My passion for natural, non-toxic skin care started about 5 years ago. I was 20 years old & started to question why I was always so anxious and nothing could ever make me happy. I always felt like shit and no matter how long I slept I was still tired all day long.
The first change I made was getting off birth control (which I later found with Factor V that birth control could be deadly for me). The detox from birth control was brutal because I was no longer supplying my body with high doses of synthetic hormones….or was I?
Then two years ago we found out I have MTHFR which means my body can’t detox normally. When I started to research MTHFR more, I found out over half the population IF NOT MORE has MTHFR gene mutation but they are never tested or diagnosed. The only way to currently be tested for MTHFR is if you do your own out of pocket testing OR you are a female with recurrent miscarriages. But you can have MTHFR and still have a healthy pregnancy so there are a lot of flaws in the diagnoses. Meaning half the population is walking around with this genetic mutation holding onto all these chemicals they put in their body and wondering why they are so sick-mentally and physically.
What I found over the years about ingredients in skin care has been HORRIFYING. Estrogen, pesticides, progesterone, asbestos, horse urine, animal placenta, and a huge variety of other toxic chemicals and carcinogens, are commonly used in everyday products.
My fav St.Ives Apricot Scrub was not natural like it said it was and instead contained basically everything my birth control did and more. But if I’m not ingesting it, then why does it matter?
Ingesting these chemicals would actually be SAFER than putting them on your skin. At least when you swallow it your stomach acid is able to kill off some of the harmful toxins and then it goes through the kidneys and liver before the bloodstream – your natural filtration and detoxification process(4)But when you put these toxins directly on your largest organ AKA your skin, it takes only THREE SECONDS for your skin to absorb it right into your bloodstream and then quickly move it to every.single.organ including your brain.
Infertility, miscarriages, cancer, childhood illnesses & diseases, autism, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer, and other diseases are more prevalent now than ever before. Why are we living in the most technologically advanced time EVER but we are the sickest we have ever been???
Well if you look at what causes these diseases they are: toxicity, lack of organ function, endocrine disruption and cellular level changes/mutations.
Then take a look at what is in your skin care products. They are full of chemicals that cause: organ toxicity, cellular level changes, cancer, allergies, endocrine disruption, and more. THE PROOF IS IN THE SCIENCE.
The only way we can get better is if we start paying attention and doing our own research.
INGREDIENTS BANNED IN US VS EUROPE
According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), 40 nations worldwide have banned over 1400 ingredients in their skin care while the FDA has only banned or restricted NINE ingredients in the United State.
The last time the FDA has passed a law on chemicals and ingredients in skin care was 1938. 1938!! So while most of the world has banned Formaldehyde in their cosmetics, America is still actively using this extremely toxic chemical.
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde releasers are widely used in skin care and often disguised under different chemical names. You can find the full list of names here. It is extremely scary because Formaldehyde has been proven to be toxic and even deadly at very small doses. This was discovered during animal testing. It is also a known respiratory toxicant, evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies, and skin irritant (2) On labels, you may see it listed as methylene glycol but remember that professional products don’t have to disclose ingredient lists like over-the-counter (OTC) products do at the store. Two other ingredients to be on the lookout for are formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: diazolidinyl urea, which is typically found in face care and hair care, and quaternium-15, which is typically found in face makeup, especially powders. as well as conditioner, body wash, eyeliner, body firming lotion, sunscreen, face wash, and make up remover(8).
That’s just ONE chemical that is actively used and ALLOWED in our skin care in America. Here is a quick list of other chemicals banned in other countries but allowed and USED in America. Lead? Asbestos? Mercury?
Asbestos exposure has long been known to cause deaths and illnesses but the substance is still not banned in the US. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to do so in 1989 only to be overturned by the federal court following a backlash from manufacturers.(7)
|The FDA gets around banning these chemicals by stating, “It’s against the law for a cosmetic to contain any ingredient that makes the product harmful when consumers use it according to directions on the label, or in the customary or expected way.”(6) So that sounds like we are protected. However, it takes 3 seconds for our skin to absorb the toxins and even quicker if there are added chemicals made specifically for enhanced skin absorption.Sodium lauryl sulfate is extremely toxic but it falls under the FDA law because it is used in soaps that you wash off your skin. But do you wash it off within three seconds? According to the Journal of the American College of Toxicology (1983, Vol. 2, No. 7) researchers noted, “The longer these ingredients stay in contact with the skin, the greater the likelihood of irritation. It causes “severe epidermal changes” to the area of the skin where it was applied as well as “damage to the hair follicle,” and increases blackheads in users” Um, isn’t sodium lauryl sulfate in face wash and Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar? (5)
And the best part is FDA.gov states, “Under U.S. law, cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, do not need FDA approval before they go on the market. Cosmetic manufacturers have a legal responsibility for the safety and labeling of their products.” (6) So in the United States it is solely at the discretion of the manufacturer in hoping they make safe choices. We literally have zero laws in place to protect us but 40 nations worldwide do???
“Many Americans are unaware that they are absorbing untested and unsafe chemicals in their products,” said Alex Bergstein, a state senator who is working hard to pass laws where the cosmetic and food industry must abide by Europe’s chemical laws rather than the FDA ‘laws’(7) He goes on to further say, “Generally, the EU has got it right. In the US we have a strong favoritism towards companies and manufacturers, to the extent that public health and the environment is being harmed. The pendulum has swung in an extreme way and it’s really going to take a general awakening by the public to make a change.”(7)
And even the NINE products that the FDA has banned or restricted is very loosely restricted. For example according to FDA.gov Chloroform is a banned ingredient . The use of chloroform in cosmetic products is prohibited because it causes cancer in animals and is likely to be harmful to human health, too. However, the regulation makes an exception for residual amounts from its use as a processing solvent during manufacture, or as a byproduct from the synthesis of an ingredient (21 CFR 700.18) So in reality you are allowed to use chloroform in small amounts as well as unregulated amounts of its synthetic counterpart. (6)
Parabens, linked to reproductive problems, are ruled out in the EU but not the US, where they lurk in skin and hair products. And coal tar dyes can be found in Americans’ eyeshadow, years after they were banned in the EU and Canada.(7)
That’s not even the worst of it; Hexachlorophene is “banned” because of its toxic effect and ability to penetrate human skin. BUT hexachlorophene (HCP) may be used only when no other preservative has been shown to be as effective. The HCP concentration in a cosmetic may not exceed 0.1 percent, and it may not be used in cosmetics that are applied to mucous membranes, such as the lips (21 CFR 250.250). So it’s allowed in a small amount but didn’t they state they “banned” it because it is highly toxic and easily absorbed???(6)
Another SCARY ingredient “banned” is Mercury compounds. Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic problems. The use of mercury compounds in cosmetics is limited to eye area products at no more than 65 parts per million (0.0065 percent) of mercury calculated as the metal and is permitted only if no other effective and safe preservative is available. All other cosmetics containing mercury are adulterated and subject to regulatory action unless it occurs in a trace amount of less than 1 part per million (0.0001 percent) calculated as the metal and its presence is unavoidable under conditions of good manufacturing practice (21 CFR 700.13).(6) So mercury is extremely toxic & not easily detoxed but it is still allowed in small doses and primarily on your eyelids which is our thinnest layer of skin???
What people don’t realize is that companies are allowed to use these banned harmful chemicals together in “small” doses mixed with approved toxic chemicals in large doses. So you think you are getting little to none exposure of the NINE ‘regulated’ chemicals but you’re not realizing your face wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, body lotion, eyeliner, mascara, primer, ETC all contain these in “small amounts” meaning by the time you have gotten ready for your day you have accumulated HIGH amounts of all nine “banned” ingredients. AGAIN- not even talking about the THOUSAND other approved chemicals that are highly toxic and mixed in that long list of ingredients in your face wash.
Then the FDA (6) says they ban cattle materials in fear of “mad cow disease” but does not ban the use of tallow (animal fat), which contains the highest amount of toxins as well as presents the highest risk of disease from the cow. Also they do not ban any form of tallow so you are allowed to make tallow from expired supermarket meat, cow placenta, or deceased lab animals and put it in your lotion.(7)
I could go on but I guess I’ll stop here to prevent this blog from turning into a college paper. But I really do hope it hits home. And the more aware we are, the greater change we can make. It may seem “drastic ” to live this way, but is it more drastic than battling cancer or losing a pregnancy?
I know I have posted a ton of information and it can be overwhelming. But if we continue to ignore the facts we are going to suffer serious health consequences and so will our children. We need to be better for ourselves, our family, and future generations. If we demand better and stop supporting brands that are making us sick, they will be forced to change. Let’s do this for our future generations and pave the way for our children to live a life they don’t need to recover from.
I promise you it won’t always be this overwhelming. When you start becoming familiar with a few toxic ingredients you can use those as markers. If a product contains it, you know to avoid it. Then over time you will start to recognize more and you’ll start finding yourself reaching for products with fewer ingredients & names you can actually pronounce.
We are in this together. Don’t worry about perfection, just progress.