Our skin absorbs up to 60% of what we put on it.
Harmful substances can accumulate in the body, increasing what would’ve been a small effect into a significant one. Did you know that the FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetics and personal care products? This is dangerous because certain toxins may disrupt your hormones, increase your risk of more serious conditions, and even reduce the elasticity of your skin.
What you should look out for:
1. Parabens in lotions and makeup. These help prevent mold and bacteria growth, but are estrogen mimickers that potentially affect hormonal balance. Instead, use products with natural preservatives found in nature– pine resin, rowan berries and willow bark.
Control your health at its roots
2. Sodium lauryl sulfates in soaps and shampoos. These cause the product to foam up and clean effectively, but sulfates can be extremely harsh and drying on human skin and may accelerate aging. There are a lot of sulfate-free hand soap and shampoo options.
3. Mineral/petroleum oil in anything from hair conditioner to creams to makeup. A byproduct of crude oil, this is used because it’s abundant and cheap and helps your skin/hair retain moisture. However, it’s tainted with other chemicals from the oil-refining process and can also clog pores. Use natural oils instead.
4. Phthalates in fragrances. These are used to increase fragrance longevity, but may disrupt the endocrine system, possibly worsening a woman’s egg quality and quantity. Natural fragrances are growing more common now and are less likely to contain toxic products.
5. Oxybenzone in sunscreen. This is a common sunscreen filter that may be both carcinogenic and hormone-mimicking. There are a lot of sunscreen filters, so use one without oxybenzone.
Familiarize yourself with the different kinds of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils and watch out for them on labels. There are similar and effective natural alternatives to the potentially toxic products you want to buy.