"If you thought the FDA does a subpar job in regulating what goes into our food supply, you'll be equally appalled, if not more, on its regulation of cosmetic and personal care products. The same way you look at food labels, you should do the same for your beauty products."
~ Vanessa Cunningham, nutrition & wellness expert
Toxins are any substances that create irritating and/or harmful effects in the body, undermining our health, or stressing our biochemical or organ functions. They are found everywhere - in the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, products we use, and things we come into contact with.
Our bodies are designed to handle a certain amount of toxins - which is a good thing since it's impossible to avoid all toxic exposure. But our natural detoxification pathways can become overloaded with the constant and ever-increasing number of toxins we encounter, and that's where we can get into trouble and dis-ease can develop.
"Our health is threatened not only by individual chemicals - deadly or toxic - but even more by the overall chemical load that the human organism now has to sustain."
~ Joseph D. Beasley, M.D., Ph.D.
The good news is that there is a LOT that we can do to reduce our toxic exposure. Filtering our water, choosing an organic, real food diet, and engaging in healthy habits like exercise, getting adequate sleep, taking good quality supplements, and spending time in nature are all extremely helpful.
Another very important area we can impact is in our selection of cosmetic and personal care products. There are thousands of chemicals in these products - many of which are being absorbed into our body from toothpaste, soap, shampoos & conditioners, moisturizers, body washes, cosmetics, and more. And many of these chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disruptors, and are cancinogenic, which can lead to serious adverse health affects.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that the average person uses approximately 10-15 personal care products with 26 different ingredients every day. The skin is our largest organ and, with it's porous surface, it takes only 26 seconds for those toxins to enter our bloodstream and begin circulating throughout our body.
"There are thousands of chemicals in your products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. It's impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to."
~ Vanessa Cunningham
So finding healthier alternatives to personal care products is just as important as eating the best foods. Look for products that are certified organic. This means that at least 95% of the ingredients must be organic. To see a listing of acceptable products you can visit the Environmental Working Group's "skin deep" web page, or to see how your current products measure up simply google your product's name plus "EWG rating" to see the results. Ideally you are looking for a rating or 1 or 2 to be considered safe.
Happy, Healthy Living!
JoAnn Newton is a Holistic Nutrition Educator and Master Massage Therapist with a private practice in Graton, CA.
Passionate about helping people transform their health through holistic nutrition, she facilitates the 23 day online Nutritional E-Cleanse Program with coaching, compassion, and humor.