October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Are We Dying to be Beautiful?
Our skincare is poisonous! This is no longer news but still remains a serious issue. In the summer of 2007 newspapers caused gasps with such headlines. The daily application of conventional cosmetics means the body absorbs almost 5lbs of synthetic chemicals a year (before applying body lotion, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner etc.). Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens (cancer causing), and are known to cause damage to the brain, reproductive system and other organs, (Telegraph.co.uk June 22, 2007).
Nearly ten years on nothing has changed.
According to the US environmental watchdog (EWG), of the 10,500 ingredients used in cosmetics, toothpaste, sunscreen, nail polish etc. approximately only 13 % have been reviewed for safety in the last 30 years. We apply up to 126 different ingredients on our skin daily and 90 percent of these have never been evaluated for safety (that is an estimated 514 chemicals). The list of harmful ingredients used in cosmetics is lengthy with 900 of these are known to be toxic. See our list of ingredients to avoid for a run down on the worst offenders or click here for more information.
One of the well known toxins to avoid are Parabens
Many scientists believe there is an important link between parabens and breast cancer. Scientists from the University of Reading studied the samples of 20 different human breast tumours taken from mastectomies between 2005 and 2008 and measured the concentration of parabens in the tissue of the breast, from armpit to breast bone.
According to the study, 99% of the samples contained one or more paraben, while 60% of the tissue samples contained traces of all five of the most commonly used parabens. The January 2012 issue of the Journal of Applied Technology shows more evidence of a correlation between parabens and incidences of breast cancer.
What are they?
Parabens inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast, and moulds, and are used as preservatives. On the label they may be listed as: Methyl paraben, Propyl paraben, Isobutyl paraben, Ethyl paraben, Butyl paraben and E216.
This chemical found in deodorants, Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, sunscreens, cosmetics, Shaving gel and Toothpaste etc.) . It has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumours.
FACT You Can Absorb MORE Toxins from Skin Care Products than Food
Your skin is your largest organ and is highly permeable. What you put on your skin will end up in your bloodstream (think nicotine patches, HRP patches etc). Putting chemicals on the skin may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you apply these chemicals on to your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.
Are there Safe Personal Care Products?
Most personal care products -including those from high-end department stores – contain toxic ingredients that can harm our health. However there are numerous certified natural, organic skin and hair care brands that rival high street in terms of anti-ageing properties to bang on trend cosmetics but are better for you, the environment and no animals testing. Look for the genuine Organic Certification.
Pay attention to the order in which the ingredients are listed. Manufacturers are required to list ingredients in descending order by volume, meaning the first few ingredients are the most prominent.
Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic, since chemicals can leach out of plastics and into the contents. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a serious concern; make sure any plastic container is BPA FREE. ( yes it is tiring but worth it).
Look for products that are made by companies that have an earth-friendly, animal-friendly and green ethos such as Antipodes for serious super food ingredients, Neals Yard Remedies famous for their Anti-ageing Frankincense range.
Try Lavera for brilliant body care including a wide range of effective deodorants. Benecos are a fantastic and affordable make up rage. Faith In Nature is great for soaps as well as body care, while John Masters Organics are unrivaled as the ultimate hair care range, to name but a few.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re not being exposed to potentially hazardous agents is to use simple all-natural ingredients that many of us already have in our home.
Here are a few of my recommendations:
- All-natural moisturisers – Pure Almond oil is a great alternative to face and body moisturisers, as is pure coconut oil.
- All-natural acne fighter — Rubbing just a drop of oregano oil on a breakout can speed up the healing and prevent unsightly scarring without resorting to harsh commercial acne medication.
- Opt for All-natural deodorants – and avoid ALL antiperspirants. Instead try Rock Salt.
Remember choosing organic beauty is not only better for you and your body, it’s also better for the environment and animals too. When you choose organic, you know you are also helping to minimise the environmental impact too. So be sure to read labels and check products out before buying them. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database is an excellent resource for finding and evaluating healthful personal care products.