November 29, 2007

Beauty Review.

I thought I'd share something I've been learning a lot about lately, and hopefully enlighten those of you ,who care, about what is actually in a lot of our beauty products. I am obviously not a health care professional. I do care a lot about health and wellness, therefore read and research whenever possible. Here is some interesting data:

  • Unlike (most of the) food and drugs we ingest, the cosmetic industry requires NO pre-market safety tests, monitoring, or labeling. That’s right companies can put virtually ANY ingredient into personal care products.

  • The European Union has made major advances in the regulation of cosmetics in the past several years and has banned the use of substances classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction in cosmetic products. Unfortunately, the US hasn’t yet followed in these footsteps!
Here's some food for thought:
  • The average consumer uses between 15-25 personal care products per day! Many of those products contain hundreds of dangerous synthetic chemical compounds.

  • The largest organ in our body is our skin. What you put on your body, you literally absorb!

  • Chemicals like parabens, which are synthetic preservatives found in shampoos, make-up foundations, shaving gels and even food, have a chemical structure similar to estrogen which interferes with production of the body’s natural hormones and more importantly, contains potential links to cancer. Parabens are absorbed through intact skin and from the gastrointestinal tract and blood.

  • U.K. researchers found measurable concentrations of six different parabens in 20 human breast tumors. The study highlights on the potential link between products containing parabens and increased breast cancer risk.

  • Look for words like methylparaben or propylparaben in the ingredients of beauty products. Also, any personal care product that says "EU compliant", which means European Union compliant, is pretty safe to use.

Much more information can be found on The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website with sections on lead in lipsticks, etc. There is also a cosmetics database site, run by an environmental working group, that allows you to search any beauty product and see their rating on its safety based on ingredients. I use this a lot! I also, now try to buy all my beauty products at Whole Foods. They have a great section with everything from nail polish and face powder, to lotion and shampoo/conditioner.

Whew! I know that was pretty long...I wanted to make sure to give you all the information I had. I think it's so important to be aware of our own health, and what we are doing to hinder it or contribute to it. It's a shame that we have to be our own advocates, since their are so many loopholes in the FDA right now. Little changes everyday can make a big difference in the long run!