Jill’s views on choosing the safer option!
Did you know that everything you put on your skin is absorbed into the body within a matter of seconds? You may be a vegetarian but if you use many of the skincare and personal care products available on the market today you will not only be absorbing chemicals into your blood stream but animal products and bi-products too!
I would like to tell you about some of the chemicals you are absorbing and where they are coming from and leave you with a few tips on what to look for when purchasing personal care products.
Do you know that statistically we are expecting one in three people to develop some form of cancer in their life time?
Why is that?
Well, we really aren’t certain, but cancer and many other health issues today have been linked to the chemicals that we come into contact with.
We are exposed to chemicals all around us. We get them in the air we breathe, in our food supply, in the plastics we come into contact with, and perhaps an area you may not have considered before… in the personal care products that we use.
According to research, 26 seconds after exposure to a chemical, traces of it can be found in every organ of your body to some degree because the skin is very absorbent. So the question is, do you know what the ingredients are in your shampoo and whether or not any of them are harmful? Because every soap, lotion, shave gel and cosmetic product that you use on your body contains ingredients that are being absorbed into your body and could be causing you harm with long term exposure.
There is lead in some lipstick, dioxin in baby soap, coal tar in shampoo, and I could go on and on….
You will have seen articles in some of the daily newspapers and you may be used to seeing stories about the chemicals we put on our skin, but do we really think about it? Do you realise the make-up peril for teen girls?
In the EU we are luckier that the US as the EU has already banned over a thousand chemicals from cosmetics whereas in the US it’s a lot less. The sad fact is that the multibillion cosmetic industry is so powerful that they seem to keep themselves unregulated for decades! The good news is that there are alternatives. There are products out there that are formulated to be pure, safe and beneficial for you to use in and on your body. So here are a few top tips…..
Avoid products formulated with petroleum-based ingredients like mineral oil. Mineral oil (MO) is a by-product of the petro chemical industry and a cheap bulking ingredient. It is the second biggest cause of skin ageing after the sun. It is a common ingredient in baby lotion, cold cream and many cosmetics. MO stays on the skin’s surface and is an occlusive so interferes with the absorption of key ingredients and the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. It slows down the skin function and cell development resulting in premature ageing. Contrary to belief, this ingredient is not healthy and is illegal to use in cosmetic formulations in Switzerland, so look out for products formulated there.
Also avoid other harmful chemicals like petroleum jelly or soft paraffin. They were originally promoted as topical ointments on account of their healing properties and regrettably still remain widely used in cosmetic skincare. They can promote acne and other disorders due to clogging the pores and interfering with the skin’s PH balance.
More than 70% of all personal care products may contain phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and infertility – the EU, is now proposing a ban on their use in the cosmetic industry.
Parabens (synthetic) a chemical compound widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry are just as bad. Many products for sale in stores have a seven-year shelf life! Parabens are a carcinogenic and can be found in 80 – 90% of products on the market. Natural parabens that occur in cinnamon and fruits such as prunes and blueberries can be used in trace amounts to stabilise and reduce the effects of bacteria and spoilage and are considered safe.
Aim for products that are botanically based, which means they are formulated using the finest plant ingredients like chamomile, macadamia, aloe vera, shea butter and natural oils like lemon oil.
Go for products that have no animal products or by-products and that are not tested on animals. Many products contain the oils from animals and you can find things like fish scales in lipsticks. If you are buying organic food think more carefully about the products you use on the outside of your body!
Try and avoid products which contain artificial dyes or chemical fragrances – some of which can affect fertility in females. Check out “Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance” which highlights some of their findings.
But the most important thing is to aim for products that work and get amazing results. Look for test results and testimonials from other people who use the product you are thinking of buying. Don’t just believe the “celebrity” who is endorsing a product as they get paid thousands to say that!
Am I saying that if you follow these guidelines you will stay healthy? No, sadly I can’t guarantee that, but why add to the risk if you don’t have to?
Here’s to you having perfect health and skin!
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Jill is an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International and the views expressed are her own based on Internet research. Jill is not a scientist or skincare expert but is passionate about helping people understand more about how to look after their skin and about the ingredients in Health and Wellness products. If you would like to know more please complete the form in the side bar and I will send you regular information and blog posts.