Chemicals and harmful toxins in our cosmetics, skincare and personal toiletries are far more common than many of us would realise. It is difficult for us to comprehend that products that we use every day, products that are sold to us by trusted retailers, could include ingredients that pose a real threat to our health and the health of our families.
Contaminants in the products we use every day – toothpaste, skincare, shampoo, body lotions and make up – enter our bodies via our skin and pores, absorbed into the blood stream. Even in microscopic quantities, these chemicals create a risk of an adverse reaction. For some sensitive individuals, the reaction to certain chemicals may be swift and intense. However, for most of us, we may not immediately experience any negative reactions, but with time, accumulated use of these ingredients, can lead to serious health concerns.
Did you know, for example, that a commonly-used chemical in many commercially-produced shampoos, toothpaste, shower gels, facial cleansers and foaming bath products – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – is now considered to have very serious adverse reactions in some individuals? This same ingredient is used in industrial heavy-duty paint strippers. Studies have found that the following restrictions and adverse effects *:-
- Eye irritations
- Urinary tract infections
- Prevents children’s eyes from developing properly
- Immune system compromise
- Animals exposed to SLS also experienced depression, laboured breathing, severe skin irritations, eye damage and diarrhea
(*Cosmetics Unmasked, Dr Stephen & Gina Antczak, 2001)
Our message is to become more discerning about what we use on our own bodies. Where possible, switch to certified natural products removes the risk that products with synthetic chemicals pose.
This is not to say that individuals could not have a reaction to natural ingredients. However, the key with natural products is that the ingredients are usually rich in minerals and trace elements that feed and nourish the skin and body. Ingredients typically include plant extracts, essential oils and carrier oils, honey, clay, nut oils and natural anti-oxidants.
Here are some tips for making the switch to natural products:
- Read the labels on your cosmetics and personal toiletries
- Purchase your products from a health food store or reputable natural supplier, such as Argital Australia
- Replacing all of your products in one go can be expensive. Consider replacing one item at a time, as you run out of each item.
- Many natural products are multi-purpose, thereby restricting the volume of products you need in your bathroom cabinet.
Next time you pick up your toothpaste or shampoo bottle, have a read of the label. What is it telling you?