Everyone is reading their food labels and that’s great! But are you looking at the label of your make-up, your hand and body lotion, your toothpaste? Let’s look at a few ingredients in many popular health and beauty products. This is just a small example of what is in some products. Just to give you an idea. Start researching what you put on your body. These products are absorbed into the skin and some of them, when high levels are reached in the body, can be very toxic.
A product can be considered toxic when it is absorbed into the body thereby having a harmful or altering affect on the body. Certain cosmetic ingredients in hand and body lotion can actualy make your skin more dry, causing you to need more lotion. Convenient, right? You’ll have to buy more product! Preservatives are substances that cosmetic manufacturers use to extend the shelf life of their products. Do preservatives protect the consumer? No, the only thing they do is allow products to sit on the shelf in warehouses, protecting the manufacturer.
Here are a few common ingredients to look for in your cabinet, some good, some not so good:
Acetone: Commonly used in nail polish, this product is toxic. Look for Acetone-free polish remover.
Alcohol: There are both natural and synthetic alcohols. Synthetic alcohol such as isopropyl alcohol is a petroleum (carcinegenic) product. Alcohol can disolve fat in your skin and can be drying to the skin. Natural alcohol is better tolerated by your skin.
Aloe Vera: Extract from the aloe vera plant can be used to soothe and moisturize hair and skin and it aids in healing. Cut spiky leaves from the plant and open to reveal the gooey substance.
BHA and BHT: Preservatives commonly used in food products and cosmetic ingredients. These are synthetic antioxidants (Natural ones are Vitamin E, cysteine and selenium). BHT and BHA, used in cosmetics, are toxic and cause allergic reactions. BHA and BHT in your food, added as a preservative, can deplete brain cells in growing children. This is a VERY common preservative. Take a look in your cabinet right now. Almost all breakfast cereals contain these two ingredients.
Benzophenone: Chemical listed from 1-12. This is used to prevent cosmetic color from fading and is toxic.
Calamine: Used as a soothing lotion and is Non-toxic.
Calendula: Used in cosmetics and creams for its soothing effect on skin and is Non-toxic.
D & C Colors: Term used by the FDA referring to “Drug” and “Cosmetic”. All of these colors are toxic because most contain synthetic coal tar substances. These colors are often used in food, candy, and health and beauty aids.
EDTA (Ethylenedinitrilo): A synthetic chemical used to soften water. This is toxic and can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions.
Glycerine: A natural emollient derived from vegetable oil. Non-toxic. Glycerine soap is all that I use I my body. This winter I rarely had dry skin.
Hydrolized Protein: A code word for MSG. It is a neuro-toxin and causes headaches. Found in food and cosmetics. Another common additive. It supposedly makes food taste better, not to mention the negative effect of nausea and headaches. Have you tried raw food? Now that’s some good tasting food.
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate: A gum used as thickener, suspension agent, or for coloring. Contains aluminum, known to build up in the body to toxic levels and silicon, which can be harmful to the respiratory track.
Methyl Paraben: Widely used even though it is known to be toxic. Can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes. It is a toxic synthetic chemical.
Polysorbates (20, 40, 61, 65, 80, 85): Used in cosmetics to help dissolve natural oils. Can be extremely drying to the scalp.
Propyl Gallate and Propyl Paraben: Causes skin irritation and allergic reactions. Toxic.
PVP: Petroleum derived. Particles can contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs to people sensitive to it. I stopped using any petroleum product a long time ago. Petroleum distillates may cause cancer, are harmful and may cause lung damage if swallowed. Granted, I’m not going to swallow it, but what do you think is happening when you apply it to your lips or body? It’s being absorbed through your skin, the largest organ of the body.
Stearic Acid: Used in creams. Can cause allergic reactions.
Triethanolamine and Diethanolamine (TEA and DEA): Used in cosmetics. Cause allergic reactions, dryness of skin and hair, and can be toxic when absorbed into the body over a period of time.
Toxic is toxic. Low or high, I’d rather stay away from all toxic products that go in my body and on my body. There are many natural alternatives to all the products you use, from hand soap to shampoo. Most large grocery stores now have a “natural food” section if there is not a health food store in your area. Take an interest in your health. Read the label. Not just your food, but the health and beauty products that you use every day. Throw away old make-up containers that are three months or older. And check out your sun screen. It will have an expiration date. Here’s a great website for you to take a look at: http://www.natural-skincare-authority.com/index.html
Wishing you healthy and glowing skin!