The Chemical Conspiracy
With every passing day, I become increasingly thankful that both myself and my family use organic personal care products. (Shop organic – USA / AUS / NZ) Why? Because evidence is mounting that the synthetic chemicals used in the majority of mainstream body care products are doing us harm.Two recent studies serve to illustrate my point. The first, conducted by the American Diabetes Association, found a link between phthalates and increased incidences of diabetes amongst the elderly.
Although we are exposed to phthalates in a number of different forms (including plastics), they are most commonly found in cosmetics. Indeed, the average woman, who exposes her skin to an estimated 200 chemicals per day, could be said to pickle her skin in them. And it’s not only diabetes that we have to worry about.
Phthalates have also been linked with repoductive problems, DNA damage, and birth defects. They are so toxic that many countries have banned their use in plastic toys. And yet, because the cosmetics industry remains largely unregulated (and because synthetic chemicals like phthaltes are so inexpensive to manufacture), they continue to be used in our skincare products.
And phthalates are only the tip of the iceberg. Another recent study indicates that your prized lipstick almost certainly contains chemicals that may seriously harm your health. Included in most commercial lipsticks are ingredients like parabens, methacrylate, lead and cadmium, all of which have potential links with conditions as diverse as skin irritations right through to breast cancer.
They sound nasty, right? Well they are. And yet they probably aren’t the worst thing in your lipstick. That honour goes to triclosan, a preservative used in many popular lipsticks, as well as in number of well known toothpastes, soaps and deodorants.
Recently, researchers at the University of California looked closely at triclosan and its potential impact on the human body. Their findings, published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”, make for disturbing reading. In essence, the study found a link between exposure to triclosan and significantly reduced heart and muscle function. Not good news, clearly, and it only adds to existing concerns that triclosan is associated with thyroid and fertility problems.
Triclosan is currently under investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency over concerns that it damages people’s health. It is so toxic it is measured in parts per trillion. And yet it may well be in your toothpaste, which you use twice a day. It could also be in your lipstick, which you may apply every day and which you inevitably swallow (in fact, the average woman swallows up to en estimated 1.5kilograms of lipstick in her lifetime!).
So, what can be done? In the absence of government regulation, the truth is we are left to fend for ourselves. We need to be aware of the potential dangers of synthetic chemicals and we must be careful to read the ingredients label when purchasing personal care products. To help with this, we’ve prepared at World Organic a ‘Top Ten Chemicals to Avoid in Your Personal Care Products’. Please feel free to visit our website (www.worldorganic.co.nz) and print the list, as it should assist you in making informed choices for both yourself and your family.
Remember too, not to be fooled by the label. Just because a product has a natural sounding name or claims to be natural, doesn’t mean it is good for you. Many so-called natural products actually have a high percentage of synthetic chemicals in them.
In the end, the best policy is simply to buy certified organic products. (Shop organic – USA / AUS / NZ) They will not only look after your skin, but guarantee for you and your family peace of mind when it comes to protecting your health and general sense of well-being.