There are over 80,000 chemicals registered within the Environmental Protection Agency and 1 in 7 of these chemicals are in our personal care products!
Research by the environmental working group shows that the average woman uses about 12 different products containing around 168 chemical ingredients and men use on average 6 products containing around 85 chemical ingredients in them every single day. Now that’s a lot of chemicals!
These personal care products are highly unregulated, and the Food and Drugs Association (FDA) or Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) does not have a pre-approval process for the majority of these products. They do not require health studies nor do they require pre-market testing before they are sold.
So many personal care products are applied to our skin on a daily basis: makeup,deodorant, shampoo, perfume, body lotion and the list goes on and on.
Most of us use these products without a second thought! Although these products may be considered safe in small amounts, our exposure to them is far from small when you’re applying multiple products daily.
In a world where we worry so much about
what we’re eating and putting inside our bodies, it is no surprise that we’re also becoming more and more aware of what we’re putting on and around our bodies. Our skin is our largest organ and acts like a sponge; absorbing everything. The chemicals found in our personal care products do not only go onto our skin and are harmful to our health and well being but they also get rinsed down our drains and flushed down our toilets, which have a negative impact on our environment.
PARABENS These are one of the main preservatives used in a lot of personal care products; including skin care, cosmetics, soaps and even baby products. They allow products to survive for months, even years on shop shelves or in our bathroom cabinets. They are known hormone disruptors, affecting male and female reproductive system functioning and have been linked to cancer and reproductive issues.
TRICLOSAN Is found in many mainstream skin and body care products. It is an antibacterial chemical and antifungal that is found in products like liquid dishwashing detergents, soaps, body washes, cosmetics and toothpastes. It causes irritation to the skin, thyroid issues, allergies and can disrupt hormonal development as well as reduce bacterial resistance.
PHTHALATES Commonly found in hair products, skin products and even some perfumes. They‘re also used in body lotions and hair products to help the product better cling to the skin or hair. Several studies have shown associations between phthalates and human health, they’re known endocrine disruptors and can affect human reproduction.
Used for hydrating our soaps, shampoos, cleansers and other beauty products. It can cause skin rashes and dermatitis.
Is a preservative that is mainly found in nail polish, shampoos and some deodorants. It irritates the skin and can burn the eyes and nose as well having effects on our immune, respiratory and nervous systems. Formaldehyde has been recognised as a known carcinogen by the Cancer Institute.
ALUMINIUM Found in deodorants and antiperspirants as it helps prevent sweating. It has a dual effect by clogging up your pores, thereby limiting the body from releasing the toxins from your underarms and at the same time, putting more toxins into your body through the skin absorbing it. It affects the central nervous system.
SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE (SLS) Commonly found in shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash, hand creams, lotions and cleansers. It is found to cause skin irritation, rashes, hair loss, mouth ulcers, headaches, nausea, coughing, congestion and is an endocrine disrupter.
FLUORIDE Found in many toothpastes and mouthwashes and has been linked to causing bone disease, neurological problems, skin problems, cardiovascular problems, reproductive issues as well as thyroid problems.
MINERAL OIL Commonly used in liquid foundations, skin creams and baby oil. It is used to make the skin feel soft, but at the same time clogs up our pores and prevents our skin from eliminating the toxins we no longer want or need,which can result in acne and other skin issues.
Commonly found in body wash, shampoo, conditioner, creams, aftershave cream, deodorant, perfumes, cologne, facial cleanser and nail polish.
FRAGRANCE AND PARFUM These words are a ‘loophole’ in the industry as companies only have to disclose either the word ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on the bottle and NOT list out the actual synthetic or toxic fragrance ingredients (there are thousands of these ingredients!) so the consumer is left thinking there is only 1 safe-sounding fragrance in her shampoo vs. 26 harmful chemicals. Used in a lot of soaps, shampoos, perfumes, cleansers and other beauty products. They are linked to causing allergic reactions, asthma, headaches, nausea and hormone disruptions.
You've already started your journey by reading this post! Becoming aware of the dangers of chemicals used in personal care products is the first step. We assume that our personal care and beauty products are safe. We do not often think of the health risks associated with using them. Many personal care products are dangerously toxic, from the phthalates to the parabens, all of which have been linked to multiple health risks. Become aware.
Be sure to educate yourself on what is in your current products. You can see a few examples listed above, but to educate yourself further, I recommend watching the Netflix documentary called ‘Stink’ and downloading the ‘Think Dirty’ app. This app allows you to scan your standard everyday personal care products and shows you how toxic they really are. It will provide you with all the products ingredients, information on the item and recommend you a safer and cleaner option to use.
This final stage is all about making those switches. Gradually switch out your products one by one. This way, you know exactly what is in them and you can be assured it won’t be harming your health or that of your kids and family.
When it comes to switching and ditching you have two options. Personally I like to integrate them both into my lifestyle as that's what works for me and my family.
DO IT YOURSELF If you follow my journey you will know that I am a massive fan of DIY! We are fortunate enough to live in an age where there are an abundance of recipes either online or in books for incredible personal care products. YOUNG LIVING Young Living are an incredible company with everything from personal care products, cleaning products, essential oils and accessories, items for your fridge, pantry and even your pets. Finding a brand that you can lean on like Young Living is vital especially if DIY is not your jam or you like to switch between the two like me!