Organic Challenge Week 2: Health & Beauty Products
Organic Challenge Week 2: Health & Beauty Products
Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it. That is a large percentage, especially for women who use, in some cases, 2x the beauty products that men do. Using organic beauty products substantially lowers your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients present in non-organic products. These harmful ingredients include synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, and toxic chemicals that are associated with endocrine disruption, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other health concerns. Studies have shown that the toxic ingredients in beauty products have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors, ovarian cancer and more.
Many of the chemicals and components that are in our everyday products have not been tested extensively for health affects. The minimal testing that has been done yielded some frightening results, so we’re encouraging you to trade out some of your common beauty products for our non-negotiable beauty products.
No surprise that conventional deodorants contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to health issues over the years. One study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that use of aluminum-based antiperspirants increased the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life by 60%. Besides links to Alzheimer’s and certain cancers, conventional deodorants clog pores and prevent your body from detoxing on it’s own. Using natural deodorants allow you to detox more naturally. Many companies list “fragrance” as an ingredient in their products, but the FDA doesn’t require brands to disclose what is in those fragrances. Many host dangerous chemicals like phthalates.
Sunscreen typically protects skin from sun damage through ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, estrogenic, and may interfere with thyroid and other hormone process in the body. A Vitamin A derivative, retinyl palmitate, that is often used in sunscreen—has been shown to speed up the growth of cancerous cells by 21%. A study conducted by the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics states that, “Sunscreens protect against sunburn, but there is no evidence that they protect against basal cell carcinoma or melanoma.” Natural sunscreens have a mineral base rather than a chemical base, that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These minerals protect the skin by creating a barrier rather than penetrating the skin.
While reports that women can eat up to 9 lbs of lipstick in their lifetime are false, most of the lipsticks on the market contain harmful heavy metals and preservatives that can affect your heart, brain, and kidneys. The preservatives have been linked to breast cancer, and the cadmium and chromium can cause other forms of cancer. Long term exposure to these toxins is an acknowledged health risk, and excessive application only increases these risks. Natural lipsticks have fruit bases, that are an unexpected source of vitamins, are great for sensitive lips and allergies, and don’t have any of the harmful toxins that conventional lipsticks do.
Since our bodies absorb 60% of what we put on them, it’s important to look at the products you're applying on a daily basis. Parabens, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid, and retinol are all chemicals commonly found in conventional moisturizers. While the FDA does not have any studies conducted on some of these chemicals, they do acknowledge several studies that have linked them to breast cancer, skin cancer, and decreased sperm count. Anti-aging components have been known to become a carcinogenic in sunlight. Since federal law doesn’t require companies to list what is in the fragrance in their products, the average consumer doesn’t know that they can contain hormone disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world.
Gone are the days of vinyl chloride and methylene chloride, but many formulas still can cause adverse health effects. The truth is, many of the chemicals that are used in conventional hairspray haven’t been tested. Many brands of hairspray also include ‘fragrance’ that is not regulated by the FDA or any other government property. According to Poison Control, inhalation of denatured alcohol, hydrofluorocarbons, and other hairspray ingredients can lead to acute poisoning, which is marked by symptoms like low blood pressure, breathing difficulty, and coma.
While some of the chemicals listed above need further testing to determine the level of toxicity, many don’t. There have been studies conducted that show the results of overexposure to these chemicals that are harmful to your immediate and long-term health. We are challenging you start your transition to healthier life by trading out these 5 beauty products that you use everyday.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite organic beauty brands to help you on your Organic Challenge!
For more on our whole Organic Challenge, click here.