Is Your Skin Care Regimen Toxic?

Learn how to avoid skin care products with toxins so that your natural beauty can shine forth.

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.

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.

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:

  • Dimethicone or paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil): linked to organ system toxicity.
  • Tochepherol acetate (linked to tumors)
  • Parabens (estrogenic and can lead to hormonal disruptions).

The Environmental Working Group, a consumer oriented group that researches the chemical constituents of cosmetics, has created a database of all the chemicals commonly found in lotions, make up, and other skin care products and rates the toxicity of each based on their impact on internal bodily systems. You can easily type in your skin care product names and get quick and visual information about the toxicity rating.

Also, you can research ingredients in your favorite make up lines by visiting the Truth in Aging website and enter ingredients in their search box.

What Symptoms Might Arise When Exposed Regularly to Toxins in Skin Care Products?

  • Skin irritation especially around thinner or more fragile skin such as around the eyes, lips, neck or inner wrists.
  • Fatigue.
  • Mood swings.
  • Menstrual irregularities.
  • Increase of hot flashes if you are menopausal.
  • Body aches.
  • Digestive upset.
  • Increase of allergies.
  • Sleep disruptions.

Of course, these symptoms can also be indicative of other health issues, so it is best to visit with a physician to rule out other concern, but also you might want to switch to skin care products that do not contain toxins to see if symptoms improve.

What Products are Safer to Use?

That question led me to create my own line of skin care botanicals that I use on my clients during the energy bliss facials which include distilled water, vitamin E, organic vegetable glycerin, and organic essential oils (litsea, palmarosa, peppermint, rosemary, lavendar and vanilla)--and nothing else. They are hand blended and made in small quantities to insure freshness.

I also use a few of the commercially produced skin serums from Naturopathica during my session work and on my own face such as the plant stem serum and neroli serum from Naturopathica.

Notice that I said a "few" of the commercially produced skin serums, as even the natural lines may contain petroleum products like dimethicone. Read labels carefully.

Also some mineral make up imay be free of the more toxic ingredients, but recently there has been concern that inhaling the small particles of mineral dust may cause bronchial irritation or create a carcinogenic effect within the lungs.

A safer alternative is to find a lotion that is free of chemicals and add the mineral make up powder to it (while wearing a dust mask) to create a cream to use each day, so that you're not inhaling these small particles of mineral dust.

With a little bit of research and mindfulness, you can create a beauty regimen that is free of toxins so that your inner health and light can shine through unobstructed and create a deeper beauty that lasts a life time!

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.