It’s heartening to see everyone becoming so much more aware of what we are putting in our bodies and on our skin. In not too distant human history, we used to be sold skincare which contained ammonia, arsenic and lead. It seems so absurd to us now! Though, it doesn’t take much digging to uncover the list of thousands of toxic synthetic chemicals still going into our everyday skincare, many of which are carcinogenic (known to cause cancer). Whilst they might not have such immediately obvious toxic effects, the ongoing accumulation of these substances can lead to a host of chronic diseases. It’s just not worth it.
Consider just some of the items we use everyday which are leeching toxic chemicals into our family’s bodies - Cosmetics , Moisturisers, Deodorants, Shampoos, Nail Polish, Toothpaste, Insect Repellents, Chest Rubs – the list is huge! Please take a moment (if you haven’t already), and have a read of the ingredients in some of the products in your house. If you see a list of chemical names you can hardly even pronounce, chances are they are hiding some nasty substances.
I’ve created a list of some of the key ingredients to look-out for and avoid in many of our common bathroom cabinet products:
- Parabens – Cosmetic preservatives. Endocrine (hormone) disruptors which can effect both male and female reproductive systems.
- Sodium laureth sulphate (SLS/SLES) – In shampoos, bubble bath and foaming cleansers as a foaming agent. Skin irritant and may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which may cause cancer.
- Triclosan – Found in toothpaste and antiperspirants. May lead to anti-biotic resistance and an endocrine (hormone) disruptor.
- Dibutyl phthalate – Used in nail polish. Female reproductive & endocrine disruptor.
- DEA (Also MEA & TEA) – In Soaps, Shampoos, cleansers as a foaming agent. Possible carcinogen.
- Formaldehyde – Used in nail polish, dyes and shampoos. Possible carcinogen, irritant to eyes, nose and throat.
- Mineral Oil & Petrolatum – A by-product of petroleum production often used in baby products & moisturisers. Clogs skin pores and prevents toxins from being released. Can also be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are carcinogenic.
- Talc – Found in baby products, powders, blush and deodorants. Linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.
- Toluene (often hidden as fragrance) – In nail and hair care products. Known to disrupt the Endocrine (hormone) and immune system, also fetal development.
- Fragrance/Parfum – The name given to a host of chemicals which are linked to asthma, headaches, dizziness and allergies.
- BHA & BHT – Make-up and cosmetic preservatives known to be endocrine disruptors and may be carcinogenic.
That is just a small start on a very long list, but hopefully it will give you a better understanding of just how dangerous these ingredients are, and how to look out for them. Whilst switching toxic for natural seems like it could be a costly exercise, there are so many great natural alternatives to replace the nasty ones, that they are becoming much more cost effective. I think it is just a matter of starting somewhere, and one by one, as each product runs out, be sure to replace it with a nasty-free alternative.
A good place to start your detox is with our Natural Deodorant & Balms, which are of course all 100% natural and effective! Not only have we made sure there are absolutely no nasties in our products (because honestly I couldn’t live with myself if there were), but they are also Naturopathically formulated, so they include ingredients which actually enhance your skin’s health.
I am sure that future generations will look back at the thousands of toxins we expose ourselves to now in the name of beauty and be shocked. Keep putting pressure on business and government to do better in what they allow to be used in household products by choosing only 100% natural. As consumers, we hold great power with the choices we make and the businesses we support. Hopefully we can work together to make a difference not only to our own health, but also to the health of future generations.