Chemicals in Skin Care

Chemicals in Test Tubes

Unarguably we are taking better care of our skin and hair than we used to. Or are we? In an age where cosmetic surgery is considered, not only acceptable, but standard practice and one in which creams and potions that sell for £100 plus are flying off the shelves, do we really know what we are slathering on ourselves?

I’ve done some research, and to be honest, it’s a little bit scary…

It turns out that the world is full of non-organic cosmetics. In itself that doesn’t sound too daunting but read on to find some real chemical nasties that are incredibly common in skin care products we use everyday.

1. Fuel Oil. Yes. FUEL OIL! Many high street stores are stocking products that contain petrol. This fuel residue is coming from the petro/chemical-based cosmetics we rub into our hair and bodies then rinse down the drain.

2. Superbugs. The widespread use of products containing the antibacterial agent Triclosan is promoting the growth of dangerous superbugs. The use of Nanosilver will also lead to the development of antibiotic resistance among harmful bacteria.

3. Biocides. Nanosilver is a powerful biocide that can kill healthy and beneficial bacteria in the environment, especially in soil and water creating an unacceptable toxicity risk to human health and the environment. Biocidal nanosilver poses a real threat to bacteria-dependent natural processes. Soil, plant and animal health could be particularly affected. The bacterium in soil ensures correct amounts of nitrogen are maintained and enables the breakdown of organic matter. De-nitrification bacteria play an important role in keeping waterways clean by removing nitrates from water contaminated by excessive fertilizer use. And, of course, the bacteria in our guts allow humans (and animals) to digest food while promoting general health and well-being.

4. Tap Water. Triclosan can react with chlorine in the tap water to create the carcinogen, chloroform. Furthermore when sunlight is added to the already toxic triclosan-chlorine mix, dioxins are formed. Dioxins are highly toxic, persistent environmental pollutants that can cause reproductive and developmental problems. They can also damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and cause cancer. NOT good. Common household products such as shampoo can interact with disinfectants at water treatment plants to form cancer-causing nitrosamines that, in turn, can end up in drinking water.

5. Weight Gain. Research is showing that exposure to phthalates, endocrine disrupting chemicals found in perfumes, nail polish and other cosmetics, is linked to childhood obesity.

6. Early Puberty. As girls are showing signs of puberty at an increasingly younger age, researchers are beginning to examine the link between cosmetics ingredients that mimic the effect of oestrogen and premature puberty. Girls younger than 10 with early onset puberty show a high rate of exposure to endocrine disruptors found in nail polishes and other cosmetics. Phthalates, triclosan, musks and parabens are all known to alter the hormone system.

7. Infertility Problems. According to one report on the health risks of secret ingredients in fragrance, hormone-disrupting chemicals commonly found in perfumes may be a factor in infertility. The research suggested that infertility increased by 20% in American couples between 1995 and 2002.

8. Birth Defects. Nail salon workers exposed to solvents without proper ventilation, face an increased risk for miscarriages and birth defects similar to those caused by foetal alcohol syndrome. Endocrine disruptors have been implicated in birth defects of the male reproductive system, such as undescended testicles and a penile deformity called hypospadias. Incidence of both conditions appears to have risen in recent decades. Pregnant women with higher levels of phthalates, which are commonly found in fragrances, shampoos, cosmetics and nail polishes, are more likely to have children who display disruptive behavior in later years.

9. Cancer. The President’s Cancer Panel in the US warns that nitrosamines found in cosmetics are implicated in brain & kidney cancer, phthalates found in cosmetics, hair conditioners, and fragrances, increase the risks of breast and testicular cancer, and nanomaterials found in cosmetics, personal care products and sunscreens can be extremely toxic. 22% of all the aforementioned products are contaminated with the cancer-causing compound 1,4-Dioxane, including many children’s products.

10. Safety Testing. The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to make cosmetics companies test products for safety or recall products that are found to be harmful. In America The President’s Cancer Panel recommends research on toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals in personal care products and cosmetics, noting that only 11 percent of the ingredients in these products have been tested for safety.

Amazing isn’t it? There seems to be such a lack of regulation on products that can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. If these were substances we were ingesting it would NEVER happen.

At The Green Room I advocate a holistic approach to well being. With this in mind I recommend only organic products that I have trialed and tested myself. The products I recommend are by Arbonne and here is why…… At Arbonne, beauty begins with premium botanical ingredients, an integrative approach to beauty and an unwavering commitment to pure, safe and beneficial products. Arbonne creates personal care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind. Working closely with scientists around the world and our Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD®) facility in Switzerland, we continually explore and develop scientifically advanced, botanically based proprietary formulas that meet our exacting standards for quality,
safety and sustainability.

Maybe it’s time to REALLY think about what we’re doing to the environment and ourselves?


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