Updated: Oct 18
Most people believe the products on our drugstore and grocery shelves are safe. Why wouldn't they be? They wouldn't be selling them if they weren't. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The companies that produce our everyday goods are billion dollar corporations that employ millions of people globally. Governments aren't going to go out of their way to make waves and regulate them to death. They need those corporations to thrive. That's why it's so important to do your own research and educate yourself about all the toxins that cause so many health problems later in life. Some toxins are eliminated by the body but a lot of them remain stored in our organs. It's the buildup of these stored toxins over time that begin to cause problems in our later years. These problems include immune system toxicity, respiratory tract problems, thyroid disruption, chromosomal malfunctions that replicate themselves, and cancer. They also contribute to brain dysfunction, a huge problem for seniors.
A lot of people don't care what happens to them in their senior years. They're too busy living in the moment. Trust me, I didn't either. You just don't think about it in your twenties and thirties. But then all of a sudden old age is on your doorstep. Where did the time go? I can't be that old yet! But you are. And you will be. And when you get there you're going to be frustrated when your memory fails, or you've developed a heart condition or need a kidney transplant. It's no longer something to laugh about or slough off. It's for real.
You can't reverse the past but the body responds quickly to better eating habits and changes in what you apply topically to your body. Everything is processed through your organs, from the food you consume to the lotions you massage into your skin to the air you breathe in. You are a sponge. Everything is drawn down through your respiratory system and your skin into your organs and your bloodstream. Your skin is also an organ and there is a continuous flow of whatever you allow into your extracellular fluid, the fluid that surrounds every cell in your body.
The first step in educating yourself is to learn about the most prevalent toxic ingredients being added to your food and hygienic products; i.e. soaps, shampoos and body lotions, and avoiding them altogether. The 10 at the top of the list and their resulting health problems are listed below.
Phenoxyethanol or Ethylhexylglycerin
This is a synthetic preservative added to lotions and cosmetics to preserve their shelf life. Considered the new substitute for paraben, it's not any better. It is believed to cause chromosomal changes, organ toxicity, brain damage, nervous system damage, and reproductive system problems. It's definitely not something you want to use a lot of over time! Try to purchase your body lotions and cosmetics from local health stores or online at USDA Certified Organic Essante Organics in the USA at www.essanteorganics.com/BlissBling or in Canada from Newco Technology.
This emulsifier and defoamer used to create creaminess without separation is often contaminated with ethylene oxide, 1,4-dioxane or ether, which the EPA has concluded is harmful to humans through inhalation, causing an increased risk of lymphoid cancer and breast cancer. Polysorbate 20-80 is sometimes contained within vitamins (if you can believe it!) soaps, shampoos, creams and even some food. It has been found to cause reproductive problems, cancer and mutations in animal testing. Why they are putting it in our food is beyond me! Try to buy organic food as often as possible and read the labels on your vitamin bottles. Vitamins made from whole foods are best, as are USDA Certified Organic vitamins.
Propylene Glycol or Polyethylene Glycol (PEGS)
Propylene glycol is a very common petroleum-based thickener and penetration enhancer that adds creaminess to any product. It is used frequently in shampoos, conditioners, lotions and deodorants. It is carcinogenic, causing systemic toxicity and is linked to lymphatic, breast and brain cancer. I certainly don't want it in my shampoos and lotions! I purchase mine at health stores or online through USDA Certified Organic companies such as Newco Technology in Canada or Essante Organics in the USA at www.essanteorganics.com/BlissBling.
Colors and Dyes with the Letters C, D, or F, Followed by a Number
These colors and dyes are made from coal tar and are found in a number of hair dyes and vibrantly colored liquids, particularly blue, green, pink, and purple. Those pretty liquids containing the above letters and numbers can be carcinogenic and neurotoxic because they contain heavy metal contaminants. Buy your home hair color products from health stores rather than drugstores as they offer much safer choices. If you get your hair colored at the salon, try going to an Aveda salon or a natural or organic salon as their hair color products contain far fewer carcinogenic ingredients.
Anything with a name that long is bound to cause problems, or so you would think, and you'd be right because this preservative is a formaldehyde releaser. It is often touted as being a natural preservative but nothing could be further from the truth because it's preservative properties are acquired by using synthetic reactants. Anything synthetic is unnatural. That's all there is to it. Often found in hair and skincare products, it is an allergen, causes immune system toxicity, and cancer. We're done here.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES or SLS)
Another petroleum-based lathering and foaming agent, sodium laureth sulfate is found in everything from shaving cream to toothpaste to shampoo. You would be surprised how much it is used. It is carcinogenic and a respiratory tract irritant. What is it doing in so many of our daily hygienic products? You tell me. There are more natural ways to create lather and foam, such as nutrient-dense coconut for example. Buy your shaving cream from health stores or online and keep those chemicals out of your pores.
Anything labeled "antibacterial" usually contains triclosan and it is harmful. The FDA classifies it as a pesticide, antibacterial, and anti-fungal preservative. Not good. Doctors keep telling us not to use it because it compromises our immunity. It's also an endocrine and thyroid disruptor, causes birth defects and uncontrolled cell growth (cancer). Why it is in our cleansers, conditioners, deodorants, shaving creams and toothpaste is amazing to me.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
If it sounds horrible that's because it is. It's a solvent and it's used to dissolve chemicals. If it has to be put in our shampoos and bath gels maybe those chemicals shouldn't be in there. Period. This toxic substance is carcinogenic. It's a reproductive and developmental toxin that causes birth defects. If you are pregnant make sure it's not in your household products!
Petroleum Jelly or Mineral Oil
We have all used petroleum jelly at one point or another, or our mothers have put it on our diapers. Unfortunately, it's not good. The European Union has actually classified it as a carcinogen. It is added frequently to lip balms, waxes, conditioners, lotions and deodorants. Although the well known Vaseline brand is the purest formulation on the market and is said to be safe, the others are not and should be avoided. Check out the ingredients before purchasing your next lip balm or gloss. There are much better options on the market, such as SeneGence Glossy Gloss containing shea butter, or the natural lip balms offered by Essante Organics or many of the brands found in health stores. Remember, everything you put on your lips ends up in your organs. Petroleum jelly and mineral oil doesn't belong there.
Fragrance can't be that bad, can it? Actually, yes. It can. The problem with anything containing fragrance is that you have no idea what is in that fragrance in your products. It's hidden. "Fragrance" sounds lovely so you wouldn't think anything of it but unbeknownst to you there are over 4,000 toxins within it. If you have allergies or asthma you will be particularly sensitive to it but it can be toxic to people with no known sensitivities as well. Fragrance can contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, it can cause neurotoxicity, head pain and even birth defects, believe it or not. Over the long term your favorite fragrance may contribute to or exacerbate many health problems. Use it sparingly or switch it out for more natural choices, such as essential oils and natural hydrosols. Your body will love you for it.
Don't be a sponge for every toxic chemical on your grocery shelf! You can make better choices and feel great well into your old age. Most health conditions are caused by a poor diet and too much exposure to toxins. It's never too late to start making better choices and live a healthy lifestyle. The little extra you may have to spend will be well worth it in the end.