As you might know, many personal care items such as shampoos, body wash, makeup and sunscreen all contain a dizzying array of ingredients on their labels, but, how much of the components in your products contain chemicals that are toxic and can wreak havoc on your health?
It may or may not surprise you that most of the ingredients in everyday personal care items are full of dangerous chemicals, so it is important to know their effects. The fact is, our skin acts as a sponge rather than a barrier, and we absorb up to 60 percent of what is put on our skin. Even worse, children’s bodies are at a higher risk since their bodies absorb 40 to 50 percent more than adults.
These staggering statistics further prove the importance in checking your product labels on all skincare, cosmetics, and personal care items, and be sure to always choose organic items that are free of harmful synthetic chemicals.
Ingredients to avoid:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- DEA, MEA and TEA
- Sunscreen chemicals
- FD&C color
- PEG (Polyethylene glycol)
- DMDM Hydantoin and Urea
- Propylene Glycol & Butylene Glycol
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Obviously, those names don’t sound natural or healthy for use. In fact, below are just some of the most common effects the chemicals have on our health. Since most of the major beauty, cosmetics, and skincare products have a combination of the above ingredients, plus more, you should also strive to buy organically, since the toxins are linked to:
- Breast cancer
- Skin dermatitis
- Attention deficit disorder
- Type II diabetes
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Behavioral issues
- Neurodevelopment issues
- Birth defects
- Low IQs
- Altered reproductive development
- Skin allergies
While your health is certainly reason enough to forgo all products that pose a risk to you and your family, these chemicals don’t stop there. Their damage reaches past humans, and affects the environment and planet. Think for a second: If all those chemicals are harmful to our bodies, what do you think they do to the planet when flushed or rinsed down the drain?
Since our sewage systems are not quite intelligent enough to separate the toxins, they end up hurting aquatic life and ecosystems, and further threatening the already vulnerable water supply. Even the products that are thrown out into the garbage bin find their way to landfills and, eventually, the toxic concoctions seep into the earth. If you haven’t assumed it already, they are no better for the soil than for our bodies or waterways.
Some of the ways non-organic personal care products affect our environment:
- Strong plastics that hold beauty products are often tossed in landfills and take hundreds of years to break down.
- Chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products cause genetic mutation in aquatic life, along with altered behavior and growth in many different species.
- They cause death in many fish, plankton, and amphibians.
- They contribute changes to the biochemistry to fish, amphibians, and aquatic plants.
- They affect the reproductive cycles, and population and growth patterns of fish, insects, plankton, aquatic plants, and amphibians.
- Unsustainable harvesting poses a threat to plants, animals, and the local ecosystems.
- They expose water to chemicals that deem it unsafe for consumption. Animals and plants who come into contact with water experience health issues, and the chemicals threaten populations of many species.
While you may have vowed to take better care of your health and the planet by purchasing green products that are organic and safe for both you and Earth, what do you do with the remainder of your hazardous products? Your best bet is to safely dispose of them in a hazardous waste facility, and then make it a point to avoid future purchases of a similar nature.
Why you should always choose organic products:
- You can safely dispose of the product without threatening our Earth.
- Products are safe to go down the drain.
- They work better. (No, really!)
- There are no toxic or synthetic chemicals in them, meaning your health is not compromised.
- Packaging is usually recyclable and/or biodegradable, taking up less space in landfills.
So, remember, turning our beauty routines green will help preserve our planet and keep our children’s (and grandchildren’s, great-grandchildren’s, and so forth) environment safe. It pays to educate yourself about the practices we do today and the effects they have on future generations. Be sure to always look at your product’s ingredient list, purchase organically, and recycle all possible packaging.