The Ugly Side of Beauty
Did you know that most beauty products are loaded with super creepy ingredients? Did you know that your skin is your largest organ - so if you put creepy, toxic ingredients on your skin, they absorb right into your blood stream? YIKES!!
There are tons of ways our bodies get exposed to toxins. The top three ways are through the air we breath, the food we eat, and the products we put on our skin. Good luck cleaning up all the air. You may have better luck cleaning up your food, but you’ll have the most luck cutting out toxins by keeping an eye on the ingredients in your personal care products.
Right now, the market is super confusing for you, the consumer. Companies throw around words like '“natural” and “organic” to entice you into purchasing. But the truth is there aren’t actually set definitions for these terms, so that means there still can be all sorts of creepy stuff inside your products. (Check out the FDA’s website here and see how few ingredients have been banned from beauty products in the USA... its really alarming.)
So where do you even begin? My suggestion is to hone in on a few ingredients and work on eliminating them from your products. That way you aren’t overwhelmed. Here are the top 12 ingredients I suggest starting with:
Formaldehyde-donating preservatives: A known human carcinogen that is also linked to asthma and developmental toxicity. This includes, but is not limited to, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and methylisothiazolinone.
Hydroquinone: A skin lightener that causes skin irritation and may be linked to certain cancers.
Parabens: Some have been linked to endocrine disruption, which may increase the risk of certain cancers. This includes ethylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben.
Petrolatum: Commonly known as petroleum jelly. It’s used as a skin protectant that is a by-product of petroleum. It typically contains the impurity polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to cancer.
Phthalates: Plasticizing ingredients commonly used in fragrances as a solvent and skin fixative. Phthalates have been linked to endocrine disruption and may cause birth defects. Also known as dibutylphthalate (DBP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), diethylphthalate (DEP).
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): Harsh surfactants that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Moreover, SLES often contains the impurity 1,4-dioxane, a by-product from its manufacturing process, which is a potential carcinogen.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes: Many synthetic fragrances and dyes are petroleum-derived so can contain components which are potential hormone disruptors, allergens, and environmental toxins.
Triclosan: An antibacterial agent which causes skin irritation and has been linked to endocrine disruption. It is also bioaccumulative and potentially toxic to aquatic organisms.
Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA): Frequently used in cosmetics as emulsifiers, foaming agents or pH adjusters. Based on studies, they are linked to organ system toxicity, cancer, and environmental concerns of bioaccumulation.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)/Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA): Petroleum-derived antioxidants used to extend shelf life of product, BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in skin. They are also likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors.
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCT): Commonly referred to as Kathon CG. They are chemical preservatives widely used in cosmetics that are the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies. Also linked to lung toxicity and possible neurotoxicity.
Talc: Used in cosmetics as an anti-caking or bulking agent. Talc can be contaminated with asbestos fibers which possess risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer.
Did you notice some buzz words that many of these ingredients has?? Most are are carcinogenic - that means cancer causing - YIKES! Many are also endocrine disruptors, meaning they may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects - again, YIKES! Bottom line is none of them do anything good for your skin or body.
If you are looking for a clean brand that doesn’t allow these ingredients in their products check out Arbonne. Arbonne has a really extensive "NOT ALLOWED List™ that includes more than 2,000 ingredients. Arbonne took the nearly 1,400 from the European Union and added several hundred more to come up with this cool, clean list. This company won’t use anything creepy in their formulas across their product categories… which include skincare, personal care, hair care, nutrition, and makeup.
So what are you doing today? I hope it involves cleaning up your makeup drawer and bathroom cabinet!! ;)