How many personal care products did you use this morning? Soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream, after shave lotion, body lotion, moisturizer, lip balm, sunscreen . . . Most people use these products without a second thought. Most of us believe that the government is policing the safety of mixtures in many beautifully designed bottles sold at drug stores, high-end department store.
Who regulates the personal care industry/cosmetics?
The $20 billion -a-year cosmetic industry gets to "police itself" through a group called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board which is funded by its trade association - the Cosmetics, Toiletries, Fragrance Association - CTFA. The cosmetics industry, like the tobacco industry, has managed to escape any regulation. The Cosmetic Industry Review Board has ONLY assessed 13% of ingredients in personal care ingredients.
Is what the average American applying to their skin affecting their health?
People apply an average of 126 "unique" ingredients on their skin daily. It gets absorbed through the skin or it can also go down the drain to create an impact on wildlife, rivers and streams. Accumulated toxins in people is what is contributing to our increased sensitivities, illnesses, cancers, etc. We have to ask ourselves as we are applying ingredients onto our body that are toxic, what is it doing to our health? The National Cancer Association is reporting yearly that 1:2 men and 1:3 women are reporting some form of cancer.
Are ingredients banned?
In the US we have banned 10 chemicals from personal care products. The European Union has banned 1100 or more chemicals from their personal care products. The European Union also wants to require chemical companies to test chemicals for health effects before they are put on the market. Our present Administration has been working to stop Europe from passing these protective laws.
Scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including industrialized plasticizers called phthalates in urine, and preservatives called parabens in breast tumor tissue. By the way, phthalates are in most fragrances and are not labeled within a fragrance listing - whether it is a perfume, body lotion, after shave, etc.
THE GOOD NEWS
The Environmental Working Group has researched and advocated on personal care product safety for 5 years now and will continue to strengthen our system of public health protection from industrial chemicals. The EWG has compiled an electronic database of ingredient labels for 29,000 name brand products and cross-linked it with 50 toxicity or regulatory databases.
The EWG has created a safe cosmetics contract called "compact for Safe Cosmetics" which is signed by Eminence and 500 other skin, hair and body companies. These companies ensure that all of the cosmetics and personal care products made by a company anywhere in the world meet the formulation standards and deadlines set by the European Union Directive to be free of chemicals that are known to be or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects. By the way, many of the OTC (over the counter ie: department stores, grocery stores, drug stores and direct marketing companies) have NOT signed the contract. It is easy for companies to reformulate. It just costs more money.
Eminence Organics has always been organic and has not used chemicals to give the products their 1 year shelf life. Presently, Eminence uses salicylic acid from white willow bark, benzoic acid from bitter almond oil, lactic acid from fermented potatoes and tomato seed in the biocomplex formulations.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Go online to ewg.org to learn more. Go online to safecosmetics.com to see the signers of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and then make smart purchase decisions.
Educate your families, friends, co-workers as we want everyone to be healthy.
And most importantly, purchase your personal care products from BuyNaturalSkinCare.com where you will find only organic products that contain no chemicals!
Dangerous chemicals to remove from your cabinets! SMALL EXPOSURES CAN ADD UP TO HARM
The cosmetics industry says the minimal exposure levels make toxic chemicals safe. But none of us use just one product. Think about how many products you use in a single day from toothpaste to soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, deodorant, body lotion, shaving products and makeupand how many products you use in a year. If the body is unable to process and eliminate the toxic chemicals that so many of the products contain, the toxins can accumulate in the body, leading to serious disease and potential birth defects. Here are the primary toxic ingredients that many health experts recommend to avoid:
1. Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben Found in a broad variety of deodorants, skin and hair products, parabens extend the shelf life of products by inhibiting microbial growth. Studies have shown that these substances are absorbed through the skin. While rare allergic reactions can include skin rashes, the estrogenic qualities of parabens have scientists concerned about implications for endocrine disorders including hormonal imbalance. Parabens have been found in human breast tissue.
2. Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) Often used in cosmetics as emulsifiers and/or foaming agents. They can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation and dryness of hair and skin. DEA and TEA are "amines" (ammonia compounds) and can form cancer-causing nitrosamines when they come in contact with nitrates.
3. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea These widely used preservatives commonly found in skin care, body care, hair care products, antiperspirants and nail polish, are two "formaldehyde donors." Formaldehyde-based chemicals are great preservatives as any mortician knows, but for live human consumption less dangerous preservatives exist. Exposure to formaldehyde can result in joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, dizziness, or even function as asthma triggers. Serious side effects include the weakening of the immune system, and as usual, cancer.
4. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate A cheap, harsh detergent used in shampoos and toothpaste for its cleansing and foam-building properties. Although derived from coconuts, the not-so-natural process uses sulphuric acid that is often a coal mining waste product. It causes eye irritation, skin rashes and other allergic reactions. More serious is SLS's degenerative effect on the cell membranes. SLS denatures the protein found in hair or skin, and is absorbed into the system where the mutagen can concentrate in the heart, liver or brain.
5. Petrolatum Also known as petroleum jelly, this dirt cheap mineral oil derivative is used for its emollient properties in cosmetics. This "moisturizer" coats the skin like plastic wrap. This interferes with the body's own natural moisturizing and detoxifying mechanism, and can lead to dryness and chapping, retention of toxins and premature aging.
6. Propylene Glycol A very beneficial product -- for your car's radiator. The active ingredient in antifreeze is used as a surfactant (or wetting agent) in body care products, including toothpaste, makeup and deodorants. Due to toxicity, the EPA requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with it. Propylene glycol breaks down protein and cellular structure, and direct contact can cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. Stick deodorants are higher in concentration of PG than is allowed for most industrial use!
7. PVP/VA Copolymer A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, styling aids and other cosmetics is toxic when particles are inhaled into the lungs of sensitive persons.
8. Stearalkonium Chloride A toxic quaternary ammonium compound developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, it is found in hair conditioners and creams. SC is a less expensive hair conditioner than proteins or herbals, but is known to causes allergic reactions.
9. Synthetic Colors Used to make cosmetics "pretty," synthetic colors, along with synthetic hair dyes, should be avoided at all costs. Many cause skin sensitivity and irritation, or even oxygen depletion in the blood. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Example: FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No. 6. Many synthetic colors can be carcinogenic.
10. Synthetic Fragrances The simple ingredient label "fragrance" in cosmetics can be a complex cocktail of as many as 200 chemical ingredients. This disclosure loophole leaves no way to know what chemicals are ingredients, and some of these compounds are associated with symptoms including skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting and so on. Advice: Don't buy a cosmetic that has the word "fragrance" on the ingredients label. Phthalates(#11 on this list) are often unlabeled but included as a fragrance ingredient.
11. Phthalates - These plasticizing chemicals found in some nail polishes, fragrances and hair sprays. are probable human reproductive or developmental toxins and endocrine disrupters. Two phthalates often used domestically in cosmetics (dibutyl and diethylhexyl) have been banned in the European Union.
12. Hydroquinone - Found in some skin lightening products and moisturizers, this possible carcinogen and probable neurotoxin, hydroquinone can also cause a skin disease called ochronosis, which leaves irreversible black-blue lesions on the skin.
13. Nano-particles - Extremely tiny particles found in some eye shadows, bronzers, sunscreens and lotions, nano-particles are largely untested and unlabeled in personal care products. Due to size, they are capable of being absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
14. Mercury - Often listed as Thimerisol among ingredients of some eye drops, ointments and mascaras, mercury is a human reproductive or developmental toxin and possible human carcinogen.
15. Placenta - The body's production of progesterone, estrogen and other hormones is enhanced by placenta sometimes found in hair relaxers, moisturizers and toners. This can interfere with the body's normal hormone function and can lead to serious health problems, including breast cancer.
Educate yourself and those around you! Please share this information with others, and visit these other Websites for more information: http://ewg.org and http://safecosmetics.org
Remember God loves you and so do I.
Watch for the annoucement by XANGO's new, all natural skin care GLIMPSE due this
FALL. WATCH FOR IT HERE.
Freda Douglas is a published author. Her first book "Cherish the Past", still available on Amazon.com, was published in 2004. Her second book "Winds of Change"
is now available at your local book store by using this ISBN # 978-1-60145-367-9