On average, American women use 12 personal care products a day, and men average 6. Overall, an adult is likely to be exposed to 126 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products every day.
So why aren’t we more careful about what products we put on ourselves?
We want our skin to look good and we don’t want to smell bad, but we’re sadly unaware of the damage that skin and hair products can cause. We tend to turn a blind eye to the danger, yet many of us are health conscious about what we eat, the supplements we take, the water we drink, the exercises we do, and so on. More of us reject toxic drugs and that’s a good thing.
Still, we calmly apply chemical cocktails to our skin without giving a thought to the likely dangers.
One thing to know is that our skin is not the barrier we believe it is. Many substances penetrate the skin and enter the body. Drug companies have capitalized on this aspect for years – just look at nicotine or pain patches. Those drugs penetrate the so called barrier and enter our blood supply. Transdermal preparations of hormones are applied daily by millions of people because we know that the hormones pass through the skin with ease. The skin often fails to protect us from environmental toxins.
Commercial cosmetics are not much different than “topical junk food”.
- Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics and they have been shown to have have hormone-disrupting effects.
- Silicones are used in many lotions that make the skin feel “silky smooth”. They can also block the skin’s ability to absorb, excrete, regulate, and respire. A very popular silicone is calleddimethicone. Dimethicone acts like a saran wrap over the skin, suffocating it. I recall the girl in the movie, “Goldfinger” who died because the bad guys covered her body with gold paint.
- Sulfates makes skin cleansers foam and bubble so we really feel like we are getting a good cleanse. These do not really cause your skin to be cleaner, and are carcinogenic.
- DEA and TEA also help with foaming. They are carcinogenic and are hormone disruptors.
- Chemical fragrances disrupt hormones.
- Artificial colors, added to almost everything, are carcinogenic.
- Bleach gives products that off-white, cream color we are accustomed to. More carcinogens.
- Diazolidinyl is a preservative that is closely related to formaldehyde. Again, this is another carcinogen.
- Triclosan is an ingredient responsible for behavioral problems and is carcinogenic. It is the main active ingredient in all anti-bacterial soaps and many lotions and gels. Many people are putting this on their skin every day, multiple times a day.
How are the cosmetic companies able to get away with this? Consider the differences in regulations between the United States and Europe. In Europe, over 1,400 chemicals are banned from skin care products because they are deemed too dangerous. Canada bans almost 500. In the United States we ban 10 (yes, ten). Cosmetic products are some of the least regulated items on store shelves.
Rather than devising additional rules and regulations on the cosmetic industry, we can protect ourselves by only using cosmetic products that are safe. Yes, it takes an effort, but excellent products are available. In the long run cosmetics producers will change their formulations without government intervention, much the way food companies are now offering better choices.
Consumer demands are always superior to government bans. Users will get better products when that’s what they buy.
Safer cosmetics are available and they usually cost more than the common commercial brands. However, there are very expensive cosmetics that cost even more. Using safe cosmetics can save the skin and improve health because we’re not subjecting our body to those 126 toxic chemicals every day. Fewer chemicals equates to improved health. The moderately higher costs are offset by dramatic improvements in health.
Additionally, as the demand for safe skin products goes up the prices will fall.
If you’re interested, we started stocking a product that would pass the chemical bans of European guidelines, it’s called SophytoPRO. Have a look.