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?
The problem is that many cosmetics and personal care products contain undisclosed toxic chemicals that are dangerous to your health and are known to contribute to cancer, nerve damage, and infertility. And as your skin is an extremely permeable membrane, these toxins enter your body very easily, so the fewer you use the better, particularly with products that remain on the skin for long periods of time, such as facial makeup. The longer you are exposed to chemicals, the greater the opportunity for your body to absorb them. My advice? Try to keep cosmetic self-pollution to a minimum by taking the following steps:
1. When choosing makeup, select unscented, fragrance free products that contain few or no petrochemical derivatives.
2. Avoid products that contain diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA).
3. Avoid products with the preservatives imidazolidinyl urea and quarternium 15.
4. Look for nail polish products that are “3-free” meaning they do not contain the “toxic trio” of toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Here is a wallet sized list of 3-free nail polishes.
5. Look for skin care lines that are formulated with fewer dangerous ingredients, such as Soapwalla, Dr. Hauschka, Aubrey Organics, Ren, Sumbody, Amala, Tata Harper, Tammy Fender, Weleda, Joanna Vargas Skincare, and CV Skinlabs. To research the toxicity of a specific product before you buy, check out the Environmental Working Group’s massive cosmetics database.
6. To cut exposure, use make-up sparingly, and only on the days you think you “need” it and not at all on the weekends. When you get home from work, take your makeup off right away – don’t wait till bedtime.
7. Trade in your high-end perfumes and colognes for plant-based essential oils.
8. Opt for natural hair colorings like henna and other plant-based formulas.
9. Carry a copy of the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics, to help you make the best cosmetics choices possible.
10. And finally, for a quick review and great blog by one our guest authors, Melisse Gelula, a natural beauty expert, read about 9 pure and cheap skin care products.