Did you know?
- It takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in your personal care products to absorb through your skin and reach your bloodstream.
- The average woman wears 515 chemicals a day on her skin.
- 64% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our blood system. Areas like our armpits and genitals absorbing up to 100%.
- The last cosmetic law passed in the United States was in 1938.
- Over the last fifty years more than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into the products on our shelves with fewer than 200 of them being tested for safety.
- The European Union has banned over 1,300 chemicals found in personal care products. The FDA has only banned eight and restricted three.
Anyone else horrified? It’s easy to get confused in today’s advertising and marketing world. But, beware of greenwashing (shh…my husband is a sucker for this!). Greenwashing is the practice of making misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product, their safety or how natural their ingredients truly are. Have you seen “natural” or “plant-based ingredients” on the label, then you read the ingredients list to find there are toxic synthetic ingredients mixed in there too. Don’t believe the labels you read or the commercials they sell you! Be your own advocate by reading the ingredients list.
I hear, “but many chemicals are safe in small amounts”. Remember, small daily exposures lead up to large amounts over time. For example, the average woman consumes 7 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. What are you eating in your lipstick? What is it doing to your body?
So how do we know what is safe, natural and factual? I choose to research each personal care product before I use them: deodorant, lotion, body wash, soap, diaper cream, wet wipes, shampoo, conditioners, toothpaste, mouthwash, aftershave, makeup, makeup removers, anti-aging products, hairspray, nail polish, nail polish remover, teeth whitening gels… you name it. Does it take time? A little. But, totally worth it!
Make it a personal goal that each time you run out of a personal care product in your home you research the replacement and choose the safest option available, one item at a time. My favorite tools to make this process simple are:
- Think Dirty App: Simply scan the label. It will rate the toxicity of the ingredients on a scale of 1-10.
- EWG.org – Skin Deep: Input the household or personal care products and it will tell you about the ingredients and rate their dangers.
- Goodguide.com: Another great database that will rate the items you input, both household and personal care products.
6 ingredients I always avoid in my products:
- Fragrance: The word “fragrance” in the ingredients list can be a guise for hundreds of different chemicals mixed together. However, they are not required for disclosure because they are protected as a “proprietary formulation”. You have NO idea what you are really putting on your skin or breathing in.
- Talc Powder: According to the American Cancer Society people who have long-term exposure to natural talc at work (barbers), are at higher risk of lung cancer from breathing them in. Women who apply talcum powder regularly in the genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer (this includes baby powder).
- Synthetic Colors: Synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.
- Parabens: Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, facial cleansers, food and pharmaceutical products.
- Phthalates: Known to be endocrine disruptors and linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Most commonly found in hairspray, nail polish, lotions, deodorants, perfumes/colognes, and moisturizers.
- Sulfates: This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products. When combined with other ingredients it produces a known carcinogen and can lead to kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment.
A few of my favorite natural companies are:
Join me on a quest to use the safest ingredients possible. Check out “My Story” on the homepage of this website to learn about my struggles and why I started on a quest to transition to the most natural lifestyle possible.