I ran across an article the other day that listed the toxic chemicals used in commercial make up. It’s something most of us women don’t give much thought too. We get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed and put on our make up. It’s automatic – second nature, just part of our morning ritual… But this article left me wondering… Are we dying to be beautiful?
Many of us give a lot of thought to what we put in our bodies, buying organic produce and grass fed meats. We make sure we drink clean water and take our vitamins. But how many of us give that kind of consideration to what we put on our bodies? A few months back I had cleaned out my home of all animal tested products making note of what not to buy again and suitable replacement items from animal friendly companies. This was good progress, but it seems we need to go further. Many of the chemicals and compounds that are approved by the FDA are in fact still toxic. These chemicals are not just in make up, they are also found in soaps, shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams and so on – so guys you are not off the hook.
Danielle Tworek, of The Examiner, found that a study published in the Environmental Health Prospective Journal had concluded that phthalates, a toxic chemical found in everything from mascara to lotion, as endocrine / hormone disruptors which have been linked to reproductive issues and certain cancers. Chemicals such as Di-n-Butyl Phthalate (DBP) and Mono-n-Butyl Phthalate (MBP) as well as di-2-ethylhexylphthalate can increase insulin levels and add to the risk for diabetes. It has also been linked in studies to a high potential for disruption of the thyroid.
When you take the time to stop and read the ingredients on most of the common personal care products we all know, use and trust you find the same dilemma we are dealing with in the supermarket these days. A list of words that have a crazy number of syllables that make even the most educated of us wish for the latest edition of hooked on phonics. It is a challenge to pronounce them, and more of a challenge to research and uncover what it is we are actually buying.
Lets take one item as an example – Skintimate Shave Gel. This cream works wonderfully and smells fantastic – with scents like Raspberry Rain and Flirty Mango. Their package design is attractive and very visually appealing. But, is it healthy for us? Lets find out. Ingredients: Purified Water, Palmitic Acid, Triethanolamine, Stearic Acid, Isopentane, Sunflower Oil Monoglycerides, Sorbitol, Isobutane, PVP, Fragrance, Panthenol, Vitamin E, PEG-90M, BHT, BHA, FD&C Red No. 40, D&C Yellow No. 10.
Purified water – Check! We know what that one is.
Palmitic Acid – A fatty acid that can come from plant or animal source.
Triethanolamine – An emulsifier used in cosmetics and cement production. It has a pH of 10 – it removes makeup well because it is very alkaline. Because of its high alkalinity and the possibility that it converts to nitrosamines (carcinogenic compounds), its use in cosmetics was once expected to diminish. It is still widely used as of 2009.
Stearic Acid – A long chain fatty acid used in soaps and cosmetics. Its’ found in plants, nuts and animals.
Isopentane – Also called methylbutane it is an extremely flammable and volatile liquid at room temperature. By it self it has a gasoline like odor and if it is touched to skin it is recommended you remove contaminated clothing and slush skin immediately with warm water and soap – seeking medical help immediately. Yeah, that’s exactly what I want to shave my legs with!
Sunflower Oil Monoglycerides – Sunflower oil is very nourishing to the skin.
Sorbitol – A food additive used to sweeten. It is used in cosmetics to keep moisture in. Side effects include laxative effect, cramps, nausea, IBS, swelling of the skin, blurred vision, chest pains, confusion, difficulty breathing, hives or change in heart rate. It can be absorbed through the skin.
Isobutane – a colorless gas with a gasoline like odor. Can cause drowsiness, narcosis, asphyxia, and even frostbite if applied to the skin.
PVP (Polyvinylpyrrolidone) – a water soluble polymer. This helps form a film in products and was used in the 1950’s as a blood plasma extender for trauma victims. It is generally safe, though many people have allergic reactions to it.
Fragrance – to vague to research.
Panthenol – Vitamin B5 – works as a moisturizer and lubricant.
Vitamin E – Heals and protects the skin.
PEG-90M – Binding agent. Has been designated as safe. I cannot find much on this substance.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) & BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisole) – these are antioxidants that prevents rancidity. It has been shown to have a high hazard rate depending on product usage and has been linked to caner, allergies, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption and mood changes!
FD&C Red No. 40 – This is a petrochemical. It has been banned in much of Europe due to overall ill health effects.
D&C Yellow No. 10 – One of my personal favorites, it derives its color from coal tar – tartrazine. It is carcinogenic and it is the # 1 allergy inducing of the colors. So – out of 16 ingredients in this shave cream, 9 are found to be toxic and cause ill health effects.
On top of that, they are not a cruelty free company, and they do test these toxic substances on helpless lab animals. As well as it works, I am no longer willing to buy their products and support their business. I would hope this might cause you to take a deeper look at what you are purchasing for use on your body.
Our health is vitally important, we only get one body… and we need to take good care of it.