This posts continues my series on detoxification and cleansing. So far we have discussed what detoxification really means, considerations for food in relation to detoxification, and today we will discuss chemicals in our personal care products.
Chemicals in Personal Care Products
The unfortunate truth is that in our industrialized society man-made and natural toxins are everywhere. It may be obvious to some of you that toxins can be found in our air, our food (pesticides), and even in our cleaning products, but there is more to your personal care products than you may suspect.
Recent reports indicate that 1 in 8 out of the approximately 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals such as carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors, to name a few! In fact, some of these chemicals are used in concrete, auto parts, plastics, paint, ink, dyes, petroleum production, etc. These ingredients may cause cancer, disrupt our hormones, cause heavy metal toxicity, disrupt our immune system, cause allergies and asthma, cause skin rashes, and may lead to antibiotic resistance, just a few of the major problems.
Since knowing is only half the battle, let’s look at how we can avoid these chemicals.
Avoiding Toxins in Personal Care Products
There are thousands of industrial and natural chemicals used in personal care products that can have negative impacts on our health (they will not all fit on this paper) so the easiest way to avoid them is to purchase products you know to have only natural plant and animal based ingredients (ie. things you recognize like coconut oil, olive oil, essential oils, etc.). Choosing products like this will allow you to avoid most of the terrible industrial chemicals out there.
Sometimes it not so easy to find products with minimal ingredients, so here is a list of some of the worst personal care ingredients to avoid. Remember always read the label!
- BHA & BHT: A preservative used in cosmetics that is a possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. It can also cause allergic reactions and skin rashes
- Aluminum: found in antiperspirants and a possible endocrine disruptor and carcinogen.
- Coal Tar Dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number): A possible carcinogen and can be contaminated with heavy metals.
- DEA-related ingredients (MEA & TEA also): Possible carcinogens.
- Dibutyl Phthalate: Possible endocrine and reproductive disruptor.
- Formaldehyde releasing Preservatives: The following preservatives can slowly release cancer causing formaldehyde: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15.
- Parabens: Possible endocrine and reproductive disruptor.
- Petrolatum: A petroleum product that may be a carcinogen due to contamination.
- Siloxanes: (siloxane/methicone): Possible endocrine and reproductive disruptor.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Possible carcinogen due to contamination issues.
- Triclosan: Possible endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance.
**While there is also evidence to support the safety of some of these ingredients, why should we take the risk if there is any question at all about safety**
**Additionally, many of these chemical can have negative impacts on the health of our environment, mainly the water and fish populations**
The next posts in this series will include the dangers of home cleaning products, the dangers of tap and bottled water, exercise and detoxification, as well as some more aggressive (temporary) cleansing protocols.
The Barefoot Golfer