Are Your Personal Care Products Toxic?
Lifestyle The skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs whatever you put onto it. Reading the ingredients and knowing if there are chemicals in your products is key to maintaining optimal health.
According to the Environmental Working Group, “With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited substances, cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material in their products without government review or approval.” This means that you can’t trust every product on store shelves and that it's good for you and the environment.
A toxic regimen
Did you know that the law that governs cosmetics hasn't been updated since 1938? More than 12,500 chemicals are used to make cosmetics and personal care products, but the vast majority of them have not been tested for safety. In a typical day, you might be exposed to over 200 different chemicals, many of which are suspected of causing cancer or disrupting hormones.
“Chemicals linked to cancer have no place in anyone’s beauty routine. Even low levels of cancer chemicals can add up to real harm and contribute to a woman’s breast cancer risk, especially when they are found in multiple products she uses every day.”
“Chemicals linked to cancer have no place in anyone’s beauty routine,” says Janet Nudelman, director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “Even low levels of cancer chemicals can add up to real harm and contribute to a woman’s breast cancer risk, especially when they are found in multiple products she uses every day.”
What to avoid
Avoid ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) that may cause skin irritation and damage the immune system as well as Propylene Glycol (PG) that may cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. Also, stay away from synthetic fragrances, aluminum, phthalates, formaldehyde, PABA, parabens, toluene and camphor, amongst others.
The same goes for fashion. Look for garments made with organic cotton or recycled materials. At the end of the day, it’s all about being empowered to make better choices. I can’t see myself living any other way but organically and thoughtfully, and I hope you do too.