Have you ever thought about the products you use on your body each day? I know I’m more inclined to think about what I’m putting IN my body, not ON it! But it’s about time we start paying attention to the products we use for skin and hair care. Why? Because women on average expose their bodies to 168 chemicals per day just through skin and hair care products! There are a handful of chemicals commonly found in these products we use on a daily basis that we’d do better to live without.
Parabens are one of the most used preservatives in cosmetics. Because they can easily penetrate the skin, they can interfere with hormone function, specifically by mimicking estrogen. Parabens have also been found in breast cancer tissue, and studies are still being done to explore possible connections between parabens and the development of cancer tissue. With risks this big, why not find products without potentially harmful chemicals like parabens? Next time you buy something like shampoo or a cosmetic product, look to see if it’s labeled as “paraben-free.”
Try choosing products made of more natural ingredients. This ensures you are treating your body the way it deserves to be treated! Think about it—skin is your largest organ, and chemicals are absorbed through your skin, hair, and nails every day. If you apply chemicals on parts of your skin that you shave, tweeze, or wax, there’s a higher chance of chemical toxins not only being absorbed through your skin, but entering your bloodstream!
Some chemicals, although not natural, are not harmful to us, but there are a few to be on the lookout for. In addition to parabens, look out for SLS, triclosan, DEA & TEA, formaldehyde, and oxybenzone. There’s research suggesting each of these commonly used chemicals carry potential health risks of varying degrees.
Because the cosmetic industry isn’t as regulated as you might think, start taking matters into your own hands to play it safe. One-time exposures to certain chemicals may not have an effect on your body, but over a lifetime, these minimal exposures add up. The best place to start is reading labels! Look for products with labels that have certifications such as “USDA Organic,” “EWG Verified,” or “Natural Products Association Certified.” Labels like these mean that the product has met a rigorous set of requirements to earn a stamp of approval. It’s a good place to start investing in products that are healthier for your body!
Sometimes chemicals can be sneaky. We are using them and don’t even think twice! Take this as an example: any product labeled “fragrance” in the US can be made of a number of substances that are considered toxic. Remember… it’s not the single exposure I’m talking about here… it’s repeated exposure over years and years of product use! Avoid as much as possible, ladies!
It’s not just beauty products either—many household cleaning supplies can put us at risk, too. Try using more natural cleaners instead of harsh chemicals for around the house. And if you are using strong chemicals, be careful not to inhale the fumes! Some studies have linked these harmful cleaning chemicals to cancer.
When you start to believe that your body is worth the best you can offer it, your opinions on health, beauty, and even cleaning products may change. It’s never too late to make a change… and who knows, you might even see and feel a difference as a result!
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