Consider your skin another mouth!

One of the hills I'll likely die on is my passion to educate friends and families about what goes on your skin. 
 

There are so many, many toxic ingredients in our food and we've become more and more aware of the detrimental effects of those chemicals. We've started buying organic produce, choosing eggs from pasture raised chickens eating a natural diet and are learning that cows are meant to eat grass and not grains. 

Photo by Comstock Images/Stockbyte / Getty Images
Photo by Comstock Images/Stockbyte / Getty Images

Then we go and clean our homes with 409, Lysol and Windex and coat our kids and ourselves with chemical-filled sunscreens. Whoops!! Somehow we didn't make the connection that chemicals on and in our food are just as harmful in your environment and on your skin. You've heard the age old saying that your skin is your largest organ. Well, that is true but what that means is that your skin is taking in what we put on it just as a mouth would if you placed food in it. You can also use that analogy for our lungs. How do you think black mold gets in your body? Right. Through you breathing it in. The same goes for chemicals in your house cleaners and in your beauty products. 
New synthetic chemicals are entering the market at an average rate of 3 per day! They add to the thousands of synthetic chemicals that are already in use today. Nobody knows exactly how many we are exposed to. 

Results from WWF's first European-wide family blood testing survey found a total of 73 man-made hazardous chemicals in the blood of 13 families (grandmothers, mothers and children) from 12 European countries. Every family member tested was contaminated with a cocktail of at least 18 different man-made chemicals, many found in everyday consumer goods.

Likewise, a WWF-UK study of human contamination found evidence of DDT and PCBs, two dangerous chemicals banned decades ago, in 99% of the 155 people they tested. Women who had breast-fed their babies had lower levels of certain pcbs than men, indicating that they had 'off-loaded' these chemicals on to their babies. (Note: experts agree that breast milk is still best for young babies).

Human Health effects that have been associated with exposure to man-made chemicals include:

Men:

  • testicular cancer

  • undescended testicles

  • low sperm counts

  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • multiple myeloma

  • work related asthma

  • workplace cancers

 

Women:

  • breast cancer increased 50% since 1971

  • non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • birth defects, spontaneous abortion

  • work related asthma

  • workplace cancers

Children:

  • dramatic rise in childhood cancers

  • learning disabilities (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

  • weakening the immune system so more susceptible to common diseases

  • premature puberty

12.2 million adults – one of every 13 women and one of every 23 men – are exposed to ingredients that are known or probable human carcinogens every day through their use of personal care products.


On average, women use twice as many personal care products as men, applying far more chemicals to their bodies. Between cosmetics, perfumes, personal care products and feminine hygiene products, women in the US apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day, according to new research by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. 

To date, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only reviewed a few hundred chemicals for safety. There are more than 80,000 chemicals currently being used in consumer products that the federal government and consumers know little to nothing about.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given great responsibility but little authority to enforce Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Enacted in 1976, this current law was broken from the start, grandfathering thousands of chemicals already on the market. This law is so broken and so weak that the EPA could not even ban asbestos, a cancer-causing substance that is still in use and killing thousands of Americans each year.

Sunscreens are a whole nother issue that needs to be addressed. Please, please, please, do your and your family's health a favor and look up the risks of your chosen brand of sunscreen to see what is actually has in it. The ingredients that have known health risks are often in those popular and well known sunscreen brands you grew up using. The EWG has put together a guide solely for SUNSCREEN. That's how big of an issue it is! 

EWG’s Sunscreen Hall of Shame draws attention to products that promise safe sun protection and don't deliver. This year, one brand stands out – Neutrogena.
 ----> Click here for the guide<-------

So what can we do about all this? 

Simple. 

  1. Use your dollars to initiate reform by demanding safer products. 

  2. Choose products that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has deemed low-risk by scanning products into their databases before you buy them and choosing the products with ratings 0-3. There's even an app for it! Click here for database for skin/beauty products and here for cleaning products and here for sunscreen.  

  3. Get crunchy and make your own! I use ingredients that I know are safe to make my own cleaning products and beauty products. Getting started with essential oils is the first step.  There are plenty of recipes for a safe and natural sun protectant. 

  4. Ultimately, eating a diet of real food is gonna be your best bet. More on that here.


Read about issues with these known chemicals and WHY you should avoid them at all cost. Educate yourself and tell others!
Chemical Policy (TSCA)
2,4-D
Arsenic
Asbestos
BPA
Chromium-6
Dioxin
Fire Retardants
Lead
Mercury
Nanomaterials
Nonstick Chemicals
Perchlorate
Pesticides
Phthalates
Triclosan

Resources:
http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/teacher_resources/webfieldtrips/toxics/chemicals_affect_you/#sthash.hHTq87Th.dpuf
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-chemicals-idUSBRE91I0NJ20130219
http://www.ewg.org/key-issues/toxics/chemical-policy
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/
http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/report/executive-summary/