Have you ever considered what your makeup or skincare is doing to your body? Other than making my skin less or more broken out, I didn’t think that the products I was using made a difference. But, as my wellness journey continues, food remains a major component of balancing my body, but I’ve learned that what’s I’m putting on my skin is equally as important.
Why? Because, our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it also happens to be incredibly porous. Before uncovering this information,I didn’t even think of skin as an organ, but it makes sense. By sweating, it removes toxins from our body. You might notice that on a particularly stressful week, you don’t smell as nice and it’s because your body is expelling more toxins through your skin than normal. Gross, but actually kind of cool, right?!
But that porous-ness goes both ways. It sweats toxins out, but it also easily absorbs them. And, anything we put on it, can be absorbed directly into our blood stream. If you’re using products with toxic ingredients, well, you can see how that might cause some problems, right?
To put things into perspective, listen to this crazy fact. European laws ban nearly 1,400 chemicals from their beauty and skincare products that are suspected to cause major problems like cancer, reproductive harm, and even birth defects. In comparison, the USA and FDA has only banned 11 chemicals. ELEVEN. Isn’t that kind of terrifying?!
Before I read that fact, I just assumed that everything that was on the shelves was safe. Apparently, I’m far too trusting, ha!
What really makes these toxic chemicals so bad is that they’re endocrine disruptors. That means they can interfere with our bodies naturally occurring hormones and wreak havoc on the systems in our body that rely on hormones to function at their best. Endocrine disruptors can also cause breakouts, infertility, oily skin, weight gain, sleep problems, high toxicity of the liver, migraines and a whole host of hormonal issues, aka lady problems.
I couldn’t figure out why they weren’t banned and then I came across an article (that I now can’t find!) that explained it. Apparently these chemicals can’t cause harm (or much of it) when they’re delivered in small doses, but think about this…when you’re using multiple products a day—face wash, toner, moisturizer, serums, night creams, masks, makeup, body wash and lotion, shampoos and hair products, and even your deodorant—and those all include small doses of toxic chemicals, you’re actually getting a lot more than what a single product would deliver.
When I learned this, I was dumbfounded! Then, I ran to my beauty cabinet and started looking for culprits. There are lots of chemicals you should avoid, but here are a few of the most common offenders!
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Propylene Glycol
Guys, I was shocked—they were EVERYWHERE. Even in beauty brands that I considered to be really top of the line. It was definitely discouraging, but over the past few months, I’ve been slowly weeding out the bad stuff for better, non-endocrine disrupting products. It’s only been a few months, but I’ve noticed that my skin is less reactive to products and generally smoother and calmer!
Next week I’m sharing my favorite clean beauty brands and some of my favorite products, so stay tuned if you’re looking for some suggestions on how to clean up your own beauty act!
Do you currently use any clean or non-toxic products? Have you noticed any changes since using them? I’d love to hear your experiences!