alba’s book: The Honest Life! It also has great advice on toxic ingredients found in food! The Environmental Working Group website is a favorite as well, on ewg.org you can almost type in any product or ingredient that sounds sketchy and it will rate it on a scale from 1-10; 0 being the best, and 10 being the worst!
Finally, don’t panic! It doesn’t matter if you have been using these ingredients for years, the important thing is that you are now aware and you can make healthier choices from now on. I suggest that you do some of your own research for the best natural products for your skin type in order to find what works for you! I’m not gonna lie, it takes some effort and experimenting but I believe the pros outweigh the cons by a long shot, so don’t give up!
PS: Stay Healthy,