When people think about detoxing, they usually think about it in terms of their diet, but toxins aren’t limited to what we eat and drink. We’re also exposed to toxins in the personal care products and cosmetics we use daily.
Think about the products you use every day: Toothpaste and mouthwash to freshen your breath; shampoo, conditioner and styling products for your hair; body wash, deodorant, perfume and moisturizer on your body; nail polish on your fingers and toes; cosmetics and skin care products on your face. According to the Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily – That’s toxic overload!
While some of the chemical used in these products may only cause minor skin irritation, others are known carcinogens (substances that can cause cancer) and endocrine disruptors (substances that interfere with your hormones and can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders).
Certainly the products we buy at the drug store or department store are safe! Doesn’t the FDA protect us from dangerous or unhealthy products? Well, not exactly. Cosmetics are not FDA approved, they are FDA regulated. What that means is with the exception of a few banned substances and color additives, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval. According to safecosmetics.org, the U.S. FDA has only banned or restricted 11 chemicals from cosmetics whereas the European Union (EU) bans 1,328 chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects. The EU also requires pre-market safety assessments of cosmetics.
It’s impossible to avoid all chemicals but with a little detective work, you can reduce your exposure to them significantly.
Here are four tips to help reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals found in cosmetics and personal care products:
- Simplify for personal care routine by limiting the number of products you use.
- Choose product with short ingredient lists and the least amount of synthetic chemicals as possible. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) top shopping tips to learn what chemicals to avoid in personal care products.
- Make some of your own personal care products like body scrubs and oils using essential oils, organic herbs and nourishing oils like avocado, jojoba or rosehip oil.
- Check if the makeup and personal care products you use are safe by visiting the EWG’s Skin Deep database or downloading the Healthy Living App. If your products don’t score well, you can also use this database of over 65,000 products to find new, safer alternatives.
So start your spring detox by going through your makeup bag and personal care products. You don’t have to toss everything out and start from scratch. Instead, the next time you run out of shampoo or body wash, replace it with a non-toxic, healthier version.
Tell me, what products will you be replacing?