Ever since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I began my “chemical-sleuthing” and “product-changing” project to avoid all nasty toxic chemicals in order to go toxic-free in that aspect of my life, and one of these commonly overlooked sources of toxins can be found right on your dressing table. That’s right, it’s the cosmetics!
All women, regardless of ages and complexion, apply cosmetics on a daily basis simply because we want to look good and we love to be complimented for looking good. This is simply ordinary and totally normal. It is also common for us to have 10 to 20 different types of cosmetic items, and it is the using of these cosmetics on a daily basis that is all it takes for our body to absorb nearly 5 pounds of make up chemicals a year. These chemicals may include carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins and others that are known as toxic effects.
Who is Looking Out for My Safety As I Apply these Cosmetics?
It never cross my mind to even ask myself that when I apply my lipstick, the eye shadow, that mascara, who are actually the watchdog for ensuring safety of the ingredients that go into making of these cosmetics. I naturally presume that these products are safe and they have had prior approval from a regulatory body for safe usage.
In reality, cosmetic products and their ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority (except for colour additives), meaning to say there exists a false veil of safety that leads many of us to believe that the make ups are all safe for use when in fact, they may probably not.
There’s a Good Chance Our Cosmetics Contain Toxins
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) stated in their Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database that:
“While some companies make products that are safe to eat, other companies choose to use known human carcinogens or developmental toxins. Nearly all these chemicals can penetrate the skin, and some we ingest directly from our lips or hand.
More than 1/3 of all personal care products contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer. When risky and unstudied chemicals are used in cosmetics, the stakes can be high – unlike trace contaminants in food or tap water, chemicals in cosmetics are base ingredients.“
Take a quick look at this 7-minute video – The Story of Cosmetics – that talks about pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our daily make up, skin care and personal care products and the implications they have on our wellness and health.
Beauty Without Toxins – Take Action to Green Our Cosmetics Now
Since FDA is not looking out for us, we should exercise our own due diligence when choosing the products we buy. A good start is to be aware of the top offenders in the cosmetic market and avoid them totally. Additionally, we can follow some simple guidelines stated below:
- Look out for genuine USDA Organic Seal or ECOCERT Organic Seal. The USDA’s National Organic program aims to make sure that products sold in the US that are marketed as “ORGANIC” meet consistent, uniform standards. Meanwhile, Ecocert lays down standards to ensure environmentally friendly cosmetic product. For the natural and organic cosmetic label, a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.
- Look for products made by ‘green’ companies.
- Look for products that come in glass bottles rather than plastics.
- Stick to products from the selected trustworthy companies/brands. Simplify your beauty regimen.
- Choose products that are fragrance free.
- Look out for offending ingredients in the products. These include: Urea (Imidazolidinyl) and Diazolidinyl Urea, Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and & Ethyl), petroleum used in lip products, petroleum jelly (Vaseline) also in the form of mineral oil, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolmine (TEA), Alcohol (Isopropyl) and other proucts to avoid such as Triclosan, synthetic colours and synthetic fragrances.
Green Beauty – Time for a Change
I was sick to my stomach after learning the news that a recent federal analysis showed 400 shades of popular lipstick contained trace amounts of lead. No amount of lead is acceptable in our body, let along built up of lead over time through applying lead-containing lipstick daily or even several times daily. Imagine, how much lead are added up and this can built up to a significant exposure level that will harm nearly every system in our body.
What can I do about this? The only action left of me is to overhaul my entire beauty regime as soon as possible and as completely as possible. Of course, there is this thing about budget and cost consideration. I think a good way is to progressively move away from the known toxic products towards green beauty products that reduce the ‘toxic load’ in my body (Doing all at one go may not bankrupt me but my pocket will suffer a big punch for sure!)
This is my latest scavenger of green, organic and toxic-free cosmetic made in Japan called NaturaGlace. Naturaglacé is made of 100% natural & organic ingredients, and they do not use synthetic surfactant, synthetic polymers, silicon, tar colorant, synthetic preservatives, synthetic fragrances or mineral oils. All products can be removed with just soap and water, which is absolutely safe for sensitive skin or during pregnancy. What is fantastic about a product that is truly green, organic and free of toxins? It is that you can even eat it without worrying.
So, when are you going to green your cosmetics loot? Personally, I think that there are more and more shops selling organic and toxic-free cosmetics online than there were in the past (due to increased awareness) so there are no worries really about choices. But do you agree that it’s more of an issue of budgetary consideration? My small and incomplete overhaul alone (above) had almost cost me close to USD500!