I work quite a bit with clients who are recovering from cancer who need to be very selective about skin care products due to the high level of toxic ingredients found in everyday cosmetics, from deodorants, to lotions, to toothpaste.
Yet, every one of us, whether recovering from cancer or not, should be concerned with minimizing exposure to toxic ingredients through the largest immunity organ of the body, our skin.
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The function of our skin is to act as a barrier in keeping toxic materials from entering our bodies on a cellular and organ level.
Many high-end cosmetic companies are formulating their make up lines with nanoparticles, particles that are ultra-fine between 100 and 1 nanometers. These small particles are capable of penetrating the skin to the cellular level to rehydrate the skin and supposedly reverse the signs of aging. However, if the products also contain petroleum or other toxic chemicals, those toxins also have an opportunity to penetrate deep to a cellular level instead of just sitting on the top of the skin.
Once toxins penetrate the skin barrier, significant biochemical changes may occur in our bodies (including hormonal shifts) as many of these chemicals are estrogenic (especially parabens which can cause estrogen spikes) and also may weaken the immunity system and other major organ systems over time.
While you may use small amounts of these products daily and may not feel ill, the current thinking is that over a period of time, when the body receives daily exposure to these toxins, eventually the body will manifest some form of disruption such as chronic fatigue, cancer, digestive disorders, chronic pain and other health concerns.
What is alarming is that the FDA is not currently regulating the inclusion of nanoparticles or toxic chemicals in our cosmetics. Why not? Cosmetics are traditionally classified as temporary and superficial substances that do not impact the body on a systemic level. However, with the nanoparticle delivery methods, our modern cosmetics are indeed capable of creating cellular impact on the body. Thus, the latest buzz word in the cosmetics industry is "bio-cosmetics" which implies that the cosmetics are no longer just superficial and floating on the skin but are impacting the body at a cellular level.
What's in Your Make-Up and Skin Care Products?
While required to label products, cosmetic companies often make the labels very small and difficult to read, often listing the botanical ingredients high on the label, such that the consumer reads that first and gets lulled into thinking the product is natural and safe.
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Yet, often near the middle or end of the label, you will see a list of chemicals that are not merely the latin names of botanicals but often are the synthetic chemicals or even natural chemicals that can irritate the skin.
Thus, a product with huge letters on the package that tout "All Natural" or "Organic" can still be toxic and contain these common ingredients: