A reader asked me this same question this past weekend. It is a great question, and I thought I would address it in an article for everyone. I’ll admit that the Beauty No-No’s List is extremely long and may seem a bit extreme. Yet the more that you know the easier it is to understand why it is critical to begin reading the ingredients on all of your beauty products, and to start using chemical free cosmetics from head to toe.
We’ve heard so many times that ignorance is bliss. Well it is! The human skin has more than 4 million pores. Even though we think of our skin as a 100% barrier from everything, it is actually a very permeable barrier. Everything that we put on our skin actually absorbs into our blood stream which is why nicotine and hormone replacement patches work.
Imagine having 4 million tiny mouths all over your body. Our skin literally “drinks” everything that it comes in contact with it.
So the next question that would come to mind if I were reading this article is if these chemicals are so bad for our body, why in the world are they in our beauty products? I believe that chemicals are in our cosmetics so that large corporations can make more money off of what is created in a lab versus solely relying on nature for all of the ingredients. Relying on ingredients that come from our earth are actually more expensive to mass produce versus lab created chemicals as well as the quantity of natural ingredients can fluctuate in production depending on mother nature. Also preserving products so that you are purchasing a “lovely” facial cream instead of a jar of mold is why toxic preservatives are used in water based products to extend the shelf life.
Companies can not patent ingredients that come from nature, yet you can absolutely patent something created in a lab. Therefore certain chemical ingredients can become a business secret that can not be disclosed to the public.
The cosmetic industry in not regulated by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the FDA can not test any products until after it is already on store shelves. Many of these toxic chemicals and more than 500 cosmetics have been banned in Europe, Japan, and Canada, yet sadly not so in the United States. These chemicals in cosmetics are carcinogenic, hormone disrupters, and problematic for reproduction.
Some may have an allergic reaction to a cosmetic or even experience chemical sensitivities such as headaches or feeling lethargic, yet it is the cumulative effect that these chemicals have on the body which can create life threatening diseases over time.
In general if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t be putting it on your body. Yes feeling and looking beautiful is important, but it should not cost you your health to do so. The reason why so many cosmetics are now paraben-free is because parabens were found in the breast tissues of breast cancer patients. Even with this information documented, parabens have not be banned from cosmetics in the United States! What are they waiting for! Now there are new preservatives being used in the place of parabens to make the product appear safe.
Many women are not aware of what is in the cosmetics that they use daily, or what the ingredients are if they were to read the labels of their beauty products. If you can’t make sense of the ingredients in a product you would be better off not using it. Also note that ingredients that are derived from a natural source don’t make it safe. Those ingredients go through a chemical process that create something foreign to nature.
On the Beauty No-Nos page, I’ve linked as many of the chemicals on that list to the Environmental Working Group so that you can read for yourself some of the studies on that particular chemical.
If you think about the genetically modified food that is in our grocery stores which are also banned in many other countries, you better believe that what’s in your cosmetics is a toxic mess. There have been a lot of decisions made by people in power that are not in the best interest of the majority simply to make profit. It is up to us to educate ourselves, and to literally vote with our dollars by boycotting cosmetics that use toxic chemicals.
Throughout this website I’ve included tons of DIY beauty recipes along with individual edible ingredients that can be used effectively for beauty head to toe.
At first it can seem like a shock the more you educate yourself, yet know that along with that long list of chemicals to avoid is also a long list of natural and cosmetic companies to help you transition to a healthier beautiful you. You can also read the personal story of Rosie Marie Swift, a celebrity makeup artist and founder of RMS Beauty. You will then understand why avoiding these chemicals are crucial as they weakened her immune system to the point of being hospitalized. Once you go to the site, click on “purpose” to read her personal story and health crisis because of chemicals in cosmetics.
Also note that cosmetics that use the word organic and natural does not make the product safe. There is a lot of green washing in the cosmetic industry. Even handmade cosmetics may contain chemicals that are harmful to the body, because the internet makes it easy for anyone to purchase cosmetic chemicals to formulate products from home.
Going chemical free with beauty only takes some extra awareness. It can also save you a lot a money in the long run as you will no longer be dependent on so many store bought products. It is also so much better for the environment!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)