There are over 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in personal care products, and the average woman wears at least 515 of them every day! The truth is, more than 90% have never been tested for safety.(1) Of this small sample of chemicals that have been tested, many are now known or are strongly suspected of causing cancer, genetic mutation or birth defects.
A Press Release from the Cancer Prevention Coalition dated June 17, 2002, states, “Cancer and health risk experts just concluded reviews that indicate mainstream cosmetics, and personal hygiene products pose the HIGHEST cancer risk exposure to the general public, even higher than smoking.”
It’s summertime and at least 70% of women use a sunscreen under their makeup. Unfortunately, sunscreens that contain Retinyl Palmitate, may actually increase the growth of cancerous skin tumors and lesions.(2) Most sunscreens aren’t safe or protective against skin cancer and have a long list of toxic chemicals difficult to pronounce. Oxybenzone is commonly used in sunscreens and is an endocrine disruptor. Today more than ever it’s important to be aware of carcinogenic sunscreens that both line the retail shelves of grocery stores, as well as big box stores. Several studies have actually confirmed that appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer and is our best source of vitamin D.
Solutions: There’s no reason to waste seventy dollars on a moisture cream with an SPF of 45 or 50. According to EWG, high-SPF products may not really be high-SPF.(3) If you are going to be outside in the sun all day, I would recommend a clear zinc sunscreen, such as Babo Botanical. Spray sunscreens are never suggested.
A study has found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, or Vanicream could increase skin cancer risk. Mineral oil has been linked to no less than twenty-three different diseases and health problems. Ingredients in body moisturizers can include: Arsenic, Coal Tars, Mineral oils, and Ionizing radiation and are linked to skin cancer.(4)
Solutions: Our skin eats. So why not choose to feed it organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil?
Consider the fact that petroleum products, aluminum, Parabens, and Triclosan can be found in deodorants. These prevalent toxins can make their homes in the fat cells of our breast and underarms, creating havoc in our internal environment. Deodorants can harm our central nervous system, metabolic system, and endocrine system. Additionally, the ingredients are linked to cancer.
Solutions: You can mix organic geranium essential oil with aluminum free baking soda, for a homemade deodorant. OR, you can purchase Nourish Organic cream deodorant with geranium. Please note: Uncontrollable body orders can be linked to poor gut bacteria and dehydration.
A topical application of Benzoyl peroxide as a treatment for oily skin or acne can put you at risk for Melanoma. Skin tumor-promoting activity of benzoyl peroxide is a widely used free radical, generating compound.(5)
Solutions: Use organic carrot seed or organic lemon essential oil on your skin instead. These are far safer and less toxic.
Skin Lighting Creams
Mercury can be found in excess over the legal limit in skin lightening creams.(6) Skin lightening creams are used on the face for hyper-pigmentation. Besides toxicities, they have never proven effective for long-lasting results.
Solutions: Make an appointment for a diamond peel at your local spa instead.
Magnesium silicate is a primary component of talcum powder. Talc can contain silica and often be contaminated with asbestos.(7) Body powders can increase our risk for ovarian cancers.
Solutions: You can mix 1/4 cup kuzu root starch and 1/3 cup rice flour with 7 drops of organic lavender essential oil. OR, you can purchase Miessence Organic Body Powder.
Have you ever opened a new mascara only to find it was too smelly to use? I have. Whether we pay $5. or $35. the mascara we choose can contain toxic cancer-causing chemicals. Conventional mascaras usually include toxic polymers, petroleum distillates, petrolatum, formaldehyde, aluminum, Retinyl Acetate, fragrance, and parabens that can increase the aging process.
Solutions: Purchase an organic fragrance-free mascara such as Nvey Eco Organic Mascara. Always discard mascaras after six months.
Hairsprays contain chemicals that are environmentally risky. I’ve seen customers develop rashes on their forehead from frequent hairspray use. Common ingredients in hairsprays are shellac, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, denatured alcohol and propylene glycol. Hairsprays can cause multiple chemical sensitivities. Because of their noxious fumes hairsprays can lead to lung damage.(8)
Solutions: I use a product called: Intelligent Nutrients hair balm. It’s not a spray, but it’s certified organic!
Toothpaste ingredients can include fluorides, sodium lauryl sulfate, saccharin, propylene glycol and several colored dyes. These have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
Solutions: You can choose non-fluoride, non-chemical toothpaste. OR, you can use a dab of Dr Christopher’s Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder. OR, you can purchase Organic BR Brushing Rinse and add a drop of organic peppermint essential oil to your brush.
It’s ironic that Revlon has a campaign called “Kisses for the Cure” that urges women to buy lipstick to fight breast cancer. The ingredients in toxic lipsticks can include Tar, Lead, Formaldehyde, Petroleum Distillates, Propylparaben, Polypropylene and more.
Seeking health is a battle for everyone. We can unwittingly fall into pleasure-traps when choosing fashionable cosmetics and toiletries. Remember knowing how to read labels is key in order to help you reduce your cancer risk. As a spa owner for almost four decades, I’ve researched ingredients that can disrupt the delicate balance of our skin, hormones, and metabolism. If television promotes a cream or potion to look twenty years younger, my suggestion would be to disregard this misinformation that may eventually cause you harm.