How toxic are your personal care products?

I was contemplating buying some nail polish online recently and was scouring the different ‘natural’ brands, but finally decided its was all too hard because I didn’t know what ingredients were safe and what weren’t. I was a very unsatisfied shopper! It was then I realised just how much my new understanding of toxins (and how adversely they affect my health) has changed my life. Out of interest, I started making a list of what personal care products I used to use and what I use now.  I was pretty shocked!

make-up

Did you know that our skin is our largest organ and that it absorbs approximately 60% of what is applied to it?

In less than 30 seconds, the toxins in our personal care products can enter our bloodstream and be cruising throughout our body causing all manner of problems – A disrupted endocrine system (read: hormones gone crazy), allergic responses, Oh, and cancer. But of course, there is no mention of that on your vanilla scented creamy body butter is there! You might be surprised to hear that the average woman applies 500 chemicals to her body every day. This is a serious problem, and when I first read about this, I was freaked out!

So what prompted my change? Knowledge baby, good old fashioned knowledge and of course, self love. Now that I’m clued up, there is no way that toxic crap is going on my body!

More and more people are understanding the importance of looking at the ingredients list on their food labels, but when was the last time you looked at the ingredients in your deodorant or shampoo? I challenge you to read it out loud, I bet you can’t even pronounce some of the ingredients! What the heck is Cyclopentasiloxane? Who knows, but it was getting smeared into my pits on a daily basis 18 months ago! How about Poloxamer 407? I’ve personally never heard of it but I was swishing it around in my mouth after I brushed my teeth with some Carrageenan and Sodium lauryl sulfate. Then I covered up my blemishes with some cyclopentasiloxane! And thats just 5 ingredients from 4 products I was using…. scary right?

If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, why would you put it on your skin? It ends up in the same place.

The sad thing is that not only do we have to deal with these toxic ingredients in our personal care products, but we also have to deal with misleading jargon such as ‘all natural’ and ‘organic’. There are currently no regulations that govern these terms on personal care products, which means thousands of unknowing women are leaving the store thinking they are going home to moisturise with a natural product, when in fact they are applying a (often expensive) cocktail of toxins to their face.

make up lavender-oil

Know this about the beauty industry:

Less than 20% of ingredients have been tested for safety AND it’s not mandatory for companies to list ALL ingredients.  Say whaaaat? True.

So whats a girl to do in a material world? Go ale’ natural of course. Problem solved (wink wink) No but really, you need to become a label reading goddess. Ignore the crap on the front, thats just advertising. The good bits are on the back. Read every ingredient and if you don’t know what something is, head to the EWG’s Skin Deep Database and look it up. If your feeling overwhelmed, perhaps you can use my list above as a starting point.

As a last note, here is beginners list of things to avoid:

“Parabens (propyl, isopropyl, butyl, isobutyl), Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate), PEG, Ceteareth, Polyethylene, Petrochemicals, DMDM Hydantoin, Triclosan, Retinyl Palmitate or Retinol, and Oxybenzone. This is merely an entree into the lengthy list of chemicals we’re exposed to.” – The Holistic Ingredient

Now go take charge of your health (and your bathroom cabinet!) because your body deserves the very bloody best there is, and that does NOT include cheap, nasty toxins!

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