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Are Your Beauty Products Full of Toxic Chemicals?

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You’ve maybe read some headlines about toxic chemicals in popular beauty products, and you’ve probably ignored them. We want to talk about why you shouldn’t. Approximately 1 in 8 ingredients are industrial chemicals that are hazardous to human, animal, aquatic and environmental health. So that means that at least two of sixteen ingredients in your facial cleanser are toxic chemicals that are actually being absorbed into your skin and other organ tissues.

Here’s another scary fact: the ingredient labeled as ‘fragrance’ on many skincare and beauty products as well as many other household products, contain any number of toxic chemicals because the recipes are considered ‘trade secrets’ and aren’t required by law to be disclosed. One key ingredient in ‘fragrance’ is DBP or, dibutyl phthalate. It’s a plasticizer also used in PVC plastic. It’s easily absorbed through the skin and can enhance the capability of other chemicals to cause genetic mutation. It’s also been shown to affect reproductive health by causing developmental defects in fetuses and lowering sperm counts and change to the testes and prostate gland in males. It’s also an endocrine disruptor.

Then there are preservatives such as paraben (coincidentally an ingredient also found in ‘fragrance’). Paraben is absorbed through the skin and is associated with breast cancer, hormone disruption, and DNA damage due to its reaction with UVB rays (paraben is found in sunscreen).

Another couple of nasty ones are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These are added to shampoos and cleansers as a detergent and to make them foam up and get sudsy. These chemicals are common in household cleaning products, engine and auto degreaser and other heavy-duty cleaning products. Do you really want to put something on your skin that contains chemicals used in heavy-duty cleaning products? SLES and SLS are associated with numerous health problems and include eye damage, respiratory damage, skin damage including separation of dermal layers and immune suppression. SLS can remain in your body, where it is absorbed into tissues of the heart, lungs, brain and liver, for as many as five days or longer depending on exposure levels.

Colorants in products like hair dyes may come from coal tar which is a mixture of chemicals derived from petroleum. Coal tar is often mixed with toxic heavy metals such as aluminum or other toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, arsenic, mercury, nickel, selenium, thallium, lead, and beryllium. Coal tar is a known human carcinogen, and heavy metals are known to cause a multitude of health problems including cancer, hair loss, neurological disorders, mood disorders, dermatitis, and more. Heavy metals are toxic to flora and fauna of all types, and heavy metal waste is showing up in marine environments due to runoff from inland areas.

So what do you do if you want to care for your skin without being exposed to this laundry list of toxic ingredients? For starters, do your research on the ingredients used in cosmetics and skincare products. This list of dirty ingredients is far from exhaustive, and, in fact, there are thousands more. Your best bet is to find products that have the fewest number of ingredients, which are all-natural and cruelty-free. The packaging should say cruelty-free on it. You can always look up companies on the internet for more information.

Olivella is a beauty and skincare line based in Umbria, Italy, available from SanariBeauty.com. Their products contain 100% virgin olive oil and are free from the ingredients discussed in this article, is dermatologically tested and is not tested on animals. It’s known as “The Natural Mediterranean Diet for the Skin.” Click here for more info on Olivella products.



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