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 .