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Toxic Skincare

If you thought the FDA does a subpar job in regulating what goes into our food supply, you’ll be equally appalled on its regulation of cosmetic and personal-care products. The same way you look at food labels, you should do the same for your beauty products. –the Huffington Post

Your skincare and beauty products contain highly unregulated ingredients that include irritants, penetrators, carcinogenic disrupters only screened for color additives, and classified “over the counter” drugs…that’s just the short list.

Your skin is your largest organ and it can absorb up to 60% of what you rub, dabble, and scrub onto it.  Your delicate facial skin and armpit skin absorb up to 6x as much as the rest of our body.  While transforming your diet is a smart first step to take, consider it the gateway to cleansing living beyond what you put in your mouth.

I refer to non-toxic skin care frequently because it is a beneficial step in cleansing and detoxifying. What is the point of non-toxic, organic eating, if we’re treating our skin without the same respect?

Read the ingredient list

Common ingredients found in your soaps, scrubs, lotions, and makeup increase chemical and toxin exposure. The side effects include:

  • Increased cancer risk
  • Reproductive health issues
  • Allergies
  • Birth defects
  • Learning disabilities
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Immune system suppression
  • Cellular damage
  • Impaired ability to release toxins
  • Headaches, dizziness, and asthma

Common toxins to look for and actively avoid:

  • Parabens – Preservative found in many products, toxic to skin and immune system
  • Titanium Dioxide – In a variety of personal care products and makeup, appears to have low skin penetration but inhalation is a concern.
  • Fragrance – Often contain hidden chemicals, such as phthalates, connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies
  • Silicon derived emoliants – Used to soften products, these don’t biodegrade, prevent skin from breathing, linked to tumor growth and skin irritation.
  • Phthalates – Banned in children’s toys in the EU & California, this plasticizer is in fragrances, deodorants, lotions, linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, and cancer
  • Triclosan – Found in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants, it is linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate – former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.
  • Formaldehyde – Carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos. Banned in the EU.
  • Toluene – Disrupt the immune and endocrine systems, and fetal development, it’s used in nail and hair products. Often hidden under fragrance
  • Propylene – Solvent in oral and topical drugs, provokes allergic reactions and skin, liver, and kidney damage
  • Benzophenone – Found in flavorings and perfumes, lip balm, nail polish, shampoo, lotions, and foundation. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, and reproductive toxicity
  • PABA’s – Commonly used in sunscreens, can alter thyroid activity and interrupt endocrine function
  • DEA/TEA/MEA – Suspected carcinogens used as emulsifiers and foaming agents in shampoos, body washes, soaps
  • Hydroquinone – Banned in the UK, rated most toxic on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
  • Mercury – Known allergen that impairs brain development. Found in mascara and some eyedrops.
  • Mineral Oil – By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.
  • Oxybenzone = Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.
  • Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) – In hair products and dyes, toxic to skin and immune system
  • Talc – Some talc may contain the carcinogen asbestos, found in baby powder, body products, feminine hygiene products, makeup, deodorant, and face masks.

Do Your Homework on Non Toxic Skin Care

Check your skincare products and makeup labels exactly as you would packaged food labels. If you find any of the ingredients listed above, find a cleaner alternative.

A sad, but true theory is, if the product is marketed as “clean” “organic” “natural” and even “organic” when it comes to skin care don’t be fooled. There are no skincare industry standards for these labels, so you really have to know your stuff. Do your research and check ingredients, if product is labeled as organic check for the USDA organic seal.

Choosing non toxic skin care is an important step in reducing exposure to toxins and living a clean, vibrant life.

Finding Non Toxic Skin Care Products                                       

The good news is, we’ve come a long way in the world of non-toxic skin care products. We have more options to choose from then ever before with many companies making high quality, non-toxic products.

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a great resource that ranks skin care products based on toxicity. You can use the link below to check out the ratings of your current products or research new options:

Another resource is: The is a blog all about finding exceptional non-toxic makeup and skincare products.

Another reliable spot to find non toxic skin care products and makeup is: This site is like the Sephora of non-toxic products and has everything from lip gloss to supplements.

When it comes to health and transitioning to non-toxic skin care, just like making dietary changes, it’s a process. You can slowly restock your beauty bar with products that will make you look great and stay well while doing it!



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