The movement away from preservative-laden ‘food-like substances’ and towards real, whole foods is alive and strong, and so many Americans are changing their lives and their health with the transition. While diet is a crucial first step towards bettering health, another concern that is not as frequently discussed is our use of cosmetics.
Question: What is more dangerous: consuming a toxin or being exposed via the skin?
When we eat a toxin, our body goes into overtime to filter it out as quickly as possible. When a toxin is absorbed into the skin, there is a high risk of that toxin penetrating the layers of the skin and entering the blood stream, where it can do plenty of damage before being filtered out.
35% of commonly used products contain carcinogenic chemicals
45% of products contain ingredients that cause reproductive/developmental toxicity.
60% of products on the market have estrogenic chemicals— synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen.
We know what carcinogenic means, but what exactly are the effects of reproductive toxins and estrogenic chemicals in our body?
They disrupt our endocrine function, resulting in decreased egg development and count, increased fibroids, impaired sperm motility, early pregnancy loss, and many more.
In 2004, the Environmental Workers Group conducted a study that discovered that industrial chemical pollution starts in the womb. They looked in the umbilical blood of infants, and found lead, mercury, components of cosmetics, and many more toxins.
Research is finding that chronic, low-dose exposure to the toxins in our cosmetics wreaks incredible havoc in the body and is detrimental to our health.
What can you do?
Input your daily skin care products into EWG’s database (http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/) to see what exactly you are being exposed to daily.
From there, you can use their website to find healthier alternatives. They also have an app (SkinDeep) that I use when I’m at the store to scan products I am looking at.
When this is new information, it seems incredibly overwhelming (I can attest!), but take it step by step. Start by plugging a couple of your products into the database, and if they aren’t great (ideally 0-2), find a replacement for those and make the change. Switch over a few products every few weeks until everything is safe.