Last week an awesome company reached out to me to try some of their skin care products. I was PUMPED. I received the package, used it once, and loved how it smelled and felt. This “all natural” skincare brand said it was made from “organic argan oil and leaf extract” and “100% vegan and cruelty free” which made me assume that it was non-toxic. I decided to investigate the ingredients anyways. If I was going to be promoting this brand on my platform, I wanted to be sure that it was something I believed in.
I saw that the ingredients list was long and confusing. What is “octocrylene” and “phenoxyethanol”? That doesn’t sound good…
So, I investigated it. I went ingredient by ingredient to find out what exactly I was putting on my skin. Turns out, phenoxyethanol can cause organ toxicity and high irritation on the skin, eyes, or lungs. Uhm, no thanks! How was I so easily convinced that since this product was “all natural” and that it wouldn’t be toxic to by body?
What’s even more frustrating, is that companies are even allowed to put toxic ingredients into their consumer products and cosmetics. The Federal Law that ensures personal care products remain safe for people to use hasn’t been changed since 1938. Over 1,000 toxic ingredients have been banned in Europe, but they are completely legal to be put into our products here in the US. That means it is up to us, as consumers, to pay attention to what we buy and what we put on and in our bodies.
If you want to start de-toxifying your bathroom cabinet, I highly recommend starting with your consumer products that contain ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ including shampoo, conditioner, lotion, perfume, face wash, deodorant, etc. Fragrance gets a free pass on labels. Meaning the one word “fragrance” could contain over 1,000 toxic ingredients.
Fragrances contain phthalates which have been linked to a whole host of issues including reproductive issues, organ damage, birth defects, endocrine disruption, mood swings, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, brain fog, rashes, and more.
Fragrances contain benzene which is a cancer risk, causes immune system damage, and is a neurotoxin.
Fragrances contain parabens which are directly linked to cancer and hormonal dysfunction.
Obviously, I do not expect you to throw away every product that might be toxic, but just start to think about what you are using and putting on your body. These products accumulate, and long-term use will cause health problems. I am so passionate about spreading this message because of what my mom went through. No one should ever have to endure cancer to realize that their consumer and cosmetic products are toxic. Start now.
I still use a few products that are toxic because at this point in my life I can’t afford to buy every single non-toxic product. Therefore, I do not expect you to either. Take baby steps. What I have noticed is that now that I am more conscious of my products, I use less. For example, I don’t have shaving cream, makeup remover, or lotion because I can use sweet almond oil instead for all of those products. It has honestly saved me money in the end.
If you are not sure about certain products, download the Healthy Living App from the Environmental Working Group. You can scan products right in the grocery store before you buy, and it will give the product a rating on how safe it is for your body. Think Dirty is another app option. The Environmental Working Group has a GREAT website with a massive database where you can search a specific ingredient or product and receive a rating.
Here are the top Ingredients to avoid:
3. Synthetic colors
6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
9. Propylene glycol
10. Sunscreen chemicals: benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone
More info on top products to avoid: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/
Environmental Working Group Database
Dangerous Beauty Products