When making the transition into a more chemical free existence, I realized that my food was only part of the equation. Our skin is our biggest organ and most people don’t think twice about the shampoos, conditioners, soap, and lotion they lather on. Did you know that 26 seconds is all it takes for the chemicals in your beauty products to absorb into your skin?! And let me tell you something, there are a LOT of harmful chemicals in your conventional beauty products, but we’ll go into that more in a minute.
(Click the image above to go to the FDA website . . . I am not making this up!)
According to EWG.org, “Most people use cosmetics and other personal care items without a second thought, believing that the government oversees their safety. Not so. No health studies or pre-market testing are required for these products.” They also state that according to a survey they did with 2300 people, “on average, respondents use nine products daily. These contain 126 unique ingredients. One man in 100 and fully 25 percent of women surveyed apply 15 or more products each day.” Think about that for a minute . . . the FDA is not really regulating what goes into your beauty products.
So, how in the world are we supposed to know which beauty products are good or bad? Well, aside from choosing organic products, you can use this wonderful website: EWG Skin Deep. It is AWWWWWESOME! I go to it all the time to check out beauty products that I am interested in trying. In the search box, you can type in the brand name of the beauty products you use or want to try. They also have a nifty app that you can download (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/app/), so that when you’re out shopping you can check products on the go! I love it and use it quite often!
EWG Skin Deep will tell you on a scale of 1-10 where your product rates, with 1 being the least harmful and 10 being the most harmful. I try to buy products that hit between 1-3. Products are rated by how many harmful chemicals are in them, as well as the chemical toxicity rating. There is also a “data availability” rating that tells how much scientists know/don’t know about a certain ingredients safety. If you enjoy seeing all the science and mathematics that go into this, you can go here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/site/about.php
So , let’s look at the shampoo I was using before: Redken Body Full Shampoo. It has a rating of 6. It’s most harmful ingredients are the fragrance (scored with an 8), and DMDM Hydation (This is a FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER!). These chemicals alone are noted for causing Ecotoxicology, Allergies immunotoxicity, Cancer, and Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) . . .just to name a few!
I don’t know about you, but none of those sound like things I want for my body or my family’s. Let’s not even start on the ‘dermatologist recommended’ Neutrogena face cleanser and makeup I was using (scored an 8)! Needless to say, I went through my house evaluating EVERYTHING we put on our bodies. I hate wasting money and so the idea of tossing full bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc about made me cry.
I had the thought to sell it on the numerous FB virtual yard sales, but I thought “What in the world would be my reason I put for selling? ‘Getting rid of this stuff because it contains harmful chemicals! Buy it and poison your family instead!'” Yeah, it didn’t sound very promising to me either. So into the trash it went!
So, you may be asking why it even matters (aside from all those possible side effects mentioned above). Well, think about this . . . if the average person uses nine products daily and these contain 126 unique ingredients. . .what is the effect of the combination of all those products/chemicals on your body? My guess is your body is being put through the wringer trying to filter out all that foreign material. Then what about the chemicals that it can’t filter out (parabens)?
Here is one significant change I have personally noticed. . .I have rosacea and it never occurred to me that maybe the face/hair products I was using could be aggravating that. Well, guess what?! After switching to all organic beauty products, my rosacea is not near as bad. It hasn’t disappeared, but it is much better. For those of you who have rosacea too . . . I have less of those little itchy pimple-looking things and the redness isn’t so prominent.
In the future, I will be reviewing and sharing some of my favorite beauty products that I have tried so far. So, stay tuned because you won’t want to miss it!
Health and Blessings,
PS: Make sure to donate to EWG Skin Deep and help keep the research moving forward!