Sunday, October 14, 2012

Toxins lurking in your personal care products?

Are toxins lurking in your personal care products?
If you use toothpaste, hair products, lotions, perfumes or cosmetics  - pay attention -    

Do you know what toxins you are putting in or on your body?  Do you know that toxins can enter your bloodstream through your mouth, skin or respiratory tract?  Do you know that the many chemicals found in processed foods can disrupt our hormones, make us fat and create inflammation in our bodies that can cause numerous health problems?  Do you know that they have found 287 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborns?

These are questions that I am forever talking to my kids about to remind them to use only safe, non-toxic personal care products that are beneficial to their health.  And although they don't always appreciate me educating them on this issue, I do see them reading ingredient labels on potential products they might purchase more and more.

I recently came across this interesting article by Martha Wilmore  that I thought I would share with you.  

Cosmetics – the Dirty 1/2 Dozen to Avoid
By Martha Wilmore, Nutritionist

The skin is 95 to 97% protein, plus oil, minerals, water and vitamins and minerals. It is the largest organ of the body and to maintain healthy skin, it must be fed well. However, the skin is the last organ to be fed after food has been processed by the digestive system, and often it is poorly nourished as a result of inadequate nutritional intake. The skin acts like a SPONGE, and anything that comes in contact with it can be absorbed into the bloodstream in approximately 90 seconds. Therefore, in an effort to reduce our internal toxic load, it is ESSENTIAL to use “toxin-free” products in skin care, cosmetics and cleaners.

The skin is a key detoxification organ in the body and MUST be allowed to breathe. If creams, lotions and cosmetics contain substances that reduce its ability to breathe, this causes the body to retain toxins which increases the internal toxin-load and causes the body to become a “toxic-tank”). Skin that cannot breathe properly begins to look “old” and “dry” and experiences accelerated aging.

The following SIX categories represent the “Dirty 1/2 Dozen Ingredients to Avoid” that are extremely prevalent in almost all cosmetics on the marketplace today.

1. Talc: is a finely powdered mineral used in some cosmetic products to absorb moisture. In many cosmetics, talc is listed as the first or second ingredient.

     a. Talc is a filler and is drying, and builds up in fine lines, accentuating their appearance. Other common fillers used in many cosmetic lines are rice powder and flour.
     b. Talc is also recognized as a potential carcinogen, especially lung & ovarian cancer.

2. Mineral Oil and Waxes: disrupt the skin’s ability to breathe. Mineral oil is a derivative of crude oil (petroleum) that is used industrially as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. Mineral oil forms an oily film over the skin to lock in moisture, but it also traps in toxins and wastes, and hinders normal skin respiration by keeping oxygen out (NOTE: Liquidum Paraffinum is an exotic sounding way to say mineral oil … Paraffin wax or oil is mineral oil wax.)

3. Collagen: Collagen is becoming very popular to add to cosmetics as a “sales gimmick”. It is an insoluble fibrous protein that is too large to penetrate the skin. The collagen found in most skin care or cosmetic products is derived from animal skins and ground up chicken feet. This ingredient forms a layer of film that may suffocate the skin or reduce its ability to breathe. [Instead of collagen, Shaklee has included Vital Repair+ to their skin care and cosmetic products … nutrients that feed the skin so that it can build it’s own collagen.  Soy protein taken daily is also recommended to provide the protein amino acids to build collagen and healthy skin.]

4. Toxic Preservatives: Formaldehyde and BHT are common toxic preservatives.

     a. BHT (butylated hydroxtoluene) is a preservative commonly added to cosmetics and food to preserve oils. It can cause cancer, tumors and neurotoxicity which alters behavior.
     b. Formaldehyde is a toxic colorless gas that is an irritant and a carcinogen. When combined with water, formaldehyde is used as a disinfectant, fixative or preservative.

5. Fragrances: Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported on many include
headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration and irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability and neurotoxicity (brain & central nervous system cell toxicity). They can also aggravate asthma and allergies.

6. Other Undesirable Ingredients: There are several undesirable ingredients that can be found in cosmetics.

     a. Isopropyl Palmitate: is comedongenic and can cause whiteheads and blackheads. It interferes with the ability of the skin to breath.
     b. Mercury: is used as a preservative or anti-microbial agent particularly in eye products such as mascara. The FDA allows it provided it is in a concentration below 60 ppm.  No consideration is given to the affects of the accumulative affect of this TOXIC heavy metal in the system.
     c. Lead: is a toxic heavy metal (especially found in products from Europe)

Watch this short video to learn more about toxins in our cosmetics.  Even though it was published in 2010, it is still relevent today.

 The Story of Cosmetics: 
The Ugly Truth of ‘Toxics In, Toxics Out’ 

What can you do?

FIRST -- get educated.  You can learn more about the safety of your cosmetics and household products by visiting the National Household Products Database:

SECOND --  Read labels

THIRD -- Use safe, non-toxic and environmentally safe personal care and household products.  I highly recommend any and all Shaklee products.

Here's a brief list of the toxic chemicals you will NEVER find in a Shaklee product:
No naphthalene
No kerosene
No formaldehyde
No phenol
No creosol
No lye
No hydrochloric acid
No sulfuric acid
No petroleum distillates
No benzene
No ammonia
No paradichlorobenzene
No sodium hydroxide
No butyl cellosolve
No phosphoric acid
No chlorine
No phosphates
No nitrates
No borates
No sodium lauryl sulfate
No sodium lauryl ether sulfate
No parabens
No triclosan
No phthalates
No 1,4-dioxane
No propylene glycol
No dyes
No trans fats
No artificial flavors
No artificial sweeteners

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