The cosmetic industry spends billions of dollars each year persuading us that we need their products. We assume these products are safe, yet there are many harmful chemicals used in day-to-day products like toothpaste shampoo, deodorant, moisturisers, baby wipes, body lotions and makeup. Here I give just four chemicals for you to watch out for when shopping. There are many alternatives and once you know what to look out for, itís so easy.
Most people recognise the fact that toothpaste contains fluoride, but few know the dangers of this familiar chemical that we use twice daily in our mouths. Most of us would gasp at the thought that a product as familiar as toothpaste can contain harmful ingredients such as fluoride and sodium lauryl sulphate. If you take the time to check the precise ingredients on the average tube of toothpaste you may well decide you need to change your choice of products.
The main offenders in commercial shampoos are the harsh synthetic detergents that are listed as sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium laureth sulphate. These irritating foaming agents are also found in toothpaste and children’s bubble bath. Sodium lauryl sulphate is an aggressive cleaner that is the most reported common cause of eye irritations in commercial shampoos. It has a low molecular weight that is rapidly absorbed by the body and will readily penetrate the skin, Skin allergies, contact eczema, and cataracts (and also mouth ulcers in the case of toothpaste) are some of the risks we are exposing ourselves to when we use this harsh chemical.
The main culprit found in antiperspirant deodorants is aluminium. Aluminium compounds have a build up effect in the brain, liver and lungs. This is very evident when we look at the research into Alzheimer’s disease, which found that large amounts of aluminium were contained in the brains of victim’s. The link with Alzheimer’s disease and aluminium compounds has been scientifically proven. When we use products that contain these harmful substances the liver must work harder to try to rid the body of them. These detrimental foreign substances can become entwined in DNA and can cause damage at a cellular level. Products containing aluminium compounds are listed as known or suspected carcinogens (Cornell Carcinogens Database).
Many of us believe that our skin forms an effective barrier that will protect the body against harmful substances that can seep into systems. However this major organ is more than skin deep. In fact, our skin has the ability to defuse substances through the skin barrier. This is evident when we look at products such as nicotine patches that are used to ease withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine addiction. These trans-dermal delivery systems utilise the skin’s unique ability to transport these molecules into the bloodstream. In exactly the same way, harmful chemicals found in the skincare products can be absorbed and diffused across membranes, and can enter into the bloodstream.
Propylene glycol is a substance found in many skincare products, make-up, body lotion, baby wipes, and hair products. This substance is a strong skin irritant that many people have sensitivities towards; it may be a potential culprit if you are suffering from itchy or irritated skin. Propylene glycol prevents the evaporation of moisture, thus giving the skin a younger appearance
If you have concerns about these harmful chemicals you may want to reduce your exposure to their harmful effects by becoming a selective shopper. You should take the time to get informed, purchase wisely, and use products that will keep you safe because after all You know you’re worth it.