Just like the food we put in our bodies, the things we put ON our bodies have incredible effects on our health and wellness. Shampoos, lotions, foundations, etc can actually be very harmful. Ingredients in them have been linked to so many crazy things like hormonal disruptions and even cancer. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably rolling your eyes right now because “everything can cause cancer”. I know there are lots of studies with lots of different perspectives and opinions, but it is ignorant to believe that the things you put on your skin and in your hair (which goes directly into your bloodstream) doesn’t affect your health in any way.
Our federal beauty standards (the laws – not like who’s hot and who’s not) have not had a major update SINCE 1938! 1938! This was the same year that Adolf Hitler’s army marched into the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. It’s 2018 HELLO! We’ve had incredible advances in science and technology since then, and while we need to continue to push for legislative change, there are things we can do as consumers to better protect ourselves and take more responsibility. Cosmetic companies are self regulating, so with every purchase, you’re telling the companies what you are or aren’t okay with putting in/on your body.
I’m new to this. This toxin free, clean, vegan beauty world. I’m excited to keep learning and I’m even more excited to share with all of you what I’m learning! So for starters, here’s are some of the key ingredients to avoid. Consider this a beginners list!
- Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives
Okay, but like.. what is Formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is a slow releasing gas. It’s linked to ALS, Cancer, increased asthma, allergies, and more.What does it look like on the label? All of the following ingredients commonly found in your makeup contain formaldehyde:
sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, methenamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM hydantoin and quaternium-15
- Parabens – used for “fragrance”
We saw a huge marketing push for “Paraben Free” shampoo in recent years, which is great! However it’s still estimated that 75% of cosmetic products still use them. Parabens are proven to disrupt the functions of our hormones, acting similarly in the body to estrogen. Linked to breast cancer and negative male reproductive functions, it’s definitely something avoid.What do they look like on a label?
Benzylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Proplyparaben
You know those cute little exfoliating beads in your face wash & lip scrubs? They’re not so cute. We’ve heard murmurs about their negative effect on the environment, but not so much what they’re doing to our bodies! The chemicals that make those little guys up are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, something the U.S government considers a probable human carcinogen (meaning it probs causes cancer and it did in fact for so many innocent animals that were tested on #NoMoreAnimalTesting) that penetrates the skin no problem. We literally RUB this into our skin. I had to throw my face wash away when I found this out, R.I.P. After you rinse your face and it the beads go down the drain, they collect more pollutants and travel into water ways, where they’re consumed by fish and marine animals.What’s it look like on a label?
Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol* (not exactly the same thing, but also often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane)
- FD&C or D&C
These letters are representatives of synthetic colors. F represents food and D&C represents drug and cosmetics.”These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1). These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.”What’s it look like on a label?
FD&C [insert color and number], D&C [insert color and number]
- Sunscreen Chemicals
I know this is a hard one to get your mind around. From such a young age, we’re taught the importance of wearing sunscreen. As adults, the anti aging benefits of sunscreen are advertised in almost every cosmetic aisle. While sunscreen itself isn’t something to avoid, there are quite a few things commonly used in it, that you should. The function of the chemicals are to absorb ultraviolet light, but they are also endocrine disruptors, meaning they mess with your hormones. Disruptions to the endocrine system can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Sunscreen chemicals are easily absorbed by the body and can also cause cellular damage and cancer.What’s it look like on a label?
Benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate
I know this is overwhelming. It feels like there’s a million and one things to be aware of and to remember. Trust me, I feel overwhelmed. BUT, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s going to be difficult to rethink our favorite products, brands, and who we put our “trust” in. But it’s also SO empowering! You’re giving yourself the tools you need to make better decisions for YOU! For YOUR body and YOUR health! It might seem impossible right now, but I am so excited to take steps to take more control and know exactly what I’m putting in my body and I hope you are too! If you have questions or want to learn more, join the Ranting Women group! It’s a group of badass babes who are so good at empowering rather than competing. I feel like a proud mom. We’d love to have you.