Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What You Put On Your Skin, You Are Eating

When you use personal care products such as skin care, soaps, gels, creams, lotions, etc, due to the fact that the skin absorbs these products, you are in fact eating them. Toxic ingredients are rampant in the personal care product industry and unfortunately are widely used in so-called natural products.
In an effort to maximize your health, it is necessary to avoid the use of products that contain toxic ingredients. Some of the most common toxic ingredients include:
  • Alcohol - (Isopropyl) This is a solvent that is found in hair colorants, body lotions, after shave, perfume and fragarance. It is also used in anti-freeze. It has been linked to causing depression, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and liver toxicity. The fatal dose if taken internally is only one ounce.
  • BHT - can affect you when you breathe, may damage the developing fetus, can irritate eyes and skin, can cause headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion and passing out and may cause damage to the liver.
  • Fragrances - most beauty products contain fragrance, and this includes shampoos, conditioners, facial skin care products, soap and bath products as well as sunscreen. In fact the list is endless and up to 4,000 chemicals can be involved. Many of the properties in fragrance are potentially carcinogenic and toxic and can affect the central nervous system causing dizziness, vomiting and nauseas amongst other symptoms.  Natural fragrances and essential oil-type ingredients are fine, though.  Just be careful of the chemical ones.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth (SLS) is in 90 per cent of all shampoos and really anything that foams up. It is a surfactant and also used in detergents. Research has shown that it is damaging to the immune system, the eyes and skin, and when combined with other chemicals in products, it can be carcinogenic.
  • Polyehelene glycol (PEG) can be found in facial cleansers and is added to dissolve the oil and grease on our skin. It also thickens the product to make it creamy. This is used very effectively as an oven cleaner. PEG disrupts the immune system, stripping our skin of its natural moisture and is also potentially carcinogenic.
  • Propylene Glycol (PG) is found in hair care productss, cosmetics, after shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste and is also used in processing our food. It is the active ingredient in anti-freeze, and industrial workers handling this product must wear gloves and eye protection because of its toxicity to the skin, yet it is high in concentration in products that most people are using on their skin daily and even putting it into their mouths (i.e. toothpaste and mouthwash). It also has to be disposed of at hazardous waste sites.
  • Mineral Oil - sounds safe, but it is NOT. It acts like a seal over our skin and stops the skin from breathing, disrupting our natural immune barrier. It stops the skin from eliminating toxins naturally, causing them to bio-accumulate in the body. Besides the increased toxic burden, this can cause acne and premature skin aging.
  • Methylparaben and propylparaben - are dangerous - period. Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics and there are four main parabens in use. Methylparaben, thylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. They are also osteogenic which means that they can mimic estrogen in the female body. Parabens have been found in most breast tumors and they have also been shown to escalate the progression of a tumor.
  • Imidazolidinl and Diazolidinl Urea - these are most commonly used preservatives after parabens. They have been shown to cause contact dermatitis and release formaldehyde which is both very toxic and carcinogenic.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA) often used in the base of a product to adjust the pH. Tea causes allergic reactions including eye problems, dryness of the hair and skin and can be toxic if absorbed into the body over time.
Be sure to only use personal care products that do not contain any of the above ingredients.
Chlorine in our Shower Water
It is important to not only get toxins out of our body but to keep them out of our body. There are many ways to do this -  with the air we breathe, the food we eat and the products that we put in and on our bodies. One of the most problematic is when we step into a hot shower, we are exposing our body to a slew of toxins and most critically the highest concentration of chlorine and its by-products. When we shower with hot water the pores of our skin open up, making it like a sponge. Meanwhile, the steam from the shower is carrying those toxins into our lungs at 100 times the pace as if you drank the water. This creates a direct path to your lungs and bloodstream. The concentration for a 10-minute shower exposure is about 600 ppm of chlorine. Chlorine causes pulmonary edema and reduces oxygen transfer capacity of the lungs. A study done in 2007 by the American Journal of Epidemiology,showed that participants who drank chlorinated water had a 35% increase risk of bladder cancer. However, those who took long baths or showers in chlorinated water had a 57% increase risk of bladder cancer. Chlorine also robs the moisture and elasticity from your skin and hair, leading to dry and itchy skin and brittle hair.
We recommend the special shower filter that converts the chlorine into a harmless gas.