To become a healthier you it is not only important that you evaluate what goes into your body by the way of food but also what goes on the outside of your body as well. In fact the personal care products used on a daily basis are ending up on the inside by absorbing through our skin, nails and are even being inhaled.
Chemicals are found in lotions, soaps, make up, deodorant, hair care products, perfumes, and nail polish to name a few. The chemicals found in our toxic beauty products can impact our health because of their ability to be endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that when absorbed into the body, either mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the body’s normal functions. This disruption can happen through altering normal hormone levels, halting or stimulating the production of hormones, or changing the way hormones travel through the body, thus affecting the functions that these hormones control. Because endocrine disruptors affect the development of the body’s vital organs and hormonal systems, infants, children, and developing fetuses are extremely vulnerable to exposure.
What are the Endocrine Disruptors?
Pthalates are a particular group of petrochemicals that are known to have endocrine disrupting properties and are possibly carcinogenic. Pthalates are used to make rigid plastics soft and pliable and are also commonly added to cosmetics. Pthlates have Back in 1999, the FDA sampled 1,029 people for phthalates in their blood and urine and everyone tested positive. The Centers for Disease Control singled out a subgroup of 289 people with a particularly high incidence of phthalates: women of childbearing age and found that these women’s levels were 2.5 to 22 times higher than normal for the rest of the general population.
The following are phthalates used in popular products:
Di-ethyl phthalate (DEP): Volatile components of cosmetics – perfumes, nail polishes, and hair sprays, insecticides, mosquito repellents…
Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP): Solvents for dyes, nail polish, perfumes, lotions, skin emollients, hair spray, insect repellents…
In animals, both DEHP and DBP are toxic to the liver, kidneys, testes, and the nervous system. Ironically, some sunblocks contain suspected carcinogens, including diethanolamine and related ingredients (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, and titanium dioxide. Other ingredients are suspected endocrine disrupters: benzophenone (oxybenzone), homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), and the parabens (methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, propyl-).
How to read a label
Labels might claim that a product is “gentle” or “natural,” but with no required safety testing, companies that make personal care products can use almost any chemical they want, regardless of risks. So, always read product labels – especially the ingredient list – before you buy.
Every personal care product on the market must list the ingredients on the label. Label reading can be confusing – here are some tips to help you wade through the chemical names.
You can approach ingredient lists in 3 parts:
1. Start at the end where preservatives are listed. Try to avoid:
o Words ending in “paraben”
o DMDM hydantoin
o Imidsazolidinyl urea
o Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)
2. Next, check the beginning of the ingredients list. Here you’ll find the soap, surfactant, or lubricant that has been added to make the product work. Try to avoid ingredients that start with “PEG” or have an “-eth” in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
3. Finally, read the middle ingredients. Here you’ll look for some common – but not essential – additives that may bring excess hazard: fragrance and dyes. On the label look for “FRAGRANCE,” “FD&C,” or “D&C.”
Good alternatives to replace your current supplies:
Jason Natural Cosmetics Cocoa Butter
Avalon Organics CoQ10 Skin Care – Ultimate Firming Body Lotion
Alaffia Every Day Shea Body Lotion
California Baby Hair Conditioner
Calming or Calendula
Nature’s Baby Organic Conditioner & Detangler Lavender Chamomile
TIGI Bed Head Self Absorbed Conditioner
Burt’s Bees Hair Repair Shea & Grapefruit
Aubrey Organic BGA Protein + Deep Conditioner Strengthening Crème Rinse
Burt’s Bees Outdoor Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar
Pantene Pro-V Red Expressions Color Enhancing Shampoo – Auburn to Burgundy
Terressentials Cool Mint Pure Earth Hair Wash
Giovanni Magnetic Energizing Shampoo
Jason Natural Cosmetics Fragrance Free Daily Shampoo
Grandpa’s Old Fashioned Oatmeal Soap for Face & Bath
MyChelle Unscented Honeydew Cleanser
The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser
Suki Exofoliate Foaming Cleanser
Devita Aloe Vera Moisture Cleanser
Hugo Naturals Shower Gel – Geranium, Grapefruit, Shea Butter & Vanilla, Spearmint, Sweet Vanilla Orange
Bubble & Bee Organic Shower Gel
Earth Tribe Bath & Shower GelAlaffia Everyday Shea Shower Gel
Suki Pure Facial Moisture – Balancing
Evanhealy Pomegranate Repair Serum
Evanhealy Rose Hip Treatment Facial Serum – Rose
Weleda Almond Facial Oil
Aubrey Organics White Camelia Oil
Devita Revitalizing Eye Lift Crème
Derma-E Spa Eye Repair Cream
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Skin Care
Green Tea Eye Gel
Kiss My Face Eyewitness Eye Repair Crème
Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste with Baking Soda & Essential Oil of Mint
Desert Essence Toothpaste – Tea Tree & MintNature’s Gate Crème de Anise Toothpaste
Tom’s of Maine Natural Antiplaque plus Whitening Gel Toothpaste in Spearmint
Hugo Naturals Unscented/Mexican Lime/Sea Fennel & Passionflower Deodorant
Alba Botanicals Clear Enzyme Deodorant Stick – Aloe/Unscented/Lavender/Tea TreeBurt’s Bees Outdoor Herbal DeodorantAlmay Antiperspirant & Deodorant Clear Gel, Unscented
Use Cosmetics Database to choose safer products. In addition to generating a hazard score for your product (on a 1 to 10 scale), it allows you to search by brand and for products without chemicals and health concerns.