As the international beauty market continues to skyrocket, it’s definitely disquieting to watch people purchase products that are unquestionably risky for their health. So how do you find natural beauty products and create a non-toxic skin care routine?
This market is anticipated to reach $265 billion in 2017. (1) Liken this to the most advantageous industry in the United States (health care, $21.8 billion in 2014), and you’ll get a feel for the importance of this kind of profit.
Believing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and individual manufacturers, most people have forgotten that health and beauty manufacturing is a business and many companies will do whatever it takes to save money, even if this involves using additives, fillers, and preservatives that are not safe to apply to the human body!
The lineup of uncertain ingredients is lengthy and can be eye-opening because it doesn’t seem to end as new chemicals are introduced nearly every day.
As health and beauty manufacturers quickly make a lot of money, the entire world is taking the chance of developing an abundance of health conditions because of questionable ingredients that are used as fillers and preservatives.
Some people may disregard these dangers because they’re only putting these items on their skin and do not ingest them. Our skin is our largest organ and anything that comes into contact with it will be absorbed and will enter the body. It’s simply impossible to avoid contact with these dangerous chemicals if you purchase ordinary, conventional products; hence, the reason to create your own natural beauty products.
It’s inevitable, for example, that you will:
- Swallow lip balm and lip-gloss.
- Absorb makeup, shampoo and soap through your skin.
- Inhale hair spray, perfume and powder.
Still, we should use caution of biochemical accumulation from longterm use.
Commonly used ingredients that you should be apprehensive of are:
- Coal Tar – Also listed as FD&C Red No. 6, coal tar is banned in Europe because it’s a known cancer-causing agent. It is a primary component in anti-dandruff/anti-lice shampoos. (2)
- DEA (Diethanolamine) – Known to form nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), which has been linked to bladder, esophagus, liver and stomach cancers, DEA is a foaming and wetting agent that is highly reactive to other ingredients. (3)
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin and carcinogen that is added to nail products to extend shelf life. (4)
- Fragrance/Parfum – The overall term for an entire group of chemicals that give lotions and potions their addictive smell, fragrance and parfum. These chemicals should be avoided because they can cause allergic reactions or hormone disruption. Up to 50% of the products listed in the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Review contain the ingredient “fragrance.” (5)
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – More than 16,000 studies about sodium lauryl sulfate have made it clear that it might not be as dangerous than previously thought. Nonetheless, EWG has still linked it to organ toxicity and a number of health concerns like skin irritation. (6)
- Parabens -Though related to breast cancer, decreased sperm counts and premature puberty (early onset of puberty), parabens, a class of widely used synthetic preservatives, have earned the FDA’s recognition with no hesitation. According to their report, the “FDA is aware that estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer.” (7)
- Propylene glycol – A synthetic liquid material that absorbs water, propylene glycol is used to manufacture everything from brake fluid to hand lotion! (8) It has been linked to allergies, eye irritation, indigestion, respiratory problems, and skin irritation.
- Talc – In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos; a deadly carcinogen. It is made from the purified mineral bearing the same name. Although the American Cancer Society states that, “No increased risk of lung cancer has been reported with the use of cosmetic talcum powder,” it is still a known poison when inhaled or swallowed. (9)
Note about Mineral Oils
Mineral oil is a clear, refined liquid distilled from petroleum. Available over-the-counter to treat a variety of ailments (i.e. constipation, skin irritations, scalp conditions, ear-wax buildup), a form is specifically used for enemas. A common ingredient in baby lotions, cosmetics, creams and ointment, the potential adverse health effects of mineral oils have been an issue of concern for natural health consumers for several years.
Occupational exposure (manufacturing, mining, construction, and other industries) is a well-known risk for cancer (10), but exposure in body care is not so straight-forward. The key seems to be in bioaccumulation – as mineral oils can be found in your food, cleaners and other common products.
According to the EWG, mineral is given a safety rating of 1-3 (low to mild toxicity). Essentially, it depends on the usage and amount used in each product. (11) A couple drops in a wrinkle cream, for example, should be OK. But if you might want to consider using a bottle of mineral oil each week to treat skin conditions. A recent literature review concluded that there is a low risk of developing liver damage if mineral oil is consumed by contaminated food, whereas there is no indication of any carcinogenic effects in animals if applied topically.
The safety of these mineral oil-containing products is thus indirectly documented by their prevalent and long-term use, with a simultaneous lack of clinical and epidemiological evidence for adverse health effects. (12)
Eliminate Toxic Body Care Products
The reason why it’s so important to revamp your home with natural beauty products is because it’s virtually impossible to find safe beauty items in your local stores.
Now it’s even more important to become an avid label reader and determine when something isn’t 100% safe. Use our list of known carcinogens in body care products to help you when you shop!
It’s important to realize that even though something is sold at your local Co-op, Trader Joes or Whole Foods there’s no guarantee that it’s safe to use.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has evaluated over 72,000 products and have ranked them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure that people have a resource to keep their families safe. (11) Check it out for yourself. You’ll be surprised that even most “all natural” products aren’t what they seem to be! Exposure to these toxins cannot be avoided, unless you make your own natural beauty products!
DIY is THE Solution
One of the only ways to guarantee that you aren’t exposed to these dangerous toxins is to make your own beauty products, or buy direct from trusted companies. These items are cost-effective, easy to make and you’ll be happy with the results!
Take a look at this list of our favorite recipes from Mama Z’s DIY Database that you can effortlessly include into your daily routine.
When making your own natural beauty products, be sure to use the right kind of carrier oils and base moisturizers.
Coconut Oil for Natural Beauty Product Base Oil
In the past 5 years, coconut oil has come into the forefront as one of the most popular and widely sold products in grocery stores across the country. In addition to being a fabulous super food, it is an anti-fungal agent that has wonderful moisturizing properties.
Shea Butter – A Rich, Natural Beauty Product Base
Rich in vitamin A, the fat extracted from African sheaf tree nuts has been a staple in health and beauty products for centuries. Used to treat everything from sunburn to eczema, it can be whipped up easily as a perfect moisturizer.
Essential Oils for Natural Beauty Products and Skin Care
Adding essential oils to your body care products provides significant health benefits. Lavender essential oil is known as the universal calming agent, tea tree essential oil is known as the wound healer, rosemary essential oil can enhance memory and the list goes on and on. Just add 10 drops of essential oil per ounce of the carrier oil of your choosing, and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of what many consider to be God’s Medicine!