Hi, my name is Janet.
I am a life and wellness coach, program consultant/facilitator, a certified Daring Way facilitator, occupational therapist, yoga instructor, global citizen, mother and a grandmother. I believe OPTIMAL HEALTH IS WITHIN YOUR REACH!
As we continue this journey of creating healthy bodies the next step is to really take a deep look at what we are putting on our skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body and anything you put on it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. According to the EWG, American women use an average of 12 personal care products that contain 168 different chemicals. Men use an average of six personal care products that contain 85 different chemicals
It is not widely known that the government regulation on cosmetics is minimal compared to food and water. The FDA relies upon self-regulation to address risks of using personal care products, even though since 2009 cosmetic manufacturers have reported using 88 chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm. So, if it is up to us to regulate what we put on our body here is what we need to avoid when purchasing self- care products and cosmetics:
THE TOXIC TWENTY COSMETICS INGREDIENTS:
Dibutyl phthalate-endocrine disruptor
Diethylhexyl phthalate-harms the reproductive system
Mercury and related compounds, including thimerosal-damage kidneys and nervous system, harmful to developing fetus
Toluene-toxic to brain and nervous system, harms developing fetus
Triclosan-affects thyroid and reproductive hormones
Carbon black-carcinogenic to humans
PFAS-harmful to fetus, increase risk of cancer, affect immune system and disrupt hormones
Lead and related compounds-affects brain development of children, cardiovascular system and heart
The next thing to consider when reducing toxins in our personal environment is hair color. This one was really hard for me to swallow as I have colored my hair for years and was not sure that I was ready to go grey. It was found in a study at the University of Southern California that women who had colored their hair once a month for fifteen years or more had a 50% higher risk of bladder cancer. PPD, an ingredient in hair dye, has also been linked to non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma, as stated in an article in Goop, Eight rules for safer hair color. It was those statistics that sealed the deal for me and helped in the process of going grey. In an article in Next Tribe Aging Boldly, it is reported that The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program (NTP) classifies some chemicals in hair dye as “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.” And what are those chemicals that are “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens,” Formaldehyde, P-Phenylenediamine, DMDM Hydantoin, Ammonia, Coal Tar, Resorcinol, and Eugenol. As stated by, William Cole, D. C., IFMCP, “ I often find that toxins are a major factor in the complex health issues I see in my patients. Anyone who eats healthy foods and manages their stress but still struggles with health problems should really consider the possibility that toxins are to blame.”
Last, but certainly not least is fragrance, which includes perfume and fragrances that are added to other products. Have you heard the quote, Fragrance is the new smoking? It is very difficult to get away from the toxic ingredients in artificial fragrances. The most common ingredients in commercial fragrance products can cause allergic reactions, hormonal imbalance, organ damage and cancer. So, why are we being exposed to all of these noxious chemicals unknowingly? Regulations have made it legal to keep ingredients undisclosed in order to protect trade formulas, so over 400 ingredients can be used legally under the term “fragrance”. It is reported in the Guardian, “three-quarters of the toxic chemicals detected in a test of 140 products came from fragrance, reported a 2018 BCPP study of personal care and cleaning brands. The chemicals identified were linked to chronic health issues, including cancer.”
- Styrene: National Toxicology Program and the National Academy of Science, have declared styrene to be an anticipated human carcinogen.”
- Phthalates: Studies have found that phthalates are endocrine disruptors that can decrease IQ by 6 points in children whose mothers were exposed to them during pregnancy. The use of phthalates have also been linked to sperm damage in studies. Also, phthalates are also considered “obesogens” which means they can suppress the metabolism and contribute to obesity.
- Musk ketone: A skin irritant and hormone disruptor.
- Benzaldehyde: This substance is a known narcotic, lung and eye irritant. It causes nausea, abdominal pain, and kidney damage.
- Benzyl acetate: Known carcinogen, which causes eye and lung irritation as well as coughing.
- Camphor: Can cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, muscle twitching, convulsions.
- Ethyl acetate: Can cause eye and respiratory irritation.
- Limonene: Known carcinogenic.
- Linalool: Can cause respiratory disturbances in animal studies, depression, and central nervous system disorder
- Methylene chloride: This substance has actually been banned by the FDA due to severe toxic effects; however, the ban is not enforced as it still may be found in labels listing “fragrance”.
One of the things I hear frequently, is how depressing it is to hear that everything is making us sick. I like to look at it another way. I see it as hopeful, when we gain the knowledge and can make informed decisions. As consumers, we have the power to make changes which make this world healthier for us all. One of my favorite companies, for toxic free ingredients is Anne Marie. Another great resource for finding clean ingredients is Goop. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for determining if the ingredients in your self-care products are safe. Remember, change takes time. Don’t try and replace everything at once, when you run out of your next beauty product replace it with something with clean ingredients.
What is your favorite clean beauty or self-care product?
Cheers to healthy living,
- Increased bladder cancer risk study
- Next Tribe Aging Boldly-hair color article
- BCPP study
- William Cole, D. C., IFMCP
- Goop-skincare products
- Anne Marie-cosmetics and skin care products