Did you know that the average woman slathers, lathers, scrubs, rubs + sprays over 515 different synthetic chemicals on her body each day? Imagine what’s absorbed over a lifetime!
Most people have no idea that ingredients in beauty products can be harmful to their health… until something happens. They believe that the government regulates cosmetics the same way it does with food + drugs. But the truth is; the $50 billion beauty industry produces some of the least regulated consumer products on the market today. And the scary part is that there are actually no laws to protect us.
Major loopholes in the current law allow cheap, toxic chemicals into beauty products in order to increase profit margins – without monitoring health effects, or requiring pre-market safety testing before a product hits store shelves.
This goes for baby shampoo, toothpaste, moisturizers, lipstick or any other personal care products we use on the daily…
- Companies do not have to list all ingredients on the label.
- More than 1 in 5 beauty products contain chemicals linked to cancer!
- Only 11% of 12,500 ingredients have ever been reviewed for safety.
- 80% of those, commonly contain hazardous impurities.
- 56% contain skin penetration enhancers – allowing them to enter your bloodstream.
- US manufacturers often make different, safer versions of their products which are sold overseas, where cosmetics regulation is much stricter than in the US.
While no one really knows for sure how certain chemicals affect us over time, or how they react in our bodies in combination – but, one thing we do know… is that what goes on…goes in. Think of “the patch” for example – it’s medication that’s absorbed into your bloodstream, by applying it on your skin (transdermally).
At the same time that untested chemicals have been steadily introduced into our environment, Breast Cancer incidence has risen dramatically. Keep in mind that, Cancer is only about 10% genetic, + the other 90% is environmental (lifestyle related).
So, our body burden is the total accumulated amount of toxins the human body can handle over a lifetime, before getting seriously ill. And, it’s impacted by everything we eat, drink, breathe, touch + expose ourselves to – including the cosmetics we use daily.
For a crash-course, check out these FAB resources…
- Watch the Story of Cosmetics.
- Visit the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
- Glance over the Dirty Thirty – a basic list of the BIGGEST offenders in your beauty products! For a more extensive list, see my Ingredients to Avoid, + get a more in-depth explanation of why you should avoid these over on Chemical of the Day.
- Check your products on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database .
Products that score between 0 – 3 are generally the best choice, but watch out for ingredients that score “0” due to data gaps (meaning not enough research is available yet). While this isn’t perfect resource (see why here!), it’s a fab tool, + a great place to start!
- Visit the sites I mentioned above.
- Start by swapping out products that cover the largest surface area of your skin + stay on the longest. Begin with body wash, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner followed by deodorant, hair styling, makeup, etc.
- Don’t throw everything out at once! Start with just a few + replace things as you run out. This is especially important if you’re super dependent on something like a medicated acne face wash, anti-perspirant, etc. as you’ll want to ease into the transition as opposed to going cold turkey. Trust me. Your wallet + your skin will thank you!
- Toss anything that contains ingredients on the Dirty Thirty list! Those are the big beauty baddies!
- When replacing products – follow this simple rule: If you don’t know what’s in it, don’t buy it! Period. If a complete ingredient list isn’t easily available on a website, completely disclosed on packaging, or only key ingredients are mentioned – it’s a red flag! Do not pass go, + do not spend $200! Move it along + buy from better brands that let you make informed decisions + don’t use questionable ingredients.
- Revamp your routine! Simplify your life + buy products with shorter ingredient lists that may be able to multi-task. I mean… do you really need 6 separate moisturizers for your face, eyes, lips, hands, cuticles, body, feet, etc.? Probably not.
If you’re having a hard time… don’t give up! You’re not alone. Just take it one itty-bitty, baby step at a time (in the right direction)! Many of us have walked this path before you + are here to hold your hand the whole way through.
Remember… nobody said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it!
- Don’t… I repeat, do not overwhelm yourself, or your wallet – by doing it all at once! Slow + steady, gurrrl! If I can do it, you can do it!
- Justifying the cost – cleaner cosmetics can be a bit pricey compared to what you’re used to paying, but that’s because they contain far more superior ingredients. When it comes to your health – you can pay the farmer now, or the doctor later.
- Detoxing your skin – While some may go through a noticeable, brief detox-phase, others may not. Detox symptoms are an example of how dependent our bodies have become on harmful chemicals. You might experience things like breakouts, super-dry or super-oily unbalanced skin, greasy hair, excessive perspiration, etc. until your body recalibrates + begins to function how nature intended it to… again.
- To ease symptoms, slowly wean yourself off products you’re chemically dependent upon, by gradually decreasing use over time + alternating days with a healthier product until you don’t need it anymore.
Look for carefully curated product reviews + recommendations from green beauty bloggers (like me!) that have similar taste in products. Chances are… they’ve already done most of the homework for you.
Plus, they sift through thousands upon thousands of brands + can probably point you towards the best of the best beauty products…. saving you tons of time, $ + energy!