Do You Really Know What Toxins You Are Putting Onto Your Body?

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We have entered an age of unprecedented awareness about what is in our food and rightly so! With so much information readily available, knowing what toxins are contained in food items (e.g. pesticides, sugar, trans fats etc…) there is really no excuse for not making good decisions around our diet.

Conversely, while we are conscious of what goes ‘into’ our body, many of us are still uninformed of the impact cosmetics and toiletries can have on our health when we put them ‘on’ our body.

With the average person putting around 5 pounds of product on their skin per year, have you ever thought about what is in them and how this can affect you?

Our scented lotions, rich coloured lipsticks and replenishing night creams don’t just float around on the outer layer of our skin or hair until it is washed away – it penetrates deeper and deeper into our bodies as we wear it.

Unlike ingesting our food where there is stomach containing enzymes to break down toxins, our skin readily absorbs chemicals and other substances deeper into our body – through our skin layers, into muscles and fat, and directly into our bloodstream, without being broken down!

Beyond irritations that cosmetics can cause for some people, such as flaky skin or eczema type reactions, the chemicals absorbed by our body through cosmetics have the potential to cause a range of health issues, including:

  • Allergies
  • Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
  • Immunotoxicity
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Endocrine (hormonal) disruption
  • Cancer
  • Developmental/reproductive toxicity
  • Organ system toxicity
  • Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
  • Enhanced skin absorption (some chemicals actually cause our skin to absorb even more chemicals!
  • Biochemical or cellular level changes(Taken from Skin Deep, Cosmetics Database website)

So what are the ‘nasties’ contained in many beauty products that we should be avoiding in order to ward off potentially harmful toxins?

Common Examples Include:

  • Animal products or by-products
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde-donating preservatives
  • Phthalates
  • Alkylphenols
  • Benzene
  • Triethanolamine
  • Monoethanolamine
  • Phosphates
  • Polyethylene glycol
  • Petrolatum
  • Bisphenol-A
  • Triclosan
  • Hydroquinone

I will leave you to do your research on the above ‘toxins’ and while I certainly don’t profess to be a chemist or scientific expert, my own level of awareness is enough for me to at minimum look at the ingredients on the side of my make-up, skincare and other toiletries.

In addition to the toxins, many types of cosmetic manufacturers have practices that may not be in alignment with your values, yet you just don’t know it. These might be values around the environment, treatment of animals, human rights or other core beliefs.

For instance, do you know whether the lipstick you are putting on is tested on animals? Are you sure that the soap your family uses is clear of palm oil (responsible for the clearing of tropical rainforests and habitats for various endangered species)?

Did you know that the eyeshadow you are wearing could be contributing to exploit child labourers in Indian mines? If you are vegan, did you know that many of the cosmetics you use may have animal or by-product in them?

So the question becomes, “what do I do to navigate my way through the sea of products available and which ones are certified to the standard I wish to subscribe?”

The answer is….

You can read the FULL version of this article in our quarterly eZine, ‘Holistic Living Magazine,’ look for Edition 1 on this archive page.  There’s many more articles waiting for you too!

Kylie MamouneyKylie Mamouney – NLP Trainer, Corporate Leadership Facilitator & Transformational Coach

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