What do we mean by toxic beauty? The industrialized world is smothered with synthetic hormone disrupting, cancer-causing agents in our everyday personal care products (PCP).
Consumers Beware of Toxic Beauty!
Children and infants have at least 3 PCP’s applied to their delicate skin daily. On average, women use 13 PCP’s and men use about 10 PCP. And did you know that women are putting approximately 515 chemicals on their face as a part of their toxic “beauty regimen”?! These chemicals are linked to cancer, hormone problems, skin conditions, and allergies.
The majority of the public believes that when they buy a product at the store, someone has already tested it and deemed it safe. Unfortunately, this is a large misunderstanding. The PCP and cosmetic industry is largely unregulated. There are over 10,500 personal care and cosmetic products on the market, yet few have been tested for their effects on the human nervous, immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Thus, we are left without studies that show the synergistic effects of these toxic beauty chemicals in the body. However, in a study conducted by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, they tested 72 PCP’s, and found that 52 of them contained phthalates, an endocrine disruptor shown to cause damage in the kidney, liver, and reproductive organs.2 To save your time, money, and health, empower yourself by learning which makeup chemicals to avoid!
Another common misconception is that our skin is acting as a barrier to these chemicals, preventing them from entering the bloodstream. On the contrary, it is actually more harmful to apply toxic chemicals to the skin than to eat them.
In evidence presented at a 1978 Congressional hearing, the absorption of carcinogen nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA), was shown to be over the 100 times greater when exposure occurred on the skin than through the mouth.3
This is because when we ingest our food, our body has a built-in detox organ called the liver that is able to filter out some of the environmental toxins. However, when a lotion with parabens (known to cause breast cancer) is rubbed into our skin, there is no filter and is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
Hormone-related diseases are a growing epidemic. In fact, one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during their lives.4 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will develop cancer throughout their life. Yet there are chemicals found in our everyday PCP’s that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors!
There are about thirty toxins found in PCP’s and cosmetics that are hormone disruptors. These hormone disruptors mimic, disrupt, or block the actions your natural hormones and interfere with your body’s hormonal pathways. These synthetic hormone-disrupting chemicals are linked to the development of endometriosis, weight gain, depression, decreased infertility, and the development of breast cancer.
These hormone-disrupting chemicals have been labeled as “obesogens” for their effect on our hormonal responses, one of the root causes of the current obesity epidemic. Paula Baillie-Hamilton is a leading expert on metabolism and environmental toxins. She refers to these endocrine disruptors as “chemical calories”.
Not only are the toxins found in the toxic beauty products affecting our hormones and disease progression, but it is affecting our children. These toxins pass through the placenta and into the baby’s bloodstream. In a study done by the Environmental Working Group, they found 287 synthetic chemicals in the umbilical cords of newborns.5 Some of the chemicals found in the umbilical cords were known carcinogens and most others are tied to brain and nervous system disorders. The list includes DDT, mercury, flame retardant, and pesticides. It’s no wonder autism, ADHD, and other autoimmune diseases are on the rise in children. The sad truth is that if a child lives in the United States, they are exposed to these toxins.
A key step in minimizing or eliminating your exposure to toxic beauty is to be able to identify the checmicals correctly. Some of the worst offenders are SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulfate), Phthalates, BPA (Bisphenol-A), Diethanolamine (DEA), and Parabens. In the image above, you will see a list of chemicals found in everyday PCP’s, including their effects on your body.
What you can do about toxic beauty!
Although we can’t do anything about past toxic exposure, we can do something about current and future exposure. We should do everything in our power to reduce or remove any cancer-promoting factors and hormone disruptors from our homes and our lives.
There are many companies on the market committed to true health and delivering natural products that are just as effective as the ones you’ve grown accustomed to using. Check out Beyond Organics or 100percentpure.com for their line of 100% toxin-free skin and body care products. Other good household product lines are Seventh Generation and eCover.
- Alastair Jamieson. Women put 515 chemicals on their face and body every day in beauty regime. The Telegraph. November 2009
- Emily Gertz. Phthalates Raising Concerns. Mother Nature Network. May 2009
- Samuel S. Epstein. Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal-Care Products Endanger Your Health and What You Can Do About It. March 2009
- Breast Cancer Risk in American Women. National Cancer Institute. September 2012
- Columbus Dispatch, Dirk VanderHart. Researchers Find 287 Chemicals Present in Umbilical-Cord Blood in Small Study. Environmental Working Group. July 2005