Over the past year, I have become more and more educated on the power chemicals in topical products, household cleaners, and tap water have on my health. I never really understood the impact some of these toxic ingredients had on my health and well-being. I've been suffering with some hormonal imbalances and through my own research and advice from health experts, I am now taking big steps to eliminate the toxic load my body is exposed to daily. I had never paid attention to how my deodorant, toothpaste, make-up, shampoo, dish soap, laundry detergent, or tap water may be affecting my health. Yes, overall I am a healthy person on the surface level, but there have been deeper issues I've battled the last two years and thus what led me to change some of my daily habits.
Detox is a common word used today in the health world. We all know that toxins build up in our bodies, and that we need to get them out. But did you know that you can prevent a lot of these foreign ingredients from getting inside your body in the first place?! Conventional beauty and body products can actually be one of the greatest contributors to our toxic load. If you are a woman, think about the number of products you use in the morning. I can rattle off at least 10 I was using regularly: conventional shampoo, conditioner, body soap, face lotion, foundation, mascara, eye liner, bronzer, deodorant, and perfume. In this blog post, I'm going to specifically talk about how we can eliminate toxins from our skin. Skin is our body's largest organ and it's about time we start treating it right!
Since the beauty industry is largely unregulated (the last legislation passed to regulate the safety of cosmetics was over 80 years ago!); I have chosen to become a Beautycounter consultant in hopes of educating others on what I've learned and how to choose safer beauty and skincare products. Europe bans nearly 1,400 harmful cosmetic ingredients, yet the United States only bans 11! Beautycounter promises to never use approximately 1,500 questionable ingredients in their products. If after reading this post you'd like to learn more and/or hear about what products I recommend from Beautycounter please email me! Let's dive into five specific chemicals you absolutely want to avoid.
I know, you just want to smell nice! But these engineered scents can have thousands of chemical ingredients (all of which are not listed on the product label). Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law's classification of trade secrets and can thus be undisclosed. Something about this just doesn't seem right!
2. MEA (Monoethanolamine), DEA (Diethanolamine), or TEA
These are emulsifier (ingredients that prevent separation of other ingredients) and surfactants (foaming agents). These acronyms (and all other acronyms for that matter) should be avoided as toxic material. They are often found in cleansers, fragrances, and make-up. These chemicals have been linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and birth defects. Not good!
3. PEG Compounds
PEG compounds (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are used as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. These are known human carcinogens.
Phthalates show up as DBP, DEHP, DMP, and DEP on product labels. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible yet harder to break. Common cosmetic products like nail polish, hair spray, aftershave lotion, and soaps can contain phthalates. With dangers of endocrine disruption, respiratory toxicity, birth defects, and infertility you don't want any of these chemicals sticking to your body.
For all my science nerds, talc is a mineral mainly made of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture and cuts down on friction. There are high health concerns of skin irritations, organ system toxicity, respiratory distress, and cancer with products containing talc. Talc can be found in baby powder, deodorant, dry shampoos, and mineral make-up. Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talc powder and cancer of the ovary. Although findings have been mixed, with even some studies reporting a higher risk of cancer I advise staying clear of talc.
Now...the GOOD NEWS!
Safer alternatives are available and there are steps you can take to detox and reduce your toxic exposure. I encourage you to start small and swap out one skincare product you use daily this month and another the next month, and so on, until you are confident the products you put on your skin are safe.
Check out what products I use daily HERE. And if you're interested in learning more about safer skincare and beauty, please click the button below to sign up for my "Non-Toxic Living" email subscription where I'll be sharing my favorite products, why I became a Beautycounter consultant, and exclusive Beautycounter offers I will offer from time to time only to subscribers.