We all love the boost of confidence we get when we look our best. Having our skin look airbrushed, glowing, and flawless is truly priceless. If that takes foundation and concealer for some of us, so be it. There are some sneaky ingredients though that can do a lot more damage than we think. The majority of products we smear on our skin, which is a living, breathing, organ will be absorbed into our body. There are no safety rules regulating what toxic chemicals are in our makeup and skin care products so we have to be our own health advocate.
Parabens: This is a dangerous ingredient that's found in cancerous tumors. It's used as a cheap filler and preservative in almost everything from makeup, body wash, and shampoos to processed foods. I even saw it listed in Costco's blueberry muffins! I'm not slamming Costco, I buy many organic products there. I'm just saying be a cautious shopper, do your research, and make educated, responsible choices.
Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate: Commonly found in shampoos and body wash. This is a detergent that gives us that sudsy sensation we all love when shampooing our hair. This chemical mimics the activity of estrogen, decreases fertility, and is linked to breast cancer. It's sometimes disguised in "natural" products with the term derived from coconut. Good news, because we're becoming aware of the adverse reactions, many companies are making their products paraben/sulfite free which they'll advertise on the front of their product.
Mineral Oil: A cheap filler that's in many moisturizers. Linked to breast cancer, this toxic industrial petroleum bi-product is too expensive to safely dispose of so it's dispersed into our moisturizer instead. Does that sound ludicrous to anyone else? This oil coats our skin, suffocating it rather than moisturizing it. What small percentage of molecules are absorbed into our skin is falsely identified by our body as the hormone estrogen, reeking havoc on our thyroid and digestive tract.
Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol: Made from the same chemical that makes anti-freeze, our skin easily absorbs these chemicals causing damage to our liver, kidneys, and brain.
Perfume: Although some perfume, cologne, and fragrances can smell dreamy, they are still made with toxic, man-made chemicals that have zero regulation. These chemicals are linked to hormone disruption, reproductive problems, and cancer. You ever get a whiff of someone's perfume and feel nauseous, confused, dizzy, or get a headache? You're having a chemical sensitivity to their fragrance. Scent is connected to emotion and memory so make no mistake that product manufacturers are cashing in on this. Everything is soaked in fragrance to draw you in like bees to honey. If perfume is on the list of ingredients, don't use it.
Flouride: This is considered hazardous waste by the EPA. It leads to collagen breakdown, DNA damage, tissue damage, and immune suppression. It's quite simple to make your own toothpaste but If you prefer store bought, make sure it's fluoride-free.
These are just 6 of the most commonly found harmful ingredients in our beauty/personal care products but the list is truly endless. A cheat sheet that can help take out the guess work is a free app called "Think Dirty." Remember to be a professional ingredient reader. Don't fall for marketing and advertising gimics. Just like food, the proof is in the ingredients. You can't pronounce it? Skip it.