July 1, 2008

Eight chemicals that should NOT be in your personal care products

Quick. Go to your bathroom and grab some of your favorite personal care products. We're going to play a little game here called "What the heck is going on my skin?"

Which organ of the body is the largest? Tick, Tick, Tick. Time's up. The SKIN! Are you surprised? Many people don't really think of their skin as an organ, but everything you put on your skin eventually ends up in your body. Yep - EVERYTHING! So it's critical if we want to maintain a healthy state of wellness, that we watch not only what goes in our bodies, but what goes on them as well.

Now, have you got your goodies? Turn them over and look at the ingredients on the back. How many of them can you NOT pronounce? Be honest! Even if you took phonics in elementary school and can manage to "sound them out", how many of them do you really recognize? Do you know what they are? What they do?

Many of the ingredients you see there are used for preserving the product so it can stay on the shelves for an extended period of time. Below is a list of eight ingredients that you should avoid like the plague in your personal care products. This would include soap, body wash, shampoo, body sprays, hair spray, hair mousse, hair gel, deoderant, anti-perspirant, conditioners, moisturizers, etc.

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – These are petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to all sorts of skin problems. They slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up – fast? Do you REALLY want to put this stuff on your skin?

Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system. Not a good idea for women suffering from PCOS, PMS, infertility issues, breast cancer or menopausal problems. And these things are in EVERYTHING, gals.

Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.

Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.

Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research.
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.

Toluene – Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.

Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.

Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.

OK, so you may be asking, why does the FDA allow these chemicals in your products if they are so dangerous? Great question. The FDA limits the amount that may be used in personal care products. (So they MUST know something, yes?) The normal "accepted" amount is .1%

I can hear many of you saying, "Come on, Karen, that's pretty minimal", and you're right. But that amount is PER PRODUCT. So, if you're using several products and they all contain these ingredients and you're doing it every day for 365 days a year for 10-50 years, . . . I think you see where I'm going.

I truly believe that many of the problems we are encountering as a society can be traced back to some of this. So if you're truly looking for a balanced state of health and wellness, take a look at those labels. If you absolutely cannot LIVE without your "super duper, make you look 20 years younger cream", then maybe you can start using a pure, natural goat's milk soap to bathe with or a pure castille body wash. Start small and try to wean yourself off some of this and read those labels. You'll be surprised how even the very expensive as well as some of the "all natural" products out there are full of hidden dangerous chemicals.

All Goode Gifts prides itself on not using ANY of these products EVER in anything we make. Come and visit us at
http://www.allgoodegifts.com/ and see if we can't offer you a wonderfully healthy alternative to your personal care products.

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