If you have been following our work for any amount of time you will likely have heard us discussing how important it is to decrease the toxic load in your life. In fact, here is a podcast we did on this specific subject. If you have yet to hear us sing the praises of decreasing your exposure to harmful chemicals and additives, well here we go again.
So what’s the deal with all this non-toxic talk? We have all heard we should get rid of toxic relationships right?
You may not realize this but beauty products receive very little regulation from the FDA for safety. Meaning if you create a product, the FDA expects the creator to inform the public of any possible harmful effects or ingredients the product may have. Sadly, the makers of some of the products containing harmful ingredients can hide behind claims that listing all ingredients would expose their trade secrets and therefore many ingredients are masked under words like fragrance or
“Your Most Toxic Relationship May Be With Your Beauty Products.”
Like many things in our society, food sources, environmental toxins and beyond, it is really up to the consumer to be on the lookout for what may bring them harm. Essentially you have to do your own due diligence and have a pretty thorough understanding of what to look out for in order to be sure that you are not unknowingly exposing yourself to harmful products and ingredients.
What are some of the things to watch for? Our friend David Suzuki is spot on when he lists the “dirty dozen.” Check out his article for more details and for a real deep dive into each of these harmful ingredients but for now here is the list of things to watch out for:
BHA and BHT
Coal Tar Dyes
DEA related ingredients
Formaldehyde releasing preservatives
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Each of these ingredients is harmful in different ways but some of the greatest hits range from hormone disruption and dis-regulation, carcinogenic exposure, reproductive toxicity and beyond. Many of the ingredients used in your household products and cosmetics could be the same thing used to clean grease from your car’s engine. Doesn’t seem like we would want to slather that on our skin now does it? Yet people do it every day!
So how do we know if our products contain harmful chemicals and additives? First off, check the ingredients. If there is a laundry list of words that are unrecognizable, then there is a high chance that one of those ingredients would be preferable to avoid. Another great resource is the Skin Deep website which allows you to enter the name of your product and receive a safety rating as well as information about what may be harmful in that particular product.
If all this is overwhelming just tackle it a little bit at a time. The next time you are due to replace a product, take a moment to look at the ingredients or research it on Skin Deep. A great way to ease your overwhelm is to purchase items from trusted resources who make a point to keep things chemical free. Just make sure that they really do follow through on their promises and they aren’t just using safety buzzwords—which many companies do. So take a moment to consider what you are digesting through your skin. Because if you wouldn’t eat it with your mouth why would you eat it with your skin?
For more resources see: