Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it’s often overlooked when it comes your health. Yet, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body.
Think for a second how many different types of products you put on your skin throughout the day. Most likely you cleanse your skin with soap or shower gel; wash your face with face wash; suds your scalp with shampoo and conditioner; use shaving cream and aftershave; and apply lotion, deodorant, perfume/cologne and sunscreen.
If you’re a woman, you can add makeup and other beauty potions into the mix.
So let me ask you, do you even consider what exactly is inside each of these products?
If not, I don’t blame you — most people don’t. The truth is that whatever you put on our skin does end up in the body through the bloodstream. And some of these synthetic chemicals and additives can create very serious consequences.
We should take what we put on our skin just as seriously as the food we eat when it comes to our health.
You should know the FDA does not investigate or test for the safety of personal-care products before consumers buy them. Instead, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), an industry-appointed and -funded panel, reviews the safety of cosmetic ingredients.
According to Environmental Working Group (EWG), there are approximately 10,500 ingredients used in cosmetics in our country. In its 30-year history, the CIR has screened only 11% of those ingredients.
This means nearly 90% of cosmetic ingredients are un-reviewed and un-tested for safety.
The cosmetic industry argues that it’s OK to add these toxic ingredients. The logic is that, because only small amounts are used in each product, they aren’t harmful.
But the average person uses 10 or more products that make contact with their skin every single day. Over time, these toxic chemicals add up and can lead to very serious health problems.
I want to share with you today four of the most common harmful chemicals you should think about avoiding in your daily skincare use.
Deodorants and antiperspirants are the most likely products to appear in our medicine cabinets. The armpit is a major location for the lymphatic system, and is one of the most-absorbent spots on the body. Unfortunately, most big-brand deodorants use aluminum to tighten the underarm skin in order to block the body’s ability to sweat.
There’s much debate about the level of concern that should be given to aluminum content in deodorant, but it certainly has no benefits to the body. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer, kidney problems and bone disorders. Worse, it has been directly recognized as a neurotoxin that increases the risk of neurodegenerative diseases Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Related story: Missing link found between brain, immune system
Aluminum-free deodorants that use essential oils are simply a no-brainer to use instead, as most deodorants contain a slew of other harmful chemicals.
2. Diethanolamine (DEA)
DEA is a chemical used to help thicken shampoo, body wash and facial cleansers. It is also easily absorbed into the skin and body.
DEA is a hormone-disrupting chemical that may form cancer-causing agents. It has been linked to miscarriages and inhibiting fetal brain development.
Research indicates a strong link between DEA and liver and kidney cancers. There is also evidence that carcinogens form when Cocamide DEA is applied to the skin and in reaction with other ingredients.
What to look for on the label: Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate
Consider, too, that Cocamide DEA is on the same list of potentially cancer-causing chemicals as glyphosate, which is found in a popular weed-killing product.
Parabens appear in a wide variety of personal-care products and foods to prevent the growth of microbes. In other words, they are preservatives designed to increase the shelf life of a product.
That’s not all they do.
Parabens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. They directly interrupt how your body regulates your metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep and mood.
What to look for on the label: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in -paraben
The same chemical that is infamously known to cause a laundry list of diseases in old houses is hiding in your most-common skincare products like nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, shampoo and even baby products.
Banned in Japan in Sweden, and banned in personal-care products in all of the EU, formaldehyde is also used to preserve products and extend their shelf life. It’s found in biology labs and funeral homes around the world.
Formaldehyde, which is easily absorbed both through the skin and inhaled through the air, is considered a known human carcinogen by many expert and government bodies, including the U.S. National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
These are just four of the most-common harmful ingredients hiding in your skincare products.
Most skincare products contain 30+ chemicals that absorb into your body every single day. But since there is generally no immediately visible reaction from your body, most people ignore the dangers these ingredients pose.
Other common skincare ingredients that have direct health dangers you should avoid include 1,4-dioxane, benzophenone, butylated compounds, coal tar, some fragrance, homosalate, hydroquinone, lead and other heavy medals, MICA, nitrosamines, octinoxate, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, polyacrylamide and others.
We would probably never put these types of chemicals in our bodies if they were served to us on a dinner plate, and we should look to avoid putting them in our bodies via our skin.
Exploring all-natural, food-based alternatives is the best course of action you can take. Not only will these ingredients replace the harmful ones you may already be using, but they will be infinitely more beneficial to the skin and body.
Good luck and happy investing,
Uncommon Wisdom Daily