When you chose to live a more natural lifestyle and begin focusing on what you put IN your body, it is just as important to consider what you put ON your body. Things that we put on our skin (if even for a second, while washing hair, for example) are absorbed into the body. Some of those ingredients are described below:
- Parabens: Parabens are known to mimic estrogen in the body. They are known as endocrine disruptors and can cause developmental or reproductive disorders.
- Phthalates: may cause damage to male reproductive system and in 2005, scientists at the University of Rochester reported that prenatal exposure to phthalates was linked to abnormal reproductive development in baby boys.These dangerous substances are lumped together in the ingredients list under the vague term “fragrance.”
- Sodium laureth sulfate: Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
Where can I go to see if my products are safe?
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- I like the Environmental Working Groups “Skin Deep” database. There you can actually type in the name of your product in question and see how it rates on EWG’s scale for safety.
- Especially for summer, check our EWG’s Guide to Sunscreen. While we think slathering on the SPF is a good thing, but, depending on the type, it might be causing more harm than good!
- Did you know that the FDA recently advised against using spray sunscreen products on kids? Check out this quick clip!
I knew this topic needed more discussion when I received an email from my colleague, Dr. Holly Lucille, talking about her surprising experience while filming a show:
“Last year I lived in NYC for a month to tape my TV show “Myth Defying with Dr. Holly”. One experience, which was not only incredible but also frightening, was the fact that after being in menopause for over 2 years, I started my period. WHAT? Then I thought about it. I taped two shows each day and was in “hair and makeup” prior to each with multiple “touch ups” along the way. I probably accidentally consumed over 3 tubes of lipstick and I believe that the ingredients in the make up that was used most likely contributed to my surprising menstruation.”
Happy body-care shopping!