How Toxic is Your Skin Care Really?

Skin is our largest organ. What we apply on it matters. It digests everything we put on our body and it affects our organs. Make right, educated choices for your health, be conscious of the hidden toxic chemicals, that may be in cosmetics you use every day.

If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.

Some beauty products contain carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals that increase breast cancer risk. Every single product you cut from your beauty ritual decreases the number and quantity of chemicals to which you’re exposed.

Most consumers trust if a label says “organic”, “ natural” or “safe”, it must be true. We assume that there are regulations that govern what companies can claim on their personal care product packaging. This assumption makes sense—food labels are highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and many of the same claims appear on both food and cosmetic products. But the ethos of food labels does not extend to cosmetic labels. The truth is, the beauty industry is hardly regulated, therefore educate yourself and make the best choices.

Important Facts About Cosmetics Labels

  • Cosmetics are the least regulated products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The FFDCA does not require pre-market safety testing, review, or approval for cosmetics.

  • The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pursues enforcement action only after the cosmetic enters into the stream of commerce or sometimes after it is on the shelf.

  • The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that 884 of the chemicals available for use in cosmetics have been reported to the government as toxic substances.

  • U. S. General Accounting Office report notes that the FDA has committed no resources for assessing the safety problems of those chemicals which have been found to cause genetic damage, biological mutations, and cancer. Because of minimal regulation, products plainly dangerous to your health can be, and are being, sold.

  • FDA officials have found that many cosmetic manufacturers lack adequate data on safety tests and have generally refused to disclose the results of these tests.

  • The FDA estimates that only three percent of the 4,000 to 5,000 cosmetic distributors have filed reports with the government on injuries to consumers. In addition, it is estimated that less than 40 percent of the nation’s 2,000 to 2,500 cosmetic manufacturers are even registered.

  • In 1990, there were some 38,000 cosmetic related injuries that required medical treatment in the U.S. That figure does not include the many people who use cosmetics and suffer from allergies, irritation, and photosensitization

  • FDA policies and those of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), the U.S. trade association, which represents the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry, are mutually supportive. The major priority of the CTFA is to prevent “new and unnecessary” label warnings.

How can you limit, or avoid, exposure to these chemicals?

  1. Choose Color and Frangrance-free products. So called, “fragrance” can hide behind its name even hundreds of chemicals—including hormone-disrupting phthalates. Choose products that are fragrance-free or that contain natural fragrances like essential oils

  2. Avoid products with DMDM hydantoin and imidazolidinyl urea; parabens or any word ending in “-paraben”; “PEG” compounds and words ending in “-eth”; triclosan and triclocarban; triethanolamine (TEA); hydroquinone and oxybenzone.

  3. Mani-pedi anyone? I personally use, love and highly recommend Japanese P-shine for an elegant natural look and nourishment for your nails, however if you crave colors, choose a nail salon that uses only nail polishes free of the toxic formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate.

  4. Be picky with your antiperspirant. A possible source of aluminum in breast tissue may be the use of underarm antiperspirants, so try to find an aluminum-free formula. All natural deodorants are ideal choice.

  5. Invest in a jar of coconut oil. You can use it to replace so many of your personal care products.

  6. Consider what products are really necessary – chances are you don’t need half of what you use.

Top toxic offenders to avoid:

  • Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids

  • Liquid hand soaps with triclosan or triclocarban

  • Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde, DBP or toluene

  • Skin lighteners with hydroquinone

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