In July 2013, a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives reported that women with the highest level of “phthalates” in their urine were twice as likely to have diabetes as those with the lowest. Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics, and they’re also common in fragrances and personal care products like hairspray. You’re likely exposed to these chemicals every day from the products you use, and particularly when you go to the salon to have your hair done.
Hair & Makeup
On this blog, my contributors and I often discuss the dangers of personal care and cosmetic products because so many of their ingredients include toxic chemicals that put health at risk. What’s worse, this chemical exposure is an essential part of the daily routine for millions of people who, in the name of outward cleanliness and beauty, are actually doing quite the opposite to their insides. So what does all this exposure look like? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), for the average woman, it works out to roughly 168 chemicals via personal care and cosmetic products every day!
The media is abuzz with the latest bombshell about lead in lipstick — and this time, that’s just the beginning. A new study by University of California found many other toxic metals in products we put on our faces. What’s going on? As I explained on Fox News recently, we’ve known about this problem for a long time. I was part of the team that broke the story about lead in lipstick in 2007. FDA followed with its own study and found even higher lead levels in hundreds of lipsticks. And now, a UC study is here to tell us that it’s not just lead but aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and other toxic metals too.
Hair care, when you think about it does not just stop at your hair. It “touches” us everywhere. When we “rinse” out shampoo or conditioner in the shower it then flows all over our face, torso, and entire body. As it flows down the concentration does diminish, but we are still exposed to all the chemicals. However for the face and upper torso it has a huge impact. This allows the chemicals in our hair care to not only effect these other areas, but also makes the overall exposure to them more profound and damaging.
You might have heard that sure, parabens and other chemicals are bad if ingested, but they can't penetrate your skin so you don't have anything to worry about. The fact is, that much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. Just think about nicotene and birth control patches. While there may be some chemicals that are too large to enter your bloodstream most are small enough to penetrate. We have had studies done on everything from umbilical cords of unborn children to adult urine and have found alarming levels of cosmetic chemicals. So I say you're better off doing your best to avoid all known harmful chemicals because chances are they're entering your bloodstream.
To achieve optimal health and create sustainable wellness, it’s imperative that you become aware of not only what you are putting in and around your body, but also, what you put on it. Between shampoos, toothpaste, face creams, deodorant, cosmetics and so on, most people are voluntarily dousing themselves daily with multiple chemicals, carcinogens and mutagens, adding to their toxic loads and setting the stage for illness and disease. Seems like kind of a crazy habit, doesn’t it?
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Safecosmetics.org shares with us the best recipes to make your own safe cosmetics right at home. Don't miss out!
The Cancer Prevention Coalition and Organic Consumers Association warn of major risks to health from the great majority of cosmetics and personal care products.
One of my favorite site just wrote a great piece on unearthing the myths behind cosmetic safety which I think you all will really like!
Safe Cosmetics is a great resource for information on cosmetics. They posted a great Q&A Series that covers some great questions.