If you want to keep a clean bucket in your garden, you have to protect it from dirt or else you’ll have to empty it frequently. The human body is much the same. We are exposed to environmental toxins every day. Some of them are self-inflicted and others are hard to avoid. But getting rid of them takes more than a shower! A shower may make you smell sweet but every day that you shower and wash your hair you breathe in chlorine gas. Most people proceed to lather on deodorant and skin cream providing a layer of synthetic chemicals and mineral oils being slowly absorbed by your skin.
Skin, our sheath, is porous. Skin creams or deodorants contain ingredients that are absorbed via the skin into the blood stream and circulate round the whole body. In the end they are deposited in our tissues. Some ingredients aren’t dangerous, but they all raise the burden or unnatural substances our body has to deal with daily.
One of the most harmful ingredients are the group of plasticizers called phthalates. They are the chemicals that make PVC and plastics plyable. But they are also used in creams to keep your skin soft, creams homogenous and in nail polish. Of all the chemicals found in skin care products, phthalates are among the most dangerous.
Another group of chemicals are parabens. These are common preservatives that mimic estrogen in structure and there may be a link between these preservatives and cancer.
There are laws in many countries restricting the use of synthetic colors in food, but most women paint themselves with synthetic colors every day. Many of these colors are carcinogenic. A single cosmetic product can be safe on its own, but the sum of the many different products you combine daily may create what can be considered a serious risk.
Choose your skin care products with care. If you lead a life that is free from toxins, well chosen cosmetics will not cause serious harm. But if you want to minimize the risks in your life you would be wise to remember that beauty comes from within – a nutritious diet made of organically grown food, clean water, and a life with sufficient rest and relaxation are the cornerstones of beauty.
Transitioning to products that are labeled with for example EU Ecolabel, or the swedish labeling Bra miljöval, Svanen or Astma- och Allergiförbundet, for cleaning, washing and skin care products will quickly put you on the road to reducing the risk of being exposed to an environmental cocktail.