Walking down the cosmetics and personal care product aisles at the store, I am always a bit overwhelmed by the abundance of products available. Even at Whole Foods and the local health food store there are so many choices! These products are marketed to make us feel both clean and beautiful. However, many of these products contain harmful chemicals. These toxins enter our bloodstream directly through our skin much more than you would think, through breathing in sprays and powders, and also from consuming products on our lips and hands. Find out which chemicals to watch out for and my recommendations for safe alternatives.
Personal Care Products and Toxins
Choosing organic produce and avoiding plastics and other toxins can reduce your toxic load. However, your personal hygeine may expose you to harmful toxins. Below are some of the most common harmful chemicals found in both cosmetics and personal care products:
- Phthalates: known endocrine disruptors
- Synthetic colors: known carcinogens
- Synthetic fragrances: potential neurotoxins
- Stearalkonium chloride: allergen
- BHA and BHT: endocrine disruptors and carcinogens
- Coal tar dyes (p-phenylenediamine): heavy metal, carcinogen
- Siloxanes: reproductive toxicant
- Sodium laureth sulfate: carcinogen
- Triclosan: endocrine disruptor and may cause antibiotic resistance
- Talc: carcinogen
The Skin-Deep List
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has compiled a database that measures the potential toxins in over 70,000 personal care products. The EWG assigns scores based on the chemical make-up of each product. Here you can check on the safety of your favorite products and also research other brands that may interest you.
Products I Use
There are many companies who have made an effort to avoid including toxins in your skin care, but in my research even those are not perfect. Currently, I like two lines of products that I feel are both clean and responsible. You have often heard me talk about Annmarie Gianni skincare products as they are organic, non-GMO and wildcrafted. I also like a fairly new company whose entire purpose is to make good quality, clean skin care products for women – with none of the bad guys listed above. They are called Beauty Counter and you can check them out here. They provide really high quality skin care, baby care, and makeup products at a reasonable price.
Detoxing Your Skin
The best way to lower your exposure to toxins in both personal care and beauty products is to replace conventional products with safer, natural alternatives. Make sure to inspect the label of any product you use! So much of our toxic load comes from products that we inhale or absorb through our skin. One of my favorite things to do for skin is to use a dry brush before I shower every day to exfoliate and cleanse my skin. It’s amazing how soft and supple your skin will begin to feel after just a few weeks of doing this.
To support your health, it’s important to follow up with a detoxifying cleanse like Dr. Shiroko’s 14-Day Seasonal Reboot to rid your body of toxic buildup and also reset your system for the coming season. Click here to learn more about my seasonal reboot.