(NaturalNews) Good health, radiant skin and vitality always begin with what we take out of our bodies as opposed to what we put in. This is one of the reasons why many people feel much better, rejuvenated, lighter and brighter after a proper detox in the form of elimination, fasting or even half-fasting.
In our quest for wellness and a path to high energy levels it is important to eliminate what our bodies don`t need, chemicals/toxins which are part of everyday life as they exist in foods, cosmetics, toiletries, soaps, perfume, laundry as well as general household products.
Do you know that what you put on your skin, scalp, eyes and gums is absorbed straight into your body`s organs/tissues, cells and even the brain? Put simply, we are ingesting and therefore literally eating many substances that are toxic to our systems and that cause our bodies to slow down in their constant attempt of ridding toxins or to `shove` them into our fat cells for safer storage.
Here is a typical scenario of how chemicals pervade our everyday life. From research in the US (www.ewg.org/skindeep
), the average American consumer uses close to 100 toxic chemicals before she/he leaves the house in the morning. In this case, by the time the average consumer leaves their home in the morning, they`ve already poisoned their liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart, lungs and particularly the brain.
We have now come to realise that some brand name dog food is so toxic that it may kill your dog, that toys from China contain dangerous levels of lead, that perfume products can contain as many as 21 different carcinogenic chemicals
and that even popular laundry detergent products wash our clothes in a toxic brew of chemicals and artificial fragrances.
The sad truth is that even walking through the aisles of many health food stores in Australia, there are still so called `healthy` products
that contain the kind of chemicals that are found in more commercial products.
So what can we do to avoid the trap of buying products that we believe to be ok, and in actual fact, they are not? Simple, before buying and using these products check the ingredients listed. There are numerous consumer websites that provide concise, relevant information on all chemicals typically used and what side effects are. Here is a selection: http://www.health-report.co.uk/ingredients-directory.htm#toxic%20chem...www.hazard.com/msds
Once you do this exercise, you are on your way to stepping up to becoming a savvy shopper in a world of information overload. It is also helpful to bear in mind that even with all the knowledge and effort, completely avoiding all the chemicals that exist in our world right now is highly unlikely and impossible, unless we live on a desert island with no fuel or modern technology. Yet, the process of cutting out and cutting down on the use of products that contain chemicals, such as those found in deodorants, toothpaste, shampoos, toilet sprays and washing powders, is a great start! The good news is that we have good alternatives to mainstream brands and they work well too. They are usually found on the internet as they do not spend enormous amounts of money on advertising; instead, they just put out good quality products.
To clarify the situation for you, here is a typical list of ingredients on a jar of hand cream: Water, Stearic Acid, Sorbitol, Glycerin, C-12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Borate TEA, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Aloe Vera, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Quince Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Potassium Sorbate, EDTA, Allantoin, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben, Menthol.
The product above is described as containing "natural" herbal extracts. That is misleading marketing as it also contains at least five nasties that really do not belong in a product that masquerades as containing "natural" herbal extracts.
Let's look at one of the most common of these nasties parabens.
Parabens inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast, and molds and have been used in personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and sunscreens for years. The main reason for use of parabens is because they allow these products to survive for months, or years, during shipping and on store shelves. Parabens are one of the most commonly used ingredients in personal care products. The only ingredient used more frequently is water.
Studies have now shown that parabens mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen, which is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_6961.cfm
and can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male gynecomastia (breast growth). http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/09/25/the-hid...
Parabens are regularly found in shampoos and conditioners, creams and lotions, deodorants and antiperspirants, sunscreens and cosmetics. You can identify parabens on the label, where they may be listed as:
ingredients to avoid:
Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40) Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES)
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
Anionic Surfactants Benzalkonium Chloride
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) Cationic surfactants
Chloromethylisothiazolinone & Isothiazolinone Cocoamidopropyl Betaine
Cyclomethicone DEA (diethanolamine)
Dimethicone Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate
Ethoxylated surfactants FD&C Colour Pigments
Fragrance Hydrolysed Animal Protein
Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen
Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine Lauryl Sarcosine
MEA compounds Methylisothiazolinone
Mineral OilNitrosating Agents
Paraben preservatives (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl)
Paraffin wax/oil Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) compounds
PVP/VA Copolymer Quaternium-7, 15, 31, 60,
Rancid Natural Emollients
Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate Silicone derived emollients
Sodium Laureth Sulfate SLES
Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate
For an even more comprehensive database visit http://www.speclab.com/compound/chemcas.htm
Are all the chemicals found in cosmetics absorbed through the skin?
Yes, but the capacity for absorption varies widely. Some areas of the body such as lips, gums, underarms and around the eyes absorb chemicals more readily than other areas. In addition, many products contain penetration enhancers, chemicals that allow other ingredients to penetrate skin more deeply and quickly.Also chemicals in cosmetics and household cleaners are inhaled or ingested during use. The various `fragrances` contain volatile chemicals. For example, nail polish and nail polish remover contain solvents that are problematic by just inhaling them because nail polish is essentially a solvent-based paint, and nail polish remover is like paint remover.
Baby powder and other powders, as well as aerosol products such as deodorants and hair sprays, may also be inhaled during use. Products that are applied on or around the lips such as lipstick and lip gloss are ingested during application or afterwards. The colours, fragrances and other chemicals typically used in lipsticks go straight to the organs of digestion. The great news is that there are good quality chemical free lipstick ranges that effectively replace traditional coloured lipstick.
What is the story on phthalates and how can I avoid them?
Phthalates are plasticising chemicals that have been called "the everywhere chemicals" because they are used in so many types of products such as food wraps and many pliable plastics and containers. Also used in hairsprays and some cosmetics including nail varnishes from where they are readily absorbed into the system. Phthalates are implicated with low sperm counts and also causing sexual abnormalities and deformities and are also linked with asthma, and kidney and liver damage. Phthalates are common ingredients in fragrances (such as perfumes and colognes) and many products containing fragrance
, as well as nail polishes and treatments.
Avoid fragrances and products listing "fragrance" as an ingredient (this can include a wide variety of products such as deodorant, soap, hair products, skin care products, and makeup). Products that claim to be "fragrance-free" on packaging may contain masking fragrances to cover the odor of other ingredients; make sure that the ingredient list doesn`t include "fragrance". Also avoid products that list phthalates in the ingredients: look out for nail polishes and treatments in particular, which often contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
What can we use instead of fragrances?
The purest of purest organic essential oils make exquisite fragrances. Oils such as jasmine, sandalwood, frankincense and bergamot can all be used as a fragrance in an aerosol spray for the bathroom or kitchen, and they can be used as antibacterial agents in soaps, even creams for the face and body.
It is important to be aware that a lot of essential oils on the market use chemicals and can cause headaches, skin irritations and even toxic reactions so it is really important to only use the oils that are 100% pure, organic, therapeutic and unadulterated.
Is it true that some hair dyes contain lead?
Yes. Some gradual hair colors contain lead acetate. Lead is an extremely toxic chemical that harms children`s intelligence, and no safe level of exposure has been found. In addition, high levels of lead create artificial anemia as lead lowers the bioavailability of iron in the body. That is we can be eating a high meat intake and still have an iron deficiency because of the high levels of lead in our cells.
Hair coloring products are among the most hazardous cosmetics. Least dangerous are probably the temporary dyes. Permanent dyes contain a mixture of potent chemicals that can cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation. Many coal tar colors used in some hair dyes are carcinogenic and products containing them are best avoided.
You can research products that you are using, or considering using, in the Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org
Skin Deep Database. This database ranks thousands of products based on their safety.
Are antimicrobial hand soaps better than ordinary hand soaps?
Not at all. Washing hands with hot water and plain soap is just as effective. Antibacterial soaps have little effect against viruses and therefore don`t protect against colds or the flu any more than ordinary soap.
How do I find better alternatives and safe products?
Chemical-free products exist and most of them can be purchased from online websites. Initially, it might seem time consuming to search and read all the labels and to start getting familiar with the chemicals found but in the end, it is worth the effort, as it is about our health and energy levels.
In summary to increase energy and build on health start eliminating products that contain chemicals and assist the body in excreting the already built up chemicals load. Spend some time before buying on researching chemical-free alternatives as an important exercise in not only becoming a smarter consumer but becoming aware of misleading marketing statements used to sell products that at the end of the day are just promoting products with chemicals. In cosmetics particularly, these products promise diminishing signs of ageing. How is that possible, when in fact the chemicals found in these products do in fact accelerate the process of internal ageing of the cells, organs and tissues?
Fortunately, there are companies that employ high ethics and integrity in formulating and delivering ranges of organic/chemical-free products and most of them may be found on the web. Before trying these products check the ingredients by referring to the various databases (mentioned above). In addition, ask via email if any other ingredients are used in their products. All of this makes a difference to our health as good health is not so much about what we put in as what we take out, and it starts with what we don`t need - toxic chemicals.
Cosmetics Ingredient Review (CIR) (2003). 2003 CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
Cosmetics Ingredient Review (CIR) (2004). CIR information available at http://www.cir-safety.org,
accessed May 6 2004.
Department of Trade and Industry, UK (DTI) (1998). A survey of cosmetic and certain other skin-contact products for n-nitrosamines.
About the author
Teya Skae M.A. ATMS
Corporate Wellness Presenter/Researcher and Author
As the founder of Empowered Living Teya has developed a results based I.D.E.A.L Solutions for increasing your energy, focus and personal Success!
Teya is also a QUIT smoking specialist with proven results in one session guaranteed.
For Tangible Results and Solutions to Fat Loss, Physical, Emotional and Mental Fitness visit www.empowered-living.com.au
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