A couple of weeks ago, I did an InstaStory about my top non toxic beauty products. I wanted to build on this story and talk to you about the importance of “non toxic” beauty products.
If you look at any mainstream beauty brands for makeup or shampoos or even nail polish you’d be shocked to see the amount of chemicals put into each and every one of these products.
These chemicals are known carcinogens (cancer causing), endocrine disruptors (hormone imbalances) and are also well known as being toxic to the reproductive, developmental and organ systems.
According to the EWG, the average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every day. Men, on the other hand, use 6 products daily with 85 unique ingredients, on average. This study were done a number of years ago so I can only imagine those numbers have increased. Never mind what we’re exposed to through the air we breathe, the food we eat or the environment we live in. We cannot (we can indirectly) control the environmental toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis but we can make smart decisions about products we use, foods we eat and water we drink. My goal as being a Naturopathic Doctor is educating the public about these choices we have.
Top 5 chemicals (there are many more but I’m keeping it short and sweet) I stay far away from when purchasing beauty products:
- FRAGRANCE aka PARFUM/Phthalates. Just don’t buy anything with this, it’s the new second hand smoke and it is in EVERYTHING (makeup, shampoo, lip balm, candles, body lotions, deodorants etc.) It’s a known endocrine disruptor that can lead to developmental, reproductive and neurological damage. The ingredient list will say Fragrance or Parfum.
- Butylated Compounds: used as a preservative in beauty products as well as food. Known endocrine disruptor, inducer of skin allergies and linked to organ, developmental and reproductive toxicity. Usually seen as BHA and BHT in ingredients.
- Parabens: used a preservative but known to mimic estrogen so you can imagine the effect it can have on reproduction, nervous system, immune system and causing cancer. Can be seen as methylparaben, ethylparaben, proplyparaben, isobutylparaben etc.
- Formaldehyde: known carcinogen and used in many products from mascaras to pressed powders to eyeliners. It also can cause irritations and skin sensitives. Look for BHUT, DMDM hydantoin, quarternium-15 or 18 or 26, bronopol.
- PEG compounds (polyethylene glycols or petroleum-based compounds): known carcinogen that is potentially harmful to the nervous system and human development. It remains in the environment for long periods of time without degrading, do you want that in your body? Seen as PEG-4 or PEG-150 (the number indicates how many units of the ethylene glycol that was used.
Basically, I look for products that are plant based and include the least amount of ingredients. An easy way to check a product you’re considering using is to go onto the Environmental Working Groups website and click on Skin Deep (cosmetic database) and it will show you how toxic or non-toxic the product is: