Our quest for beauty and attractiveness is often damaging to our bodies. Many toxins are found in cosmetics, skincare products, and hair products. We slather on plentiful supplies of synthetic chemicals every time we wash, moisturize our skin, or apply cosmetics and hair products. It is ironic because the skin is the body’s largest detoxification organ and not only are we hindering it from doing its important job, we are also adding more chemicals to our already overburdened bodies.
Most popular brands of cosmetics are loaded with artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, petroleum products, emulsifiers, preservatives, and solvents. Over 850 toxic chemicals are available for use in makeup. Diethanolamine (DEA) and ethanolamine (TEA) are two particularly potent chemicals used in cosmetics. These chemicals combine with other chemicals to produce the carcinogens known as nitrosamines. The United States Food and Drug Administration found that 37 percent of the makeup tested contained the carcinogens nitrosamines.
The most common preservatives found in cosmetics and hygiene products are imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea. Both chemicals are considered toxic and are well-researched causes of dermatitis (skin irritation). They also release formaldehyde at temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) or higher. Numerous studies prove that formaldehyde is a carcinogen.
Believe it or not, petroleum products are readily used in skin-care products and cosmetics as well. They can produce photosensitivity (promoting sensitivity to the sun) and interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping—the very problems these skin-care products are typically used to treat.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, one of the synthetic substances that is used in shampoos and soaps for its foaming properties, causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, and allergic reactions. It is also a known mutagen, which means that it can cause changes in the information in your body’s cellular genetic material, potentially leading to disease.
Stearalkonium chloride is another toxic chemical used in many hair conditioners and moisturizers. Originally developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, this toxic ingredient found its way into skin and hair products because it is much less expensive than proteins and natural ingredients. Unfortunately, this toxin also causes many allergic reactions.
As if that weren’t enough, many synthetic colors are known cancer-causing agents. If personal-care products are labeled, these chemicals will appear as FD&C or D&C followed by a color name and a number. For example, FD&C Red Number 6 or D&C Green Number 6. FD&C Red Number 2 was found to cause a statistically significant increase in a variety of cancers in female rats at the United States Federal Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research. FD&C Blue Number 2 also produced malignant tumours in rats when it was injected under the skin. If a cosmetic contains synthetic colors, avoid purchasing it.
Synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can also pose many health hazards. Consider that the single ingredient “fragrance” can have as many as four hundred ingredients, most of which are petrochemicals. Clinical observation by medical doctors has found that exposure to fragrances can damage the central nervous system and cause depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, behavioral damages, headaches, dizziness, rashes, hyper-pigmentation, vomiting, coughing, and skin irritation. A shocking 95 percent of the chemicals used in perfumes and colognes come from petroleum! Some of the most common chemicals in perfumes are ethanol, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, a-pinene, acetone, benzyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, linalook, a-terpinene, methylene chloride, and a-terpineol. Smells beautiful, doesn’t it?
How to Detox Your Cosmetics:
While it is impossible to avoid all toxic ingredients, our toxic load is too high and we should take measures to reduce it. Start by reading labels on your cosmetics. No ingredient list? Sorry, but the company probably has something to hide. Avoid products without ingredient lists. If you see some of the ingredients I’ve listed above, skip the cosmetic product altogether. Switch to natural products but remember that just because you found it at your health food store doesn’t mean it’s healthy. The words “organic” and “natural” have been bastardized by the cosmetic industry and as a result don’t necessarily mean fewer toxic ingredients. I’ve looked all over and the purest, most natural, toxin-free, and gluten-free cosmetics that I’ve found are manufactured by Bellaphoria.