Growing up, I remember always buying the high end hair and skin care products. I was told they were the best and it was important to get high quality products when it came to what you put on your body. While I still agree that quality is of utmost importance, the idea of these toxic, over priced products being of quality couldn’t be further from the truth. Looking back at some of the products I use to use, I cringe at the thought of the toxic chemicals getting absorbed through my skin, into my young adolescent body. I can’t help to think this played a role in disrupting my hormones and contributing to my health and skin issues just a few years later.
There are hundreds of different chemicals used in personal care and hygiene products that most of us wont even blink an eye at, mainly because we don’t understand the extent of how harmful these ingredients really are. We walk into the drug or beauty store and we go straight to the big brands we trust and see advertised on TV. We think they can’t really be all that bad if they’re selling to consumers, right? Wrong! We’re already bombarded with toxins from our environment and food everyday. Limiting our exposure to some of these harmful toxins can help to relieve damage and congestion in our bodies, but also slow down the natural aging process, simply by avoiding these chemicals that can damage cells, including skin cells. That means plumper, smoother, firmer skin naturally, and more important, simply!
These are my top 5 chemicals to look for and avoid if possible:
1. Propylene Glycol- A cheap synthetic liquid petrochemical used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze. It is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It’s a emulsifying base in creams and lotions to give the skin a smooth look instantly, although ultimately ages the skin faster. It can denature the skin’s protein, leading to saggy skin, and can be absorbed through the skin and cause sensitivities or allergic reactions. Affected Organ Systems: Dermal (Skin), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs), Detoxification(Liver)
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)– A cheap harsh detergent that is used in over 90% of personal care products! It is used to help solutions foam. It has a degenerative effect on cell membranes and accelerates aging as it denatures protein in skin and breaks down your skin’s moisture barrier, leading to dry skin and premature aging. In shampoo’s this can cause brittle hair. It also has been shown to cause cataracts as it denatures the protein in the eye, just as in the skin. Surfactants like SLS penetrate and break down the skins barrier, allowing other chemicals to also seep deeper into the body. This allows for them to enter circulation and eventually concentrating in organs such as the heart, liver and brain. Since SLS is a known mutagen, it also has the ability to change DNA of cells and organs. In addition to be found in shampoo, facial cleansers and soap, it is also used as an engine degreaser and garage floor cleaner! For a cleaner cleanser try these from one of my favorite skin care brands.
3. Mineral Oil-
This is a petroleum based ingredient that clogs pores and causes a build up of toxins, not to mention it has the ability to enlarge pores. This can increase symptoms of aging and lead to saggy skin. Mineral oil also slows the skins ability to exchange nutrients and waste products, making it look very unhealthy. If you have a known sensitivity or allergy to petroleum, avoid at all costs, as this may cause skin reactions and irritation. Consider adding Gelatin to your diet to support your skin recovery.
The word “fragrance” always refers to a synthetic fragrance made in a lab, that can consist of 200 different types of chemicals. These can accumulate in organs causing symptoms of headaches, lung problems, skin reactions, congested liver, vomiting and much more. Look for products that use essential oils or flower or fruit extracts, like these here, rather than synthetic harmful scents.
5. Synthetic Colors-
Most colors are made from coal tar. Just as with food, synthetic colors can cause many sensitivities, leading to skin irritation but also causing damage internally. They are used in everything from shampoo’s, creams, makeup, toothpaste and anything companies want to color to make attractive. Dr. Feingold, was a doctor who first reported that hyperactivity in children is often caused by artificial food coloring and food flavoring. Since children are usually target markets for colorful appealing food and beverages, behavior and learning issues are very common. In his book, “Why Your Child Is Hyperactive”, he explains the connection and how to reverse these symptoms.
A good to know fact is when the FD&C abbreviation precedes the name of a color on the ingredient list, it indicates the dye is safe for use in drugs and cosmetics, but not food. But if it wouldn’t be safe to consume internally, why would you want to put it on your body externally? Especially when you consider that twice as many toxins can be absorbed into the bloodstream from the skin as from the digestive tract! Next time you want to dye your hair, pick out a nail polish color, or shop for lipstick, remember to purchase from companies who do not use synthetic and chemical filled ingredients.
Check out one of my favorite beauty brand, 100% Pure, for toxin free skincare, body care and makeup.