In every way we can, protecting ourselves and our much-loved family from any potential harm is our primary concern. We prepare nutritious foods in the table, use home products created by well-known and trusted manufacturers, and apply beauty products, endorsed by well-respected authorities, to make us all feel and look better. But how come that these cosmetic items, beauty essentials, and household products contain some harmful chemicals and linked to various health issues as we accumulate those stuffs over long period of time. For example, the largest breathing organ is the skin and we may not be aware that we personally apply poisonous chemicals behind those deceiving products in our body.
To best explain how some of the components of our personal products can be harmful to our health, here are the common toxic chemicals that you may find at the back of the label and without even knowing that it could be one of the causes of your health issues.
Chemical #1 Mineral Oil – also known as petrolatum that is typically seen in lip products and baby oil with contents that clog the pores and make it harder for the skin to breath and get rid away body toxins. Furthermore, it only interferes with the natural moisturizing mechanism of the body and slows down the skin function, much more to cell development leading to premature aging.
The Australia’s National Occupational Health and Safety Commission asserted that our prolonged contact with products containing mineral oil can increase the risk of developing several skin conditions like eczematous dermatitis (inflamed and itchy red rashes), folliculitis (damaged hair follicles), planter warts (like corns or small lesions on the sole of the foot), and melanosis (dark pigmentation of tissues and skin due to pigment metabolism disorder).
Natural Alternatives: there is beeswax lip with sunflower and coconut oils which have essential vitamins to soften lips. For baby oil, there is organic oil with coconut oil extract to protect skin from irritation.
Chemical #2 Alpha-Hydroxy Acids or Glycolic Acid - a fruit acid that is well-known on its exfoliating benefits and generally found in moisturizers and skin cleansers. What we do not know is its ability to damage outer layer of the skin with the harmful effects of the sun UV rays, depending on the person’s sensitivity to ultra violet rays and cellular structural damage that may increase as much as 50%. After discontinuing the application of glycolic acid, sun sensitivity will gradually go back to its normal level.
PRECAUTION: Products with AHA must not be used by pregnant women and those who are still breast-feeding due to its harmful side effects and might be caught by babies.
Natural Alternatives: there are natural moisturizers made in jojoba oil, milk, cocoa butter, olive oil, etc that is chemical free.
Chemical #3 Daily items: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS - used in manufacturing soaps, toothpaste, shampoos, make-ups, moisturizers, cream and also the same ingredient found in de-greasing solutions of automobile engines and home cleanser products. Can you imagine if this is used to dissolve the grease of engines, same effect it can cause to our skin which can cause to denature skin proteins. Not only that, once our skin absorbed SLS, it mimics the activity of estrogen hormone that pose health implications linking to premenstrual syndrome, menopausal symptoms, and high risk of having breast and female related cancers.
Natural Alternatives: choose organic personal care products like shampoo, soap, moisturizer without the ingredient of SLS. There are claims that coconut oil are the natural degreasing agent and can be used as make-up remover. Natural citrus solvent is also good dirt dissolving emulsifier.
Chemical #4 Lacquer – commonly known as varnish applied in wooden surfaces to give glossy look. Breathing lacquer in the long run may cause poisoning due to harmful hydrocarbon that can cause numerous health problems in respiratory organs, kidney failure, gastrointestinal ailments, low blood pressure, and brain damage. It is also present in the mascara cosmetics to create thicker eyelashes. Everyday use can result to thinning and losing eye lashes.
Natural Alternatives: for mascara, there are available in the market that is natural and alcohol free, lacquer free, fragrance free, and shellac free. Natural varnish made in organic linseed oil can be an alternative to lacquer because it also gives conditioning treatment for wood projects.
Chemical #5 Collagen – an insoluble and fibrous protein derived from animal sources that are mostly present in cosmetics, shampoo conditioner, toner and moisturizing lotion. It can block pores and stop oxygen transport that can suffocate the skin resulting to skin drying and irritation. Much worst, when collagen is accidentally ingested, it can lead to fatal coma and sudden death.
Natural Alternatives: Again, there are various botanical and organic personal care products in the market without collagen.
Chemical #6 Phthalates – an industrial harmful chemical used in plastic toys as softeners or solvent and also include as emulsifiers to provide smooth consistency in lotions, liquid soaps and cream. Many researches have shown that phthalates chemicals can be inhaled, ingested, and absorbed through the skin and can be very dangerous to body organs such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, and even the reproductive system.
Natural Alternatives: believe it or not: there are shops for kids like Hazelnut Kids that made thorough research about toxic chemicals that may harm the kids, so they only market natural, wooden and organic toys.
Chemical #7 Propylene Glycol – a colorless fluid produced by fermentation of carbohydrates and yeast and often used as solvent and antifreeze in brake fluid, paints, sealant paste, shoe polish, and floor polish. What is more surprising is, even in firming moisturizer, lotion, deodorant, hair shampoo, soap, baby wipes, and after shave have this damaging chemical. Some health problems are throat irritation, backache, headache, and kidney problems. If accidentally swallowed, a person may experience slurred speech, state of unconsciousness, respiratory failure, coma, and sudden death.
FACTS TO KNOW: The artificial fog used in theatrical production has propylene glycol content
Natural Alternatives: there is one way to make your own home-made shoe polish by combining lemon juice and olive oil. It is actually all-natural, chemical free and totally inexpensive.
Chemical #8 Cocamidopropyl Betaine – synthesized from coconuts so do not be misled with the label organic or natural. This is the main cleansing and lathering chemical properties of shampoos. Acidic condition and high temperatures can cause allergic reactions to users including eye irritation, and dermatitis. The American Contact Dermatitis Society named this chemical as one of the top allergens because of the high rate of cases having allergic reactions in using products with this content.
Natural Alternatives: there are lots of organic shampoo with invigorating scents in the market that is nutrient-rich botanicals with moisturizing oils and nourishing vitamins.
Chemical #9 Kaolin, Lanolin, and Bentonite – this harmful content is found in cosmetic foundations that clog pores and suffocates the skin. Moreover, it is being associated to health problems like lung injury and asthma. Instead of providing beauty benefits, it could only damage the health of women who are using products with this content. How is that so? Adding kaolin, lanolin, and bentonite can attract water beneath the layers of the skin; furthermore, it may also dehydrate the living and lower skin portion of the skin surface that leads to damaged cells. Likewise, same content is used to suffocate forest fire and same effect of suffocation can be on the skin.
Natural Alternatives: Consumers may try to look in cosmetic boutique that has all-natural ingredients that naturally take care of the skin.
Chemical #10 Alcohol – the strong content acts as a solvent in products like mouthwash and according to National Cancer Institute, those who are frequent users of mouthwash have higher risk of having tongue, mouth and throat cancer. When applying directly to skin, it can take away the natural protecting oils of the body.
Natural Alternatives: to produce 100% mouthwash, combine 500 ml of distilled water to 2 drops of cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil, and 1 tsp of witch hazel for preservative. Do not forget to shake well before using.
Chemical #11 Aluminum – aluminum oxide is very visible in antiperspirants content and suspiciously is connected to nervous system dysfunctions like Alzheimer’s disease since it contains high concentration of aluminum that can affect the brain, according to World Health Organization. Aluminum is the worlds’ most well-know metal and generally used in aluminum foils and cans. What makes it poisonous is the way it works to reduce the sweat and the chemical compounds act to clog the pores. In doing so,there is no way that toxins outside the body could escape.
Natural Alternatives: natural salt crystal deodorant
Chemical #12 Sodium Fluoride – Yes! You are thinking on the sodium fluoride present in your toothpaste to prevent cavities and same content used in some cleaning detergent. Most people are unaware of the toxicity through inhalation and accidentally ingestion that may affect the circulatory system and heart.
Natural Alternatives: choose organic or herbal toothpaste and tooth gel without chemicals, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and fluoride.
Chemical #13 Trilocsan – the antibacterial compound is used in most personal care products like toothpaste, lotion, soap and cleaning detergents and liquid soaps, and can be very dangerous to help. The reaction of its compound with chlorine in your tap water can produce chloroform which is very toxic to heath and one cause of developing cancer.
Nevertheless, our body has some natural and beneficial bacteria and antibacterial soaps can only affect the efficiency of those resistant bacteria
Natural Alternatives: the best antibacterial soaps are made from organic with natural ingredients that have anti-bacterial properties but never kill actively the beneficial bacteria in the body.
Chemical #14 Talc – this is a by-product of mineral and the main content in most baby powders and home and garden pesticides. There are also talc ingredients in chalk, crayons, paints, and other food processing. It is harmful because of its carcinogen with traces of asbestos and has been found out in researches as one main cause of ovarian tumor which can move through the woman’s reproductive system and can be imbedded in the ovary lining, while lung cancer is also one possible health risk due to exposure to its carcinogen asbestos, a substance or radiation that produces cancer.
Natural Alternatives: there is an organic based powder with corn starch, arrowroot, oat starch and clay that is gentle to skin and definitely 100% talc free
HEADS UP: Women are more prone in exposing themselves to harmful chemicals in make-ups, hair care products like shampoos and conditioners, perfume, household cleaning. But most and foremost, CHILDREN with fragile frame of body are facing the higher risk of liver diseases because their body are not yet fully developed to remove toxins from these harmful chemical products.
Eliminate Harmful Chemicals in your Home
Consumers must recognize which products in your home have harmful contents and carefully scan the label to know if the products you choose can damage the health of your family. Here are some useful guidelines for our readers:
- If you look at the label and the ingredients of a product and you are suspecting because it is quite long and very hard to pronounce, these are man-made or synthetic.
- Strong scents beauty products like perfume, lotion, and powder contain volatile organic compounds that can destroy brain cells and disrupt the hormone functions as we inhale this harmful chemicals that can enter to the brain and bloodstream.
- Consumers may find some warning or caution signs in cleaning products and pesticides; it only means that one of the ingredients can pose serious threat to your health.
- To simply change and alter buying practices in choosing the right product for your own sake is one step closer to sustain complete wellness for your family. There are various merchandises contain all-natural, non toxic, and biodegradable ingredients that make it safer to use and not hazardous to health.
WRAP UP: Use products that are natural, organic and with plant – derived ingredients. Here are some cues in looking for labels:
* No alcohol
* No synthetic fragrances
* No animal byproducts and not animal tester
* No Artificial Dyes
* No thickeners
* No Foam boosters
* No petroleum
* No cheaper filler contents
What is the truth behind the glossy images we are fed with advertisement? That behind the promising benefits of their products, a dangerous secret lies: it contains potentially harmful, toxic and poisonous chemicals that may enter the bloodstream and gradually affect the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and other organs and body tissues.