As summer quickly approaches, we start thinking of hitting the beach, hanging out with friends, and spending a lot more time outdoors and in the sun.
What comes with the warmer, beach weather is showing off more skin. Cute sundresses, bathing suits, shorts and tank tops are the clothing of choice, so making sure your skin looks great is also important.
Do you take into consideration what’s in those products you’re putting on your skin daily? Those products that help your skin look good in those cute summer clothes may also be harming your health.
Our skin is an organ, it’s actually our largest detoxifying organ and the majority of what you put on it gets absorbed directly into your body. Some say that what you put on your skin is more important than what you eat.
When we eat, our food gets filtered through our system. It helps get rid of the bad stuff that’s in our foods, however, when we apply things on our skin, there’s no filtering. Everything that’s contained in your lotions, shampoos, and body washes goes directly into your body and in every organ.
Seems harmless, right? Well, no, not really.
Let’s think about this for a minute. When you take a hot shower, the pores on your skin open up allowing them to absorb more of the ingredients contained in the products you’re using. After showering, you get out and apply your deodorant while your pores are still nice and open from your warm shower, thus, allowing more of those ingredients to go into your body.
What happens when someone wears, say, a nicotine patch or birth control patch? Those medications are administered through the skin. Why would your body care products be any different?
Be Aware Of These Ingredients
So, what kinds of things should you be on the lookout for in your personal care products?
One of the most widely used chemicals that can be found in hundreds of products are phthalates. They are used as a solvent in body care products and are made to hold scent in the product and on any surface it comes into contact with, including your skin.
This is why your hair smells so nice for hours after washing. It’s also used in things like perfumes, lotions, and anything else that has fragrance.
Why should you avoid anything that contains phthalates? Well, they act as a synthetic estrogen inside your body. Phthalates are known as endocrine disruptors, which block or mimic hormone signals in your body. These synthetic hormones can throw off our entire system causing illness and disease in your body.
Read the ingredient labels on your products and if you see the words “fragrance”, “perfume”, or “parfum” skip it.
Parabens are a preservative used to prevent the growth of bacteria in products. You’ll likely find them in things like shampoos, lotions, and cosmetics.These are a class of chemicals, so you also want to look for anything that ends in ‘paraben’ on the ingredient label.
There is usually more than one paraben in a product and they are estrogen mimickers. Parabens have been found in biopsies from breast tumors and they’ve also been found in nearly all samples from U.S. adults. Pretty scary!
Did you ever wonder what was actually used to make your body care products and perfumes smell the way they do? You can find it on the label of the majority of products on the market today.
Fragrance is a combination of chemicals that give perfume a distinct scent. Did you catch that? A combination of chemicals. Yep, companies can hide hundreds of chemicals in that one little word, fragrance. And the real kicker is they don’t have to tell you what’s in it because it’s considered a trade secret. Nice!
Found in sunscreens and other products that provide sun protection. Oxybenzone is known as a broad spectrum sunblock and has the ability to absorb both UVA and UVB rays. This chemical has been found in the blood of 97% of people tested by the CDC.
Oxybenzone readily absorbs into the body and when exposed to sunlight forms free radical chemicals that may be linked to cell damage. It’s also a suspected endocrine disrupting chemical. Maybe it’s better to be safe and skip those products with this ingredient and go for something safer while you play in the sun.
Remember that what you put on your skin does make a difference in your health.
Many of the ingredients in body care products have been linked to illnesses and disease. Take responsibility for your health and be a label detective. Read those labels, do your research and make sure the products you’re using are safe.t