Keeping our skin radiant, glowing and moisturised is, more often than not, a daily task. And this is true for everyone: men, women, children.
So we turn to skincare to moisturise our skin (one of the largest organs of absorption)
Our skin absorbs quite a few elements. Some examples are soluble oils like essential oils, vitamins (A, D, E, K), heavy metals salts like lead, mercure, arsenic, toxins of some plants, certains chemicals as well as medications.
What is applied on your skin (or the skin of your family's members) does matter because it is likely to be absorbed in the fatty cells of your body or in the blood stream affecting the functioning of your systems.
How many chemicals are approved for use in the food industries? The Chemical Maze reports back in 2012 that 10000 food chemicals were approved in the United States. In Australia and New Zealand apparently the food additives are not tested before being given the green light to be used. The approval is given based on the documentation provided by the developers and the manufacturers. Those additives are sourced from all around the globe which makes it hard to check what is really in the processed foods.
An other interesting element worth considering is that the list of chemicals and their effects or side effects is known. Yet the effects of the combination of these chemicals is unknown as well as their longterm effects on health.
Let's turn to the cosmetic and skincare industries. The chemicals allowed to be used in them is even less regulated than what is used in food. While being absorbed by the skin and the mucous membrane (think all skin which is moist on/in your body so inside your nose, all the digestive tube, vagina, lungs are some if not most of them).
A research conducted in Canada in 2013 tested the umbilical cord blood of three newborns. They found a total of 137 different chemicals such as DDT, PCBs and flame retardants.
It has been shown that BPA (lining of tin) is linked to higher risk of heart disease, fertility issues as well as diabetes-like effects.
Triclosan presents in most, if not all, antibacterial skin product (hand sanitiser is a prime example) appears to accumulate in the water ways as well as in the people and has been linked to increase level of allergies. It has been shown also in animal research (yes sad that they did test on animal) to be an endocrine disruptor at low level. We can wonder what it does at high level for human?
By the way, you know what is the endocrine system? It consists of a group of glands situated in different part of your body and which produces and or secretes hormones. These hormones are messenger travelling between those glands to be sure very important functions are happening in your body. The glands are: pineal gland, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, arenals, ovaries (for female), testicules (for male). The good functioning of your endocrine system is fundamental to the quality of your life and your wellbeing.
Back to the Triclosan, it has been shown to be an endocrine disruptors in animal. Not a good news. There is also concern relating to antibacterial resistance developing.
DEP also know as diethyl phthalates are commonly used in personal care product to help hold colour, to lubricate and make fragrances stay longer. This component has been linked also to endocrine disruptor effect as well issues with the reproductive system. Suzy Cohen, American pharmacist, wrote in one of her 2019 blog "Many fragrances are potent neurotoxins". She refers here to the artificial fragrances, not essential oils or floral water which are both from natural sources.
Methyl paraben, the most used synthetic preservative in skin care and personal care creates an other level of issues. It mimics oestrogen (female hormone) and that lead to increase breast cancer. For male it can affect their fertility. What is more this element can affect the immune system as well as being linked to cancer in animals.
SLS (sodium laurel sulphate) is a petroleum based chemical added to personal care to help with the foaming quality. It is has been linked to skin irritation, toxicity of internal organs as well as being an endocrine disruptor.
These are just some of the ingredients you can find in the skincare and personal care products. You might think: what I am to do? It all sounds quite scary and doomed.
In fact there are quite a lot you can do. You can choose to decrease the exposure to chemicals for yourself and your family in your daily life.
You can choose what you apply on your skin, what you buy to eat, what you prepare to eat, what you surrounded yourself with.
Making greener choices for the environment, for ourselves and our families start by reading the labels. Become more discerning in what you choose. Read. Ask questions. Be informed. Make informed decisions for your life, your health, your present and future.
My motivation for natural health started back in 1990. I looked into food, lifestyle, medicinal herbs and organic farming. Being the mother of four daughters I wanted to create for them natural, nontoxic, skincare which would benefit their skin while looking after their health. It has been such an interesting road which continues today.
Wishing you glowing, radiant skin and wellbeing.
STATHAM, Bill, SCHNEIDER, Lindy, The Chemical Maze, Possibility.com., 2012, 254 pages.
LOURIE, Bruce, SMITH, Rick, Toxin Toxout, Martin's Press, 2013, 231 pages.
Environmental Working Group (EWG), https://www.ewg.org