We all use them, everyday, shampoo, conditioner, shaving gels, lotions, soaps, body washes, cosmetics and toiletries of all kinds…BUT…Are all these products safe?? Are they really slowing down our ageing process, or is our body dealing with an increased toxic load, therefore speeding up the ageing process?? This is the question I find I am asking myself these days. We all know that decreasing our toxic load makes for a healthier body environment, less risk of disease, and optimal cellular health. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist I am always aware of and warning clients of the toxins they ingest in their foods…but what about the toxins they absorb through their skin?? With a surface area of about 16 to 22 square feet, skin is far more than merely a protective barrier. Your skin is an organ, and it serves to regulate excretion of metabolic waste products & toxins, regulates temperature, and includes receptors for pain, tactile sensation, and pressure. Just as it excretes toxins, it can absorb toxins, and or nutrients efficiently. It takes approximately 26 seconds for anything that has contacted your skin to absorb into your blood stream! This was first brought to my attention by a client whose child had reacted to dairy products found in skin care…it got me thinking about what else may be in our skin care regime. Recently David Suzuki listed 12 toxic ingredients in our self care products we should avoid. If we know these chemicals are toxic, why does Health Canada allow the use of them at all??
In Canada, Health Canada officials ensure that the product does not contain a substance found on
the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist. The Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist: A List of Restricted and Prohibited Cosmetic Ingredients in Canada is another new important safety feature. There are over 500 ingredients on this list which manufacturers must limit or not put in their cosmetic products.
This sounds great…right??? Wrong, our “hotlist” includes only a few of the toxic ingredients out there. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/cosmet-person/indust/hot-list-critique/hotlist-liste-eng.php
When compared to the European Safety Standards, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the EWG state the EU has banned 1,342 cosmetic ingredients!! http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.results&annex_v2=II&search
What do you think of what is going on in this situation??? Why would Health Canada allow things like Phthalates in products we put on our skin?? Phalates are absorbed through the skin. It can enhance the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations, although it has not been shown to be a mutagen itself. In laboratory experiments, it has been shown to cause developmental defects, changes in the testes and prostate, and reduced sperm counts. The European Union classified Phalates as a suspected endocrine disruptor on the basis of evidence that it interferes with hormone function, and as toxic to reproduction on the basis that it may cause harm to the unborn child and impair fertility. Health Canada recently announced regulations banning six phthalates in soft vinyl children’s toys and child care articles, but its use in cosmetics is not restricted. How does this make any sense? If we can absorb the toxin by ingestion, what stops us from absorbing it through our skin? The worst part…you probably won’t even see it listed as an ingredient on your skin care products!! Phthalates are often used as fragrance ingredients in many cosmetics, but consumers won’t find these listed on the label. Fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, so manufacturers are not required to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients!! There is an interesting documentary regarding a factory that emits Phthalates in Sarnia, Ontario called the disappearing male. It documents the lower rate at which males are being born in the area and links it to the Phthalate levels in the area. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-disappearing-male/
International regulations are stronger. The European Union bans phthalates in cosmetics, as well as in childcare articles and toys.
Phthalates are just scratching the surface and only one of many toxic ingredients in our daily regime. Did you know the average woman exposes herself to approximately 512 toxic chemicals in a day?? Don’t count yourself lucky yet boys…the average male uses up to 80 toxic chemicals in his daily self care routine!!!
So, how do we protect ourselves, and decrease the toxic level in our bodies therefore decreasing the ageing process?? Well, aside from the obvious clean, healthy dietary protocol, adequate water intake and proper exercise…if you have enough time (& money, as this can be costly), you can make your own organic personal health products at home, there are several recipes to do this available online. For example http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/diy-natural-beauty-products-recipes-461108#slide-1 (some of these recipes contain Petroleum Products, and that’s a no no!) Unfortunately, as well as not always containing safe “natural” ingredients and being costly to purchase all that is needed, these products often will not last long and are somewhat time consuming as you will find yourself making small batches often. Also, all of us are looking for results driven products. Right?? Products that will make a difference. If we weren’t we wouldn’t be looking at an anti-aging site to begin with…correct??
There are European formulated personal care products out there. Check your labels! If it is made in Europe or free of toxins such as Parabens, Mineral Oil, Formaldehyde denoting preseratives, Benzene, Petroleum, Toulene, Phthalates, Dyes, Chemical Fragrances, PABA, PEG compounds, Siloxanes, Triclosan, or SLS (Sodium Laurel Sulphate), it is far safer for use by you and your loved ones….and will not contain toxins that are actually increasing your ageing process!!
Buyer beware….just because it says “Organic” or “Natural” on the label it does not mean it is 100% organic, natural, or even healthy for you. I have seen many “Natural” health care products that contain SLS and other toxic ingredients.