Our skin is the largest organ in our body…it is the barrier to help shield us from the outside elements and harmful environmental exposures.
It is an open avenue for anything that is put on it to seep straight into our blood stream, doing good or causing harm. It’s something most people don’t think about when they slather on their daily lotion, swipe on their deodorant, or spray on a perfume. All these things enter the body through the skin and go directly into the bloodstream. Would we be wise to look at the ingredients of the things we expose our body to in our everyday product use?
When I look back over the years and think about all the different self-tanner lotions, perfumes, body spray and aluminum filled deodorants I’ve used ….it almost makes me gag. I didn’t know any better. I was young. I was not educated on this topic and of course I was just using what was cheap, but also what was marketed to me. Look at companies like Bath & Body works, Victoria’s Secret and shelf brand names like Jergen’s and Dove. The level of marketing and name recognition those companies have had for products over the years is like no other.
They know how to market to its consumers by creating an image and need for their product, regardless of what it’s made with. Of course, like most things in America, they are FDA approved and they are sold in stores and on the shelves, so they must be completely harmless when it comes to the ingredients of these everyday beauty items, right? IF you didn’t catch that sarcasm there, I was rolling my eyes while typing it out.
This is exactly what gets to me and where I literally shake my head and sigh when I look at the ingredient list on the back of these “beauty” items. These chemicals seep into our blood stream to start collecting and creating toxins within the body day after day with use. It’s not just about the one-time use, but more so about the week after week and year after year use that truly does the damage.
My goal is to bring education to those who want to look through the looking-glass and truly see there is a big problem when it comes to what we put in our bodies, and this even means by what we put on our skin. It’s vitally important to choose organic, chemical and fragrance free products. The number of parabens (linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer), sulfates (a known skin irritant and used as a pesticide/herbicide), and synthetic chemicals (toxic ingredients that get into the bloodstream) that enter the body by using typical hygiene products would completely disgust you if you could see the build-up that begins to happen over time.
So, here would be my questions to ask when thinking about what products go on your skin…….
- How many of the ingredients can you pronounce? If the majority are a foreign language to you…there is your warning.
- Is it organic? It’s vital if you’re using it daily/weekly.
- Does it contain:
- Formaldehyde- (look for methenamine/dmdm hydantoin/diazolidinyl urea/imidazolidinyl urea)
- Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate
- Propylene glycol
- Siloxanes -(look for ingredients ending in “siloxane or methicone”)
- Avobenzone or Benzophenone-(used a lot in products with sunscreen)
- Does it contain artificial/synthetic fragrances? (Parfum, linked to neurotoxicity) If so, put it back.
There are a few items I really love and use as my everyday essentials…however, over all here is my philosophy on the following:
- Stick with a non-aluminum deodorant
- Use essential oils over artificial perfumes
- Choose a daily body lotion that is organic, and free from most of the ingredients I’ve listed above.
- Use a body oil made from pure and natural sources, like almond oil.
Changing your lifestyle and what habits you may have already formed in what you buy and use may take some time but after you practice getting familiar with the good and bad, it will come more natural to you and you won’t be standing in a store aisle looking glazed over reading ingredients for an hour. You will soon be able to differentiate between the harmful and the beneficial.
Our skin is the largest organ we have in our bodies. It’s the one boundary we have to protect us from outside exposure but it’s often the first layer we take the biggest risks with unknowingly loading up on toxins and chemicals.
Here’s to making wiser choices and feeling empowered and equipped the next time some company tries to market their smell-good-have-to-have product, loaded with the very ingredients that will turn your body toxic with every use.