Clean Body Care
The skin is your body’s largest organ, and arguably the first line of defense in the immune system’s barriers. It wraps our entire body in what is probably the most magnificent packaging the world has ever seen.
The skin allows our body to detoxify through sweat glands, and it does a great job of keeping large organisms and toxic molecules from getting in our bodies and causing harm, but many of us don’t realize how porous it actually is. We absorb a lot through the skin. Just think about it: transdermal skin patches and creams are often used to deliver hormones, nicotine, pain killers, and other drugs directly into the bloodstream simply through application to the skin. From contaminants in our water supply to toxic chemicals in our lotions and cosmetics, everything our skin comes into contact with has the ability to affect our immune systems and our health.
Revamp Your Personal Care Products for Better Health
Unfortunately, most of the personal care products that fill the shelves at the drugstore and supermarket are full of toxic chemicals such as phthalates, parabens and other endocrine disrupting compounds. You can dramatically reduce your toxic load right now, and save your body a lot of toxic stress over time, simply by being mindful of what you put on your skin.
Seven Way’s to Avoid Toxins!
Here are seven basic, easy-to-remember rules of thumb to protect yourself and your family from unnecessary toxic exposure from personal care products:
- If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it! Lotions, face creams, sun blocks, shampoos and other personal care products have the ingredients listed on the label. If a product has a long list of chemical ingredients that you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it!
- Go fragrance-free! Many products that you can smell contain phthalates. That goes for perfumes and colognes as well. Look for products that are either labeled “fragrance free”, or contain natural fragrances such as essential oils. And for heaven’s sake don’t spray toxic perfumes on your thyroid gland!
- Just say no to parabens! Parabens are used as preservatives in many lotions and creams. Check all your self-care products for parabens (also known as ethyl paraben, methyl paraben, butyl paraben, propyl paraben, benzyl paraben, etc.) and toss the ones that contain chemicals with “paraben” somewhere in the name.
- Avoid sodium lauryl sulfate! (Sodium lauryl and laureth sulfate are toxic foaming emulsifying agents that cause irritation and build up in the body’s organs and tissues.1,2 Check all lotions, shampoos and personal care products for this nasty additive.
- Use natural toothpaste! Most popular brands of toothpaste contain fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate and artificial sweeteners. Look for brands that are all-natural and fluoride free.
- Use only natural deodorants! Many of the antiperspirants and deodorants on the market contain parabens, endocrine disrupting compounds, petro chemicals and aluminum compounds. Look for deodorants that are all-natural and chemical free.
- Use only natural sunblock! Look for products that contain only zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Avoid products that contain endocrine disrupting compounds such as: benzophenone-3, octinotate, 3-benzylidene camphor, 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene) camphor, 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxy cinnamate, Homosalate, 2-ethylhexyl 4-dimethylaminobenzoate, 4-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), oxybenzone, or retinyl palmitate.
Putting chemicals on your skin everyday might be worse than eating them! According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.3” Yikes!
Do your body a favor and clean up your personal care act. Treat yourself to healthy personal care products: with a little searching, you can find affordable and deliciously indulgent personal care products with pure ingredients that you’ll like much better than their chemical cousins!
Want more handy reference information about chemicals and the sneaky names they hide under? Check all your personal care products at the Environmental Working Group’s page at www.ewg.org/skindeep for more on what they really contain.
- Babich, H, Babich, JP. Sodium lauryl sulfate and triclosan: in vitro cytotoxicity studies with gingival cells. Toxicology Letters, Volume 91, issue 3 (May 16, 1997), p. 189-196. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9217239
- Lee CH, Kim HW, Han HJ, Park CW. A Comparison Study of Nonanoic Acid and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in Skin Irritation. Exog Dermatol 2004;3:19–25. http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/84139
- Mercola J. Deadly and Dangerous Shampoos, Toothpastes, and Detergents: Could 16,000 Studies Be Wrong About SLS? July 13 2013 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/13/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.aspx
Michelle Corey, C.N.W.C., FMC, is a Wellness Recovery Specialist, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, researcher and author. Michelle studied holistic nutrition at Clayton College of Natural Health and completed a comprehensive 2-year practical program at Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics. Since reversing her autoimmune condition, Michelle has helped hundreds of people reverse autoimmune and other chronic conditions. She is currently an advisor to the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics and the Functional Medical University. She is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants. Michelle and offers Functional Mind-Body healing retreats, workshops and online courses.