Have a seat, sit back and relax. Close your eyes and imagine you are snuggled warmly under the duvet. It’s snuggly and you are in the middle of a very positive dream! Suddenly ‘Brrrring Brrrring’ your alarm goes off. Time to hit the shower. You get up out of bed and walk out of your bedroom.
Here’s the twist…Instead of walking straight ahead to the bathroom you find yourself turning to the left and walking down the stairs to the front door. You turn the key and walk out to your car. It’s time to take that shower….
You unscrew the cap of the petrol tank and use the fuel to ‘wash’ your body, then you move to the front of the car and use the anti freeze to wash your hair….would you really do this?? Time to open your eyes now and find out why I’ve used this analogy.
A personal care product use survey of more than 2,300 people, conducted by EWG and a coalition of public interest and environmental health organisations, shows that the average adult uses 9 personal care products each day, with 126 unique chemical ingredients. More than a quarter of all women and one of every 100 men use at least 15 products daily.
So what ingredients should we be avoiding? My Top 6 are –
- Synthetic Parabens. These are used as a preservative in about 85% of commercial skin hair care products. In the 1990s, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens―agents that mimic estrogen in the body. “Estrogen disruption” has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. And in 2004 British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D., found parabens present in malignant breast tumors. As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products.
- Mineral Oils. Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce fuel and other petroleum-based products from crude oil. It’s clear, colourless, and tasteless, and is produced in large quantities. It is sold off very cheaply by the petroleum industry. As well as having potential harmful contaminants mineral does not soak into our skin to nourish it. It sits on the surface, almost as if we are wrapped in cling film. True it locks any moisture in but equally it does not let any toxins out…something our skin is aiming to do.
- Propylene Glycol. This is a product used to attract water, for instance to keep water in the hair or the skin. It is another petrol derived product and in one form is a constituent of Anti Freeze. Although the cosmetic grade Propylene Glycol is is considered safe I am never keen to put synthetic chemicals on my skin!
- Phthalates. While phthalates is a huge class of chemicals and nowhere near every chemical in the class has been studied, several have been shown to have negative health impacts. The worrying thing is that Phthalates don’t need to be listed on the label! In the past few years, researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neuro-developmental issues, behavioural issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). This is used as the foaming agent in many shampoos and body/face washes. If you feel that your skin is irritated after washing or your scalp is dry then this may be the culprit. SLS ingredients help to transport other chemicals into the body and can stay long term in the tissues. It is an irritant and was originally a herbicide and pesticide. There are plenty of washes available that don’t use this.
- Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde in cosmetics and lotions can cause an allergic reaction in the skin (allergic contact dermatitis), which can lead to an itchy, red rash which may become raised or develop blisters. We mainly think of formaldehyde as the embalming fluid used by morticians! In very large amounts this chemical is not cancer causing but why take the risk?
Although each chemical is in our personal care products in such small quantities do we still need to worry? When we look at how much product we use daily it all adds up…skincare, haircare, make up! This is why I choose products that are free from synthetic chemicals from Youngevity. At Evanji we also teach you how to make your own safe products, including household cleaning items too!