Disturbing facts about cosmetics toxins and how to avoid them
You’re choosing to eat clean where you can, you avoid the obvious health slayers where possible, and you make it a point to exercise. But is there more you could be doing to protect and enhance your health?
There totally is! And it’s easier than you think.
A recent study has found strong links between a raft of alarming degenerative health conditions and chemicals found in everyday beauty and makeup products.
The study focused on four known cancer-causing carcinogenic chemicals in particular: Parabens, phthalates, oxybenzone and triclosan. Unfortunately, women are disproportionately affected because of their higher consumption.
Irreversible biochemical cell damage
With a confusingly huge number of brands on the shelves today, it’s more important than ever to consider the ingredients and promise of the brands we purchase. And to become aware of what potential dangers we’re exposing ourselves to.
Using conventional makeup without really considering the ingredients within, may pose a real risk of biochemical cell damage caused by these and other toxins*, some of which are irreversible. *(some chemicals are present as a byproduct of processing and will not be listed on the ingredients list)
These four common cosmetic ingredients in particular - parabens, phthalates, oxybenzone and triclosan - are so poisonous to humans that they are listed among a staggering 1400 ingredients currently used in skincare and makeup banned by the EU (by comparison, the US has banned only 30 of them).
These four ingredients are among a long list of ingredients that have been associated causally to cancerous tumours, malignant melanomas, reproductive toxicity, birth defects, infertility for men and women, reduced testosterone levels and sperm production, increased chance of miscarriage, neonatal and postnatal developmental disorders, organ system toxicity, contact dermatitis and skin irritation, neurobehavioral problems, reduced thyroid function and obesity. Phew, not effects you want out of products meant to enhance beauty!
Needless to say - pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children up to four years old in particular should avoid these toxins. But at Aleph, we believe everyone needs to journey towards more natural beauty products.
Synthetic fragrance is another cluster of the most toxic ingredients widely used in more than half of all cosmetics, hair and skincare products. Fragrance is comprised of any combination of 3,000 ingredients known to trigger toxic reactions, including asthma, breathlessness, wheezing, headaches and contact dermatitis, as well as the hormone disrupting disorders listed above.
The "Big Four" to ditch and switch
There are plenty of ingredients to avoid, (which we'll write more about at a later date) but here are four super nasties to clean out of your top drawer. All of these highly toxic substances have been found in umbilical cord samples as well as mother’s milk being fed to newborns:
- Parabens are used in shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, facial and shower gel cleansers, face and body scrubs, face and brow setting powder, concealer, lip liner, mascara and bronzers.
LOOK OUT FOR: Methyl/ Propyl/ Butyl/ Isobutyl/ Isopropyl Paraben, Hydrobenzoic Acid, Hydroxybenzoate or Ester.
- Phthalates disperse and prolong the scent of fragrances and are used as a solvent, fixative and plasticiser in colour cosmetics, fragranced lotions, soaps and body washes, hair spray, nail polish, aftershave lotions, shampoos and perfumes.
LOOK OUT FOR: DBP, DEHP, 1,2 Benzenedicarboxylate and Dibutyl/Diethyl Esther. And anything containing Fragrance, Perfume, Parfum
- Oxybenzone is commonly used in lip balm, nail polish, baby sunscreens, fragrance, shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, moisturiser, and foundation, as well as food packaging and food flavouring, laundry and cleaning products, BB and CC cream.
LOOK OUT FOR: Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Benzophenone-3.
- Triclosan is a preservative used in soaps and body washes, household detergents, toothpaste and tooth whitening products, antiperspirants and deodorants, shaving products, moisturisers and colour cosmetics.
LOOK OUT FOR: Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum, Microban
Take the power back
This is definitely not a story of doom and gloom. The power to make positive choices for your body and those of your children and teens is in your hands.
At Aleph we call this Enlightened Beauty
The impact of these harmful toxins on your body is entirely preventable. Simply remove them from your personal care routine altogether - in shower gels, moisturisers, face cleansers, lip balms, shampoos and conditioners, sunscreens, hair products, and of course, makeup.
Start your Enlightened Beauty journey by swapping out your toxin-filled makeup and replacing it with healthy solutions. For example, choose a concealer and foundation that hydrates, nourishes and contributes to cell renewal not irreversible cell damage.
A study by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas concluded that only after three days of eliminating harmful products from beauty routines that:
“Metabolites of diethyl phthalate, commonly used in fragrances, decreased 27 percent by the end of the trial period. Methyl and propyl parabens, used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44 and 45 percent respectively. Both triclosan, found in antibacterial soaps and some brands of toothpaste, and benzophenone-3 (BP-3), found in some sunscreens under the name oxybenzone, fell 36 percent.” [source]
Lead researcher Dr Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health says:
“Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”
By making small, significant changes today for you and your family and taking control of toxin exposure, you equip your body to fight against environmental toxic pollutants we can't control our exposure to.
It’s time to dramatically reduce your toxic load. Doing so, will give your body a better chance to flourish and thrive with all of those other nourishing lifestyle choices you’re making!