Holistic Health and the Beauty Industry: Are Cosmetics Safe?

environmental working groupHormone-altering chemicals in your makeup and body wash? Could be. The FDA does not require cosmetics manufacturers to test their own personal care products for safety. And yet, we buy them. We think…It’s just chapstick. It’s just shampoo. But research shows a little of something used over a long period of time can, in fact, hurt your overall health and wellness.

Ever wondered what those long, garbled words (“ingredients”) on the back of your personal care products mean? They’re synthetics. You probably knew that. But…what do they mean? The skin is a complicated organ, one that needs clear pathways to excrete toxins. Synthetics block the skin’s pathways, which, to the average eye, looks like less-than-vibrant skin.

To help you sort the good (i.e., healthy, natural, and organic skin care products) from the bad and the ugly (i.e., synthetic), the Environmental Working Group has a great website called Skin Deep, a cosmetics safety database where you can search the products you use on a daily basis by product name, ingredient, or company.

For example, did you know that John Frieda Frizz-Ease Care Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioning Spray has a hazard rating of 8 (the range 7-10 is high hazard). Ingredients in this product have been linked to: biochemical or cellular level changes, endocrine disruption, additive exposure sources, and irritation, to name a few[1].

Don’t be fooled the word “cosmetics.” We’re not talking lipstick and sparkle eyeshadow here (not only). Toxic ingredients are equally included in men’s and women’s personal care products. For example, AXE Deodorant Body Spray for Men[2] has a hazard rating of 5, while BOD MAN Fragrance has a toxic rating of 7-9[3].

The decision to protect your health is a personal one. Make the most of it. Choose natural. For more information about natural products, you can download free resources from the Apothecary Shoppe College Store or learn more about making your own natural body care products at home with ACHS President Dorene Petersen on ACHStv on YouTube.

Do you make your own natural, organic shampoos and body washes? We’d love to share recipes! Please feel free to leave a comment with some of your favorite ingredients and “best practices.”

[1] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/479604/John_Frieda_Frizz-Ease_Care_Daily_Nourishment_Leave-In_Conditioning_Spray/

[2] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/1219/AXE_Deodorant_Body_Spray_for_Men%2C_Orion_%282009_formulation%29/

[3] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=BOD+MAN+Fragrance

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