MANY skin products contain toxic chemicals that act as endocrine disruptors in our bodies. This means that they interfere with your normal hormone function.
What is an endocrine disruptor? A synthetic compound that mimics a natural hormone when it is absorbed by the body. It changes normal signaling in the body, causing problems in the neurological system (brain), reproductive system, immune system, and organs. Common problems that arise with exposure include infertility, thyroid disease, prostate disease, ADHD, cancerous tumors, and cognitive/behavioral problems.
Your skin is your largest organ. The skin absorbs everything you put on it, and any chemicals go into the blood stream and to your internal organs. The liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system have the burden of detoxifying anything that goes on your skin. Our skin is constantly exposed to environmental pollutants, so it is critical to limit exposure to the things we have control over.
Household Items that affect your skin:
DON’T BUY PRODUCTS CONTAINING THE FOLLOWING:
- Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatologic issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up — fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?
- Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies indicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities — mimicking estrogen — and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
- Phenol carbolic acid— Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.
- Propylene glycol— Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.
- Acrylamide— Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to breast tumors in lab research.
- Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)— Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products!SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.
- Toluene — Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl.
- Dioxane— Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin.
Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”.
- So, do you want to put these chemicals on your skin?Hopefully not…
Where to find SAFE alternatives:
Acu-Na Wellness Center carries trusted organic/natural skin care products: Facial products, soaps, deodorants, shampoo, pain creams
You can generally trust natural foods retailers such as Earth Fare, Whole Foods, and Hendersonville Co-Op
Download the app Think Dirty on your smart phone, where you can scan barcodes and find whether the products in your home are harmful. Throw it out if it’s toxic! Invest in high-quality products. It is not worth saving a few dollars to harm your long-term health.