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Originally published December 26 2007

Make it a Merry Less-Toxic Christmas This Year

by Al G Smith

(NaturalNews) It's Christmas morning. You know, the day that you've been working towards for the last two months. The kids are gathering around the Christmas tree eager to open their presents. Maybe even you and your loved one are 'kind of' looking forward to the day? It's a pretty good bet that you'll receive, or you'll be giving, some 'smellies' of one kind or another. Maybe you are giving them the latest designer perfume from this or that big brand name. Perhaps you'll be receiving a super set of skin care products with body creams and bath gels and more.

As the wrappers come off and the gifts are revealed, the air will soon become heavy with various scents. But hang-on, let's rewind for a moment, for although all this 'giving' is what Christmas is about, you really should be thinking about just what it is you are giving to those you love.

It is easy to be swayed by the marketing hype, the glamorous advertising, and the romantic imagery. However, it is very likely that whenever your 'nearest-and-dearest' spray themselves with the contents of the gift you have given, or lather themselves in that relaxing bath, or daub themselves with that unctuous cream, they may also be slowly poisoning themselves.

Sounds dramatic? Don't be too sure. For almost all typical 'off-the-shelf' skin care and cosmetics contain numerous synthetic chemicals, many of which have long been known to be toxic. Although this may seem unbelievable it is in fact the case, because there are many toxic synthetic chemicals that have been allowed for use in personal care products that have never been required to undergo exhaustive testing.

Thankfully more and more people are becoming informed about dubious chemicals like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its ethylated relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and are aware of how unpleasant these harsh degreasers can be. But these are only the tip of an iceberg of tens of thousands of chemical constituents that may be slowly damaging your epidermis, as well as being absorbed into your skin cells and bloodstream.

It is a startling fact that many body 'care' products routinely contain ingredients that are known mutagens that can cause damage to your DNA, with the potential to cause effects that may not display until generations on in your family. Indeed it is impossible (due to lack of credible research) for it to be definitely stated that the surge in cancer statistics, seen over recent decades, is not in part (or even in the main!) due to our liberal daily use of these toxic synthetic-chemical-cocktails on our skin and scalps.

In fact we start dousing our children soon after birth with questionable chemical laden substances whenever we 'clean' them with a typical baby wipe! Have you ever looked on the label of these supposedly 'safe' and almost universal Mothering standbys? But that's the topic for another article.

The main point to make here is that if you truly care about the people you give gifts to this Christmas, don't simply fall for the marketing men's hype. Do not just buy the latest designer perfumes, body creams, shampoos and conditioners as gift unless you have checked out the label and assured yourself that the ingredients are risk free.

Around the world this Christmas there will assuredly be many more millions of dollars being paid into the personal care products manufacturers' coffers. This massive business, alongside the food industry and the pharmaceutical companies, is worth billions and they sell us dreams through the use of sophisticated marketing via all forms of media.

Even today, the huge advertising revenues that are earned annually by most of the major 'lifestyle' magazines and TV companies is a tacit assurance that little in the way of bad-press will be published about the potential toxicity of the products you may be putting on your skin every day. After all, why would any general media outlet 'bite the hand that feeds it'?

It is really up to you to do your 'due diligence'. Learn about the chemicals you should avoid. Always check the label of any body care, skin care, hair care, oral care or other personal products you buy. There are safer alternative products out there. They are made with all natural ingredients that have been used for thousands of years and are known to be inert and innocuous to the human body, and beneficial to the skin. The safest of such ingredients come with the logo of a credible and trusted 'Organic Certification' organization. This is because organically produced ingredients will also have the lowest levels of toxic agro-chemical residues in them (it should, of course, be nil. But in today's sadly polluted environment 'nearly nil' is probably the best you can hope for!)

Christmas is a time for giving. The enjoyment of seeing friend's, partner's and children's faces light-up to a gift you have given is an unalloyed joy. But make sure, if you can, that you can enjoy the emotional rewards of giving this year, by choosing body-care gifts that are as safe as can be. It is good to give, but it is better to give knowing that the Christmas presents you have bought for a loved one are not going to slowly poison them!

Have a happy, less-toxic Christmas this year...and every year.

About the author

Al G Smith MSc BSc - Has been working and teaching in the food related sector for over 30 years and is currently a website publisher ( and Independent Representative for the World's first extensive range of Certified Organic skin care and cosmetics (

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