The Chemical Load You May Not be Aware You're Carrying
A few years ago when I learned about the amount of chemicals we encounter on a daily basis and what they do to our bodies, I was floored. Then I was pissed! How are these allowed to be in our products?! How can this be legal?!
Not only is it allowed, it’s barely monitored. Under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives. According to the fda.gov site,
Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA.
Holy shit balls, right? I mean, the companies themselves are self-regulating for the most part and how many do you think are genuinely concerned more about their products’ impact on our health over profits? A few years ago, I would have said zero point zero. But today, that number has changed. But before I get into the who, I want to talk about the why.
As much as you love your favorite shampoo, it may be seriously messing with your hormones. Maybe not your shampoo alone but then throw in your conditioner, body wash, face wash, body lotion, makeup, hairspray, self tanner, fingernail polish, hairspray, deodorant, and perfume. They ALL contain chemicals and when you tally them up, we are talking in the hundreds here. And that’s all applied within 30 minutes to an hour each and every day!!
The EWG says
One of every five adults are potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients — hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide. The top most common impurity ranked by number of people exposed is hydroquinone, which is a potential contaminant in products used daily by 94 percent of all women and 69 percent of all men.
One in FIVE adults is potentially exposed to ALL the top seven carcinogenic chemicals EVERY DAY. You guys. I’m bringing this up because it is so important to be aware of. One in three people will get diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. ONE in THREE people. So if that statistic stays true, that’s 2 of my 5 family members.
I’m not okay with that so this statistic is one of the major motivating factors for why I choose to use as many non-toxic products in my home as possible. One of the tools I use when I’m out and about shopping for products for my home is the app Skin Deep by EWG. Here’s what it looks like in the Apple app store.
Not every item on the shelves is listed here but at the very least, you can search individual ingredients to check their toxicity levels. Green means good to go, yellow means use with caution and red means steer clear.
When I’m out shopping, courtesy of BeautyCounter, this is a list of ingredients I steer clear of.
Something to highlight…if any product says “fragrance” don’t buy it. The perfume industry is the WORST and fragrance could mean a combination of a gazillion toxic chemicals. Could be two, could be 200. There is no governing body in the world of perfume so furthermore, avoid using perfume as well. I know what you’re thinking…"Hell to the no. I must have my Dolce Gabba Whatever.”
You guys. Perfume is poison in a pretty bottle. If you think it’s no big deal because it’s not like you’re drinking the stuff, but you guys…our skin ABSORBS EVERYTHING. What you put on it, will eventually get in.
A great alternative to perfume is pure essential oils. I made the switch over five years ago and I now can’t stand the smell of perfume. And I’ve had friends and strangers tell me how great I smell when I walk by or after I give them a hug. The bonus of using essential oils is they support your body in so many ways like mood enhancement, healthy skin, focus, relaxation, and a properly functioning digestive system.
What I want you to understand is that this chemical soup we live in has a major impact on you, your children, and the world we live in. These harmful chemicals we come in contact with affect our endocrine system which impacts our metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, growth and development, sleep, energy, and tissue growth. Many of these chemicals are received by our bodies as xenoestrogrens.
Xenoestrogens are “foreign” estrogens, substances that are close enough in molecular structure to estrogen that they can bind to estrogen receptor sites with potentially hazardous outcomes. Sources of Xenoestrogens include plastics, pesticides, chemicals, and water system.
The issue here is that exogenous man-made chemicals that mimic estrogen can alter the functions of the endocrine system and cause various health defects by interfering with synthesis, metabolism, binding or cellular responses of natural estrogens.
I’m here as a friend telling you what you need to hear. You want to feel better but you may not have realized that what’s in your shower, on your bathroom counter, in your makeup drawer, and in your favorite nail polish may be a huge factor in that. What you don’t know may literally kill you. I want you to be informed so you can make better choices for you and your family. Knowledge is power so I encourage you to use this new knowledge and be empowered.
Here are some of my favorite clean brands and products I use on a daily basis.
Shampoo/Conditioner: Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Sulfate Free Honey & Vitamin B Shampoo
Body wash/soap: Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Foaming Milk & Body Wash and Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Hydrating Body Wash w/Frankincense and Myrrh
Makeup brands: Tarte -at Ulta/Sephora (some products, not all) and BeautyCounter
Facial wash/lotions: dōTERRA skin care line and BeautyCounter
Favorite essential oils as perfume
Nail polish: Zoya
I hope this helps you make more informed decisions for your self-care and if this all seems too overwhelming, just start with one product at a time, one shopping trip at a time. The important thing is that lighten your chemical load however and whenver you can!