You exercise, eat well and follow the latest trends in health but still can’t reach your goals for weight. Did you ever think that your skin cream or body lotions could be making it difficult for you to shed those unwanted pounds? Beauty is more than skin deep, and your health and beauty products may be working against your efforts to reshape your figure and be healthy. This article will go a little deeper on detoxifying your body, but it is not for the faint of heart – or those who are not ready to let go of their personal care products. Now, there may be nothing wrong with what you are currently using, but what if you discovered your favorite shampoo, anti-aging cream or other beauty product contained harmful chemicals that might be making you sick? Or might be disrupting your body’s normal balance that may contribute to premature aging, hormonal imbalance and low metabolism. Putting toxins in to your body, whether in the form of pesticides on produce, processed foods, beauty products or household chemicals may eventually result in toxin build up in your system making it more difficult for your body to “age gracefully” and be your best.
Marketing campaigns for beauty products offer hope, I believed it one time myself. And I had a brief moment of panic when I realized one of my face lotions had UREA in it – a substance listed as a carcinogen and on an MSDS (material safety data sheet, a standardized information format listing potential hazards of a substance) it cautions to avoid skin contact. Really? Yes, my face lotion contained an ingredient that is shown to be harmful if applied to the skin. I think you might be surprised by how many skincare products have similar ingredients. One company I researched fully discloses their ingredients and even acknowledges that some of them are considered toxic stating on a website that they are “heavy on natural botanical extracts and light on toxic or dangerous chemicals”. I don’t know about you, but for me I want a product that has ZERO toxic or dangerous chemicals.
If you haven’t considered this before, you’re not alone. Not many people think of skin care products a potential toxin. I feel this is an important part of my cleansing series simply because this is a place where your body can be absorbing a lot of toxins. In 2004, an EWG study found only 78 out of 9600 beauty products were verified for safety. Currently, at least 1096 health & beauty products fail safety standards because they contain harmful ingredients. BPA and parabens have been the most recent to come into the spotlight – but watch for others.
Many ingredients are known to mimic estrogen and wreak havoc on your metabolism, thyroid and endocrine systems – affecting hormone production and body systems that support healthy weight and detoxification. Those anti-aging creams are often the worst offenders, you’ll have smooth-wrinkle free skin….but they may be packed with estrogen mimicking substances and nano-particles to reach deep into cells. Hormone imbalance can cause extreme PMS/menopause symptoms and young girls to develop earlier. Who knows what impact these ingredients could have on the male population. If you think this may not affect you because you don’t have children yet? Many substances can be passed on in-utero, so be extra cautious about what you put on your pregnant body when the time comes.
Here is just a snapshot of the thousands of harmful ingredients that may be hidden within the natural like aloe leaf, chamomile and green tea extracts of your products. You can find a more comprehensive list at www.EWG.org.
Oxybenzone – mimics estrogen. Found in “skin repair creams”, sunscreen, lotions
Methacrylates-Hydroquinone – avoid skin contact. Found in moisturizers, sunscreen, nail polish, acne medications
Triethanolamine-unsafe if left on skin and not rinsed off. Found in moisturizers, cleansers, body lotions
Silicon dioxide – prolonged exposure to skin can cause organ damage. Found in nutritional beverages, face lotions, body washes
Nano-particles – unknown long term affects. Micro particles absorbed deep into cells. Found in anti-aging creams, powders (potential lung irritation) body lotions.
Methylisothiazolinine (or other ingredients with –iazolin suffix) cause allergies, affects the central nervous system. Found in toners, face creams, shampoos.
Tocopheryl Acetate – linked to cancer, allergic responses. Found in food, hand & body creams, cleansers.
If you are really interested in cleansing your full body you’ll want to know what is in the products you currently use. Start by reading your personal care product labels, if all ingredients are not disclosed you can contact the manufacturer directly. Check out the chemical database at www.ewg.org.
Beauty is more than skin deep, and it begins with being healthy. There are many safe, non-toxic alternatives to chemical laden beauty products and you don’t have to sacrifice noticeable results. There are many essential oils and natural botanicals that offer cell-renewing, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging benefits compliments of nature. There are also many companies dedicated to providing safe products that are good for you and good for the environment. Watch for an upcoming article on my favorite non-toxic alternatives to natural skin and body care.