By the time you wake up, shower, put on your makeup, maybe some lotion or perfume, you have potentially exposed yourself to 120 chemicals before you even walk out of the bathroom to start your day. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Do the math. The average woman uses about 12 different body and skin care products a day, each containing about 10 different chemicals.
Think about this. If it’s going ON your skin, chances are it’s going IN your body. After all, your skin is your largest organ. It can absorb as much as 60 percent of whatever is applied to it. The scary part is only 11 percent of the 10,500 chemicals used in beauty products have ever been tested for safety. 1/3 of these chemicals have been linked to cancer. Others have been linked to reproductive disorders, skin conditions, and neurological problems.
Ok, wait a minute. Don’t worry. This isn’t a blog about throwing out all of your makeup. But I am going to urge you to consider changing some of the most damaging products in your makeup drawer. It won’t hurt, I promise. And by the time you get to the end, I’ll share my secret for true beauty.
The Berkeley School of Public Health, at the University of California conducted a study that found lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses frequently found in drugstores and department stores.
You can research your makeup by going to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin DeepCosmetics Database.
Some of my favorite brands are Bare Essentials, Tarte Cosmetics and Tica Cosmetics. The complete list of brands and products are in my Healthy Lifestyle Guide.
Whatever makeup you’re using, make sure you keep your makeup brushes clean. If not, you are risking infection, like pink eye. One study found 72% of women never clean them! At the least, it’s a habit that can clog pores and cause breakouts. Once a month use a gentle sulfate-free shampoo and water to clean the brushes then lay them flat to air dry.
Don’t overlook your pantry as an option for your beauty routine.
- You can create facial toner using equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.
- Want a good body scrub? Add coconut oil to brown sugar or coffee grounds.
- Olive oil and a cotton ball takes off eye makeup.
My Healthy Lifestyle Guide also has a whole list of recipes for home beauty finds including hair conditioner, a face mask and how to combat puffy eyes naturally
This is another area of your beauty routine where a few changes can vastly improve your health.
You may have seen the recent study by researcher at Duke University and the Environmental Working Group that say some nail polishes contain triphenyl phosphate or TPHP, a so called endocrine disruptor. Popular brands found with the chemical are Sally Hansen, OPI, and Wet and Wild. The chemical has caused reproductive and developmental problems in animal studies.
Nail polish can make its way into your bloodstream because your nails are very porous and part of your skin. But TPHP isn’t the only toxic ingredient frequently found in nail polish .
- Toluene is an industrial solvent. According to Medscape, toluene effects your central nervous system (CNS) and can contribute to vertigo, seizures, coma, cerebral and cerebellar degeneration. It also affects your liver, kidneys, and musculoskeletal systems.
- Formaldehyde is a colorless gas commonly used as a preservative. When formaldehyde comes in contact with skin (which is what your nails consist of), it can cause contact dermatitis, blistering, and chemical burns. Exposure to low amounts of formaldehyde may lead to eye, skin and respiratory tract irritation.
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) raises concerns for reproductive and nervous system toxicity, developmental delays, hormone disruption, lung irritant, and neurotoxicity. According to the Environmental Work Group, the European Union has banned this ingredient for use in cosmetics. Unfortunately, it is used in cosmetics in the United States.
360YOURLIFE FAVORITE NAIL POLISH PICKS
- Scotch Naturals
- Piggy Paint
- Zoya Spa Ritual
- Mineral Fusion
We all want our skin to look as good as possible. But as you’ll soon discover they are another part of our beauty routines you might want to consider changing. That’s because many lotions contain alkyloamides, aluminum, parabens, petroleum, and phthalates. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear on the label.
- Parabens can be listed as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben, and Butylparaben. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report saying parabens showed estrogenic activity in several tests. Breast cancer is stimulated by estrogen and since absorption through the skin is 10 times the concentration of an oral dose, it doesn’t seem very smart to rub a lotion full of parabens all over body.
- Aluminum blocks pores, which stops toxins from being excreted from your body. The toxins will enter into the closest fat reserve, usually the breasts or the brain. Aluminum has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Petroleum is a byproduct of distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Because of its thickness, it clogs pores and prevents it from breathing and releasing toxins. It can result in premature aging and other skin conditions.
- Pthalates (DBP, DEP, butyl ester) are chemicals used in many household cleaners, but are used in lotions to help absorption. They have been established as a “probable human carcinogen” by the Department of Health and Human Services and the EPA.
I personally love Shaklee Enfuselle.
I know, it’s hard to think about parting with a facial cleanser you love. I just want you to be aware of the choices you are making. Ignorance is not bliss. A lot of facial cleaners contain ingredients we’ve already discussed like phthalates. It’s important to know that phthalates may not be listed in the ingredients, but any cleanser that lists “fragrance” can contain phthalates and parabens. Choose products with fragrances made from plants and essential oils or unscented products.
Another one to watch out for is Triclosan which can contribute to the creation of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
360YOURLIFE FAVORITE FACIAL CLEANSER PICKS
- Kiss My Face Cleansers and Bar Soaps
- Desert Essence Nourishing Organic Cleanser
- Acure Organics Facial Cleanser
BUT PERHAPS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE FOR TOTAL HEALTH IS TO LOOK BEYOND SURFACE BEAUTY TO WHAT IS INSIDE.
Following your purpose, eating well, managing stress.. all of those things give us an inner glow that simply can’t be contained to the inside. It will come out! People around you will notice. They will see your confidence. They will hear your laugh. They will admire the ease at which you go through the day. They will wonder what has changed that makes you look younger and better than ever!
For me, inner beauty means finding time not just to nourish my body, but feed my soul. I urge you never to measure your worth by what you see as flaws or the wrinkles on your face. Beauty is much more about compassion and love than physical appearance. When you feel that in your heart, you will feel as beautiful as you really are.
Beauty is one of the four areas I believe we all need to focus on before we can achieve total health. While it may not be as critical as nutrition, our home environment and stress management to our well-being, it should not be overlooked as it is a daily part of our routines.
I know this was filled with a lot of information and I don’t want to overwhelm you. Hopefully now you can make the choices and swaps that are right for you. Every little bit helps. Pick at least one today and give it a try.