The skin is the largest and most permeable organ in your body. On average, women put 127 chemicals ON their body’s daily. Many of the chemicals in skincare have been linked to cancer, birth defects, immune disruption, neurological problems or reproductive harm. There might be toxins hiding in your makeup, shampoo and moisturizers!
Even more disturbing is the fact that many companies continue to use toxic chemicals in our products simply because they aren't banned yet, not to mention they are much cheaper to use than organic ingredients. While the EU has banned over 1300 chemicals, the FDA has only banned 8 and restricted 3 here in the states. Among the toxic chemicals that the California General Assembly Bill 2762, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act is trying to ban are the following:
Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
Paraformaldehyde, a type of formaldehyde.
Methylene glycol, a type of formaldehyde.
Quaternium 15, which releases formaldehyde.
Mercury, which can damage the kidneys and nervous system.
Dibutyl and diethylhexyl phthalates, which disrupt hormones and
damage the reproductive system.
Isobutyl and isopropyl parabens, which disrupt hormones and harm the reproductive system.
The long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS,
which have been linked to cancer.
M- and o-phenylenediamine, used in hair dyes, which irritate and sensitize the skin,
damage DNA and can cause cancer.
For those with autoimmune issues, this can wreak havoc with your hormones since 60% of these chemicals and more are absorbed through the skin and it only takes 26 seconds for those chemicals to get into your bloodstream.
Endocrine disruptors (chemicals that can interfere with the endocrine system) are lurking everywhere we turn today. It is hard to pick up a bottle of shampoo or a mascara at the store without having to worry about hidden toxins. Avoiding these toxins can help protect your hormone balance and are especially important for anyone suffering from thyroid disease or any other autoimmune condition.
Here are some natural suggestions to ease your toxic load:
1. Physically nourish inside and out.
The skin is primarily comprised of different proteins that are built from the inside, with whatever nutrients are available. Vitamins such as A, C, E, K, and the B vitamins (primarily biotin and niacinamide) are key building blocks, in addition to the full spectrum of amino acids. Your diet should include vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, plus complete proteins, such as pastured meats and eggs. If you don’t eat meat, be sure to combine your plant proteins
to ensure you’re getting all your amino acids. Topically, choose herbal skincare products, preferably made from whole plant herbal preparations.
Did you know that the skin only receives about 10% of the water you consume internally? The hydration you take in first goes to hydrate your internal vital organs, and by the time it reaches the skin, it’s like two-day-old leftovers. So while it is necessary to hydrate from the inside, it is also extremely important to hydrate on the outside using topical products that contain humectant ingredients that bring moisture into the skin, like aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerin. Herbal steams, hydrosols, and compresses are also a great way to hydrate.
3. Start Small.
It can be impossible (and completely overwhelming!) to remove so many products from your routine overnight so start small by eliminating those that pose the most risk, such as:
● Products You Use Often: Daily or multiple times a day.
● Products You Leave on the Longest: Cream, lotion, sunscreen, etc.
● Products Used on Babies + Children: Babies have thinner skin so they are at a greater risk for absorption.
● Shampoos + Conditioners: These tend to absorb into the skin due to the increased absorption rate of the scalp and also wash over the rest of our bodies.
● Antibacterial Anything: While our current situation calls for antibacterial soaps or hand sanitizers, they can cause more harm than good when overused, as they also kill good bacteria. Use a product containing an antibacterial essential oil instead .
3. If You Don't Recognize It, Don't Buy It.
Just because a product is labeled natural or organic, doesn’t mean that it’s free of harmful ingredients. Always read the full ingredient lists of products before buying. If you don’t recognize or understand an ingredient, I recommend not using it.
4. Protect and seal in moisture with healthy fats.
Water is important, but it is only useful if it stays in the cells, whether that’s the cells as they are forming inside the body or the cells in the epidermis. Water loss happens when there are not enough lipids present in the cell membranes or on the surface of the skin to prevent the water from seeping out, or evaporating. Therefore, we must get enough lipids in our diets and topical skincare regimens to seal in moisture and ensure healthy function. Eat a diet rich in foods that contain essential fatty acids, such as nuts and seeds; dark leafy greens; small fatty fish, like sardines, anchovies, and wild-caught salmon; and pastured beef, chicken, and eggs. If you’re supplementing, be sure you’re getting the correct ratio of DHA to EPA. Topically, choose products that contain fixed oils – lipids cold-pressed from the nuts or seeds of plants, such as olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter.
5. Cut the toxic chemicals.
Just as processed food that contains health-harming synthetic chemicals should be avoided, the same is true for mass-produced synthetic skincare products. Most conventional skincare products found at drugstores, department stores, and even many spas contain ingredients that are not compatible with the human body, are known to cause irritant and allergic reactions on the outside, and contribute to body burden on the inside. Choose products that are made with as many recognizable plant ingredients as possible and contain no synthetic fragrances. If the product contains preservatives, look to see if it is certified organic or has certifications by organizations such as MadeSafe, the EWG, Nature, ECOCERT, Safe Cosmetics or Cosmos.
6. Wear a Base Layer.
If there's a potentially harmful product that you love and just can't let go of, try wearing a base coat of coconut oil on your body or organic lip balm on your lips to help create an extra layer between the product and your skin.
We tend to be rough with our skin when it shows us something we don’t like, even though it’s just doing its job and letting us know that something is out of balance on the inside. Instead of jumping to scrub, zap, burn, or poke blemishes, visible capillaries, or dark spots, show love and gratitude to your skin for being such a loyal messenger. Apply your products gently and lovingly, and be sure to smile at your reflection whenever you catch a glimpse in a mirror or window.
Physiologically, the skin is intimately connected to every other organ and system of the body –
most notably, the brain/central nervous system, digestion, and detoxification. On the emotional
side, the skin is how we present ourselves to the world and is often how the world first perceives us. Its health, and our perception of its appearance, has the ability to deeply affect our self-image, our relationships, and how we show up in our world. The skin cannot be divorced from the rest of the body. Just as our body requires a bio-individual approach to both primary and
secondary food for true holistic nourishment, your skin does too!
Change is hard! What if you had a strategy, personalized to meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, from a trained healthcare expert who's been where you are and who will empower you to become all you want to be? NOW, that would be EASY. Click here to schedule your free discovery call.