Did you know the skin absorbs up to 60% of what is put on it? This means we need to be just as careful with choosing hygiene products as we are in deciding which foods are safe to consume. Toxic ingredients in our skincare routine can accumulate in the body and, over time, cause numerous health issues.
Unfortunately, there is no federal regulation on hygiene products. There are no rules as far as what ingredients are allowed in these products. We must take matters into our own hands. Knowledge is power! The best way to begin to green our skincare routine is by researching and being aware of ingredients. Here are some common ingredients to avoid:
Parabens are common preservatives added to everything from shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, soap, and more. Parabens can upset the balance of hormones and should be avoided as much as possible. Most health food stores carry paraben free hair and skin care products.
Mineral oil is commonly found in lotions, facial creams, and cosmetics. It sounds harmless enough, yet this oil is a byproduct of crude oil and often has other chemicals added to it during the refining process. Mineral oil is also known to clog pores. My personal preference is to avoid facial lotion altogether. I opt instead for jojoba oil, an inexpensive and natural way to keep the face moisturized. Jojoba oil is non-comodogenic, which means it won't clog pores. I also like to add in a drop of frankincense or tea tree essential oils when needed to combat aging and acne.
Sulfates are mostly found in soaps and shampoos. They classify as a surfactent, which means they help the soap to foam and suds up. Sulfates are known skin irritants and they degenerate cell membranes which leads to early aging of the skin. When used in shampoos, they will fade hair color much faster than a sulfate-free shampoo. Look for products that say sulfate-free on the label, or be sure to read ingredients.
We all know how dangerous lead consumption is, yet why is lead still allowed in our makeup?
Lead is linked to a plethora of hormone issues, as well as fertility problems and miscarriage. Lead can be mostly found in lipstick and foundations. It isn't directly added, but sneaks into our products through contaminated color dyes. The FDA recently tested popular brands and found over 400 that contained lead. Yikes! Avoiding conventional makeup is the best way to minimize exposure. My favorite makeup brands are Mineral Fusion and Savvy Minerals. Both companies use quality ingredients as well as natural sources for color dyes.
Aluminum is classified as a neurotoxin. There are many studies that link to it's detrimental effects, particularly on the brain. Other studies suggest a link between aluminum and breast cancer, as aluminum is commonly found in deodorants. There are many safer alternatives to conventional deodorant. I'll spare you the trouble of trying out about 100 natural deodorants (as I did) before finding one that does the job. Schmidts : that's it. Clean ingredients, no aluminum, and works like a charm.
This chemical is commonly found hidden in the ingredient list under the term, "fragrance". It can be found in many products from nail polish, lotions, soaps, perfumes... the list goes on and on. Phthalates can be extremely damaging to the reproductive system and have been shown to have a negative effect on testosterone production in males and egg quality in females. Look for products that have been scented naturally, with essential oils or food extracts.
These are petroleum based additives meant to thicken and soften products. They can be found mostly in cosmetic products. PEG's are often contaminated with ingredients that are known to be carcinogenic to humans. Always check the ingredient list to be sure it does not contain PEG compounds.
If this is the beginning of your journey into a healthier lifestyle a great way to begin would be to switch your products with clean alternatives one at a time. As you run out of products, replace them with healthier ones that don't contain the ingredients listed above. If you are experiencing health issues, especially those fertility related, my recommendation is to ditch all toxic products immediately and switch to cleaner alternatives.
Every step taken towards toxin-free living is a step in the right direction for your ultimate health and well-being. Minimize risks and exposure where you can, and trust God for the rest!
Obligatory Disclaimer :
I am not a doctor. All information and resources found on this blog are based on my research, experience, and what I have seen work for my family and for others. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. I encourage you to consult a holistic doctor or nutritionist before making health changes, especially any changes relating to a specific health condition. Do not rely solely on this information to make medical diagnoses or determine treatment. Use this information as a general guideline to healthier living and a starting point for your own research.