THE TOXINS HIDING IN YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS AND NATURAL ALTERNATIVES
Changing the way that you eat and becoming more aware of what you are putting in your body are lifestyle changes that help you take control of your own heath. Most everyone is familiar with the phrase “you are what you eat” because it stresses the importance of what you are putting IN your body. We like to apply this idea to what you are putting ON your body as well. Our skin is our biggest organ and up to 60% of what you put on it day in and day out is then be absorbed into your bloodstream and carried throughout your body. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), women use an average of a dozen products every day that have nearly 200 toxic ingredients. Men use about half as many products in their daily routine with an average of 85 ingredients while kids get exposure to approximately 60 ingredients in a typical day. Many of these products that we use are made up of synthetic ingredients and toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, lead and even petroleum to name a few. Unfortunately, the U.S. government does not require cosmetic companies to provide full disclosure of product ingredients leaving consumers unaware of the thousands of chemicals present in products.
To minimize your exposure to toxins, choose skincare products that offer 100% natural formulations. Synthetic or unnatural components can be toxic or pose health risks that can lead to cancer, skin and nerve damage, allergies, thyroid problems and other hormonal effects. Ingredients that are especially alarming are known as endocrine disruptors, these are chemicals that can interfere with, mimic, and even alter our natural hormones, disrupting how our hormones are released and used in the body. The Endocrine Society has linked endocrine disruptors to a variety of hormone related conditions including: obesity, diabetes, insomnia, reproduction issues and hormone related cancers including thyroid, breast and prostate. In mimicking and altering our hormones endocrine disruptors cause hormone imbalances, one of the most common ones being estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance has been linked to polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, early menopause, fibroids, endometriosis, and digestive problems including weight gain, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. Similarly, these hormone imbalances can cause thyroid issues including hyper and hypothyroidism and the myriad of symptoms that come with these disorders.
TOP 5 ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING INGREDIENTS TO AVOID IN YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS:
- Phthalates – these can reduce female fertility and are most often found in shampoo, conditioner and moisturizers (the label may read vinyl or PVC)
- Parabens or anything ending in “-paraben” (methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl)– this mimics estrogen in the body, this can be found in shampoo, conditioner, sunscreens, deodorants, and toothpastes
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) – may mimic estrogen in the body, found mostly in moisturizers
- Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFOA, PFO, “fluoro”) – can reduce fertility and cause problems during pregnancy such as low birth weight or fetal organ development – this can be found in nail polish, moisturizers and eye makeup
- Triclosan – affects the thyroid hormones and can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells – can be found in antibacterial soaps, face and body washes, toothpaste and deodorant
HOW TO FIND THE BEST NATURAL SKIN CARE BRANDS
Check out the safety rating for thousands of cosmetics and personal care products by visiting the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. You can also print their wallet size Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics. Here are a few brands we love:
NON TOXIC SKIN AND BODY PRODUCT BRANDS
Beauty Counter – This brand is on a mission to make effective products that are still clean. They make everything from soaps and lotions to makeup. We are partial to their lipsticks and mascara and their Five Minute Face is a serious game changer for those of us who are makeup minimalists!
100% Pure bath, body and cosmetic products are all 100% natural and 100% vegan and most are also gluten-free. The company uses no synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colors, harsh detergents or other unhealthy toxins. They use a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to preserve products and their cosmetics are colored with fruit pigments.
Jonathan Green Rootine salon-grade hair care products contain no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten or mineral oil and nearly all are 100% vegan. Their formulas bring together purified de-ionized water and botanicals for squeaky clean healthy hair.
Yes To, Inc. features a fun line of skin care products made with organic fruits and vegetables and Dead Sea minerals.
Tata Harper is an organic luxury skincare brand that is 100% natural and non-toxic. They manufacture and grow their own ingredients, so nothing is getting lost in translation. This has become a well-recognized and popular skincare brand that is now sold in many department stores and at Sephora.
One Love Organics uses all plant based formulas made in micro-batches. These products have become very popular in the natural skincare world and are great for all skin types.
Acure Organics this company creates fair trade certified organic skincare products. All products are free from animal testing, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, harmful preservatives and artificial colors. They also have a great price point and can even be found at Target.
May Lindstrom Skincare is a luxury natural skincare brand that focuses on nutrient dense sustainable ingredients that are organic and chemical free. This line is also gluten free and primarily vegan and has been recognized in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Primally Pure is a company that focuses on all natural skin and hair care including body lotions, deodorant, dry shampoo and bath products. They have recently launched an all natural baby line. We love their deodorant because it actually works and take our word for it we have tried several other non toxic brands to compare!
NON TOXIC MAKEUP BRANDS
RMS – Known for their “un coverup” and living luminizer highlighter, this brand also makes great blushes, bronzers, eyeshadows and even nail polish. It’s no wonder this brand has become a cult beauty favorite among natural beauty buffs.
Jane Iredale – Well known for her mineral based makeup, we love this brand for the eyeshadows, especially the trio packs which are great for travel.
Nu Evolution – Some call this brand the MAC of organic makeup, and it’s no wonder why. Their makeup is effective, and offers a variety of shades and colors that rivals any other brand out there, organic or not. Their lip-glosses have become our go to.
W3LL People – This Austin based beauty brand makes everything from concealer to lipstick, but we are big fans of their multi use sticks (our favorite replacement for those NARS sticks we used to love).
Ilia – One of the best natural lipstick brands out there, with an incredible variety of colors that is sure to replace some of your old favorites, and staying power to boot. The chic packaging doesn’t hurt either.
Olio E Osso – These organic blush and bronzer sticks are some of our absolute favorites. The colors are beautiful and they give you that glow you have been looking for. Even Gwyneth loves them and sells them on her infamous GOOP site.
Kjaer Weis – This Denmark based makeup brand is one of the most luxurious in the organic world. Although it does have a high price point the products don’t disappoint, and their chic metal compacts can be refilled. We are big fans of their blushes.