Don’t be drop-dead gorgeous. You and your loved ones may be a toxic chemical receptacle without even knowing it. It’s the ugly side of the beauty biz — many popular cosmetics and creams are laced with toxic chemicals. Learn simple ways to avoid them and choose safe, effective products that support good health and healthy relationships with all of the people you love.
Why be concerned about products you put on your skin?
What you lather onto your skin is absorbed into your body and ends up in your bloodstream.
Health experts warn us that many popular products we use to look our best, including toothpaste, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, and moisturizers, contain toxic chemicals that can speed up aging and harm our health. That’s why it is important to read the labels of every body-care product you buy and choose wisely.
Is it only wise to buy “Natural” products?
There are no standards for what “Natural” means. I’ve bought “natural” products from a health food store that I’d assumed were safe and healthy for me and my family, only to discover that they also contained toxic ingredients.
Once I read the official list of toxic chemicals to avoid, I started returning products with these chemicals and buying safer alternatives.
What toxic chemicals should we avoid in beauty and body-care products?
In 2003, an eco-cycle article listed 59 toxic ingredients found in popular cosmetics and creams that should be avoided — not only because they’re harmful to humans, but they also are washed down the drain and into the sewer system where they contaminate waterways and soil and poison marine life and plants.
Three types of chemicals used to preserve or add color to most personal care products are suspected or known carcinogins: formaldehyde (such as sodium lauryl sulfate), coal tar colors (listed as FD&C and D&C) and lead.
Rather than take a list of 59 toxic chemicals with you to the store, think of the following chemicals as the Dirty Dozen — the top 12 ingredients to avoid in your beauty and body-care products:
sodium laurel sulfate
sodium laureth sulfate
triclosan (found in antibacterial products),
Parabens (Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and Benzylparaben), mineral oil
alpha and beta hydroxy acids
How do you choose safe alternatives?
There are safe, effective alternatives to each toxic chemical. A simple strategy is to buy organic products with food-grade ingredients that nourish and protect you without ingesting harmful pesticides or chemicals.
This is how men, women and children may look and feel their best while supporting healthy relationships with all of the people that you love.
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