It's that time of year again - resolution time!
If you are like me your resolutions involve working to improve your health. A huge and often overlooked part of our health is our exposure to toxins. We usually don't think of our cosmetics as a source of toxicity but the average woman is exposed to 168 chemicals EVERY day (men are exposed to about 85 chemicals daily).
I invite you to start your resolutions early and join my #ditchdecember challenge
Use the list below and the resources provided and take a closer look at your cosmetics. Share on your social media outlets what you have learned, what products you are ditching, what new products you are hoping to try and use the hashtag #ditchdecember. At the end of December I will be randomly picking a photo that used the hashtag and that person will win a Lifetime of Love/Pacha Mama Body Care Lavender Room and Linen Spray and Lavender Lip Balm.
5 Toxins to Ditch this December
1. Fragrance (aka Parfum)
You know when you walk into an elevator with someone that has bathed in cologne and you instantly get a headache? Ya, that's "fragrance", and it's damage goes beyond just headaches.
Fragrance has been associated with allergies, dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system.
Scientists have recently started referring to fragrance as the new secondhand smoke and if you've ever experienced that elevator example you'll understand why. Unfortunately fragrance can be found in more than just cologne and perfume. You will find it in shampoo, conditioner, body wash, laundry detergent and body creams - basically any scented product. The cosmetics industry is allowed to use the term "fragrance" to encompass over 3000 different chemicals, providing a loophole whereby manufacturers are able to protect "trade secrets" by not being required to fully disclose what is meant when you see "fragrance" on a label. This makes it impossible for consumers to fully understand what they are exposing themselves to when they consume these products.
Phthalates are found in products such as nail polish, hair spray, perfumes and lotions.
They are known endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, increased risk of liver disease, early breast development in girls and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
Phthalates are used to keep plastic flexible so you will find this chemical lurking in more than just your cosmetics. Be conscious of plastic bottles, toys for babies (especially anything that goes in their mouths!) and plastic food containers. Ditch this toxic chemical and look for phthalates free products and avoid plastic containers as much as possible.
Methylparaben, propyparaben or ethylparaben are all chemicals called parabens that are used as a preservative in cosmetics such as makeup, body wash, deodoransts, shampoos and facial cleansers.
The issue with parabens is that they can mimic the action of estrogen in the body causing endocrine chaos, increasing the risk of breast cancer and impairing normal estrogen function.
Parabens also interfere with male reproduction function by acting as a xenoestrogen which is bad news if found in too high amounts in a male body. Ditch this toxic chemical! Look for labels that say paraben free.
Triclosan is a widely used for its action as an antimicrobial. If a hand soap says "antibacterial" on it's label it most likely contains triclosan. You can find it in other products such as toothpaste and deodorants. Unfortunately this chemical is a known endocrine disruptor - meaning it interferes with the normal functioning of of our endocrine system including the thyroid and reproductive hormones. Studies are also showing that triclosan contributes to antibiotic resistance, fostering the rise of "super bugs". There also isn't enough evidence showing that triclosan is any better then regular soap and water. Ditch that antibacterial hand wash and stick with good old fashioned soap.
Studies are also showing that triclosan contributes to antibiotic resistance, fostering the rise of "super bugs".
There also isn't enough evidence showing that triclosan is any better then regular soap and water.
5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) /
Naomi Higenbottam is a Registered Nurse, Holistic Nutritionist and owner of Pacha Mama Body Care. She has a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, a Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from York University and a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Waterloo. She has also completed certifications from The School of Herbal and Aromatic Studies Herbal Academy and Vintage Remedies.
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