Several years ago when I was learning all about the right kinds of foods to eat to help decrease inflammation in the body and heal from disease, I started to pick up on the fact that not only do we need to be conscious of the food we put into our body, but also the products that we put ON our bodies, and the products that we use inside and outside of our homes. Just like chemicals and additives in foods that are bad for our systems, products that contain chemicals are, too! Remember that our skin is penetrable. Although it acts as a shield it is also sponge-like and absorbs things that we put on it. Think about it, we use things like birth control and vitamin patches that are placed on our skin. Those alter our hormones and body chemistry, so wouldn’t the beauty products we use do the same?
I think so much of the time we tend to believe that our government agencies have our best interests in mind. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. The FDA has no authority to regulate the chemicals that are found in the cosmetics that go onto the market in the United States. They do not require testing for safety, nor can they recall a product once it is on the market. There are only 11 banned chemicals in cosmetics in the United States, compared to The European Union’s 1,100! The legislation on cosmetics has not been revised since it was first included in 1938 because of a woman who was blinded by rat poisoning found in her mascara. So, the companies that make cosmetics get to decide what goes in them. They often use misleading words like “natural” or “organically made” when in fact there may only be 1 natural or organic ingredient in the entire product, leaving a lot of room for toxic chemicals. We as consumers must be educated and aware of this, and know how to read labels to look for ingredients that are harmful to our health. When we use several of these toxic products (even in small amounts) everyday, the toxins begin to build up in our bodies. Our livers don’t filter them out like we might expect. The Environmental Working Group did several studies on this which found these chemicals in umbilical cords, babies, teenagers, and adults. So they’re even being passed on to our unborn children!
According to the Environmental Working Group’s studies, 34% of our country’s cosmetics contain carcinogenic chemicals, 25% contain reproductive or developmental toxicity, and 60% contain synthetic hormones that act like estrogen! These toxic chemicals can seriously alter our health by damaging our immune systems and disrupting our endocrine systems. They can alter our hormone levels, cause early onset of puberty, mental health issues, degenerative brain disease, weight gain, sensory impairment, immune dysfunction, testicular dysfunction, and more. These toxic chemicals get into our systems and are food for pathogens such as infections, cancer, and parasites which make us sick and keep us sick.
So, what should you look out for? Here is a list of the top 20 worst offenders from Dr. Trevor Cates, who is a renowned skin care expert. You can read more about how each of these ingredients are specifically harmful here at Naturalnews.com.
- Mineral Oils
- Coal Tar
- Butylated hyrdoxyanisole
- Triclosan and triclocarban
- Mica, silica, talc, and nonoparticled titanium dioxide
- Heavy Metals
- Carbon Black
Now, since we probably aren’t going to have all of these complicated names memorized when we go to the store or are shopping online, I like to use the apps Think Dirty and Skin Deep. Both of these apps have large databases of thousands of different cosmetics and home products that we use on an every day basis. They give you ratings of how bad the product is and tell you which chemicals are the most harmful in that particular product! They take the work out of it for you, so all you have to do is simply type the item in or scan the barcode and you have instant access to crucial health information about it! Pretty awesome! You can also go to their websites on your computer and type it in there if you are not an avid app user. I’ve found these apps to be very helpful.
Some of my favorite places to shop for clean beauty products are Whole Foods, The Detox Market, The Organic Pharmacy, Goop Clean Beauty Shop, Credo Beauty and The Organic Bunny Shop. There are many more out there, these are just a few of the places I frequent.
I can’t finish this post without giving you a few of my favorite non-toxic beauty product recommendations! The first is my favorite finishing matte powder by Jane Iredale. This was one of the first non-toxic beauty products I tried, and was happy to find that this powder is just as good as the ones I was previously using that were full of aluminum! (YIKES! So bad for you! Watch out for your deodorants and any other powder-like cosmetics you use, they will most likely contain this.) I was also wanting to find a great contouring shade because contouring is like, the most important step in the entire makeup routine, right?! I searched around and was having trouble at first because everything was too bronzey. This contour and highlight kit from Lily Lolo has the perfect shade for creating those shadows you want. It’s an ashey, grey-brown instead of an orange-brown, which is exactly what you want when contouring. This blush by Bella Pierre Cosmetics is great, too! It has a really nice pigment to it, and it lasts all day. My current favorite lipstick is by Burt’s Bees! I’m in love with this nude color. It’s so natural and pretty, and goes on so smoothly. My favorite mascara, and trust me on this, I am a lashes freak, I’ve tried them all, is hands down W3ll People’s Expressionist Mascara! You won’t find a better natural mascara that gives you fuller, longer, spider leg lashes like this one does! I’ve also linked some of my other favorites that I use on the regular.
Have you made the switch to clean beauty products? If so, what are some of your favorites and which brands do you love? I’d be so happy to hear from you! I hope this gave you some helpful insights into making the switch!