Okay, so we all know that we are exposed to carcinogenic and other toxic pollutants in the air, water and workplace. However, the entire American population remains exposed to carcinogenic and other toxic ingredients in consumer products such as household, food, cosmetics and personal care.
Most consumers today want to make informed shopping decisions, but when it comes to cosmetics and personal care products, we are still totally in the dark. We receive highly misleading, tainted information from the very agency responsible for regulating and protecting us from dangerous, toxic cosmetics and personal care products.
Who is this agency? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The cosmetic and personal care products are regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act enacted in 1938. This Act requires all ingredients in these products to be listed on the container label. This Act also gives the FDA the power & authority to protect consumers from dangerous products. This includes requiring that the labels must bet a clear warning to prevent any healthy hazards. Unbelievably, the FDA takes the position that the industry is responsible and accountable (to whom?) for the safety of its products.
So, in full disclosure, the FDA is failing to regulate the industry, let alone openly warn the public of any dangers in these products. Most consumers assume that if any cosmetic or personal care product were dangerous to our health, the FDA would warn us and the product would be pulled from the shelves. But, this is misplaced trust as tragic accidents happen all the time from simply using these products. Shame on them! So what is a consumer to do?? Let’s look deeper into this problem.
If you’re a woman, you have a one in seven chance of getting breast cancer in your lifetime. You most likely already know someone in your family or circle of friends who has battled this disease and either lost their life or a part of their body! The true cost of this disease lies in the psychological toll as women are dragged into the nightmare of chemotherapy, radiation, lumpectomy or mastectomy. Feelings of shame, betrayal and guilt and anger are ramped in breast cancer survivors.
Who would have guessed that everyday personal care products and cosmetics thought harmless could be involved in getting breast cancer! Now when we’re talking personal care products and cosmetics, we’re talking about deodorants, shampoos, soaps, perfumes, lipsticks and dozens of other common products we use in our everyday lives. Most of us think these are tested for safety.
Nearly one out of every 2 men and more than one out of every 3 women will get cancer in their lifetime. I believe the cosmetic and personal care products bear significant responsibility for these statistics. Everyday nearly 3 personal care products are applied to the skin of babies and children. Men use on average 10, and women use six or more cosmetics and on average 13 personal care products daily. Some products are used several times a day such as fragrant soaps. When it is all added up, you may be surprised how many times a day you expose yourself to toxic chemicals.
More than 11,000 personal care and cosmetic products are sold in America, but few have ever been tested for their impact on human health. The FDA and the industry take the stance that the products and their ingredients are safe until proven guilty. To be honest, there is no absolute, practical way to prove their toxicity, as it is impossible to differentiate exposure from these toxic chemicals and other toxic industrial chemicals. So, the industry hides behind this illusion where they claim that the toxic effect of their products is minimal and insignificant to cause anyone any harm. Cosmetics and personal care products constitute our single largest, but generally unrecognized class of avoidable exposure to toxic ingredients and their health bombs.
So, why are these products potentially dangerous to us? Well our skin is highly porous and permeable. Skin is only about one-tenth of an inch thick and is highly sensitive to toxic chemicals. So really, what we put on our skin has as much influence on our health as what we put in our mouth. Also, toxic ingredients applied to our skin bypass our liver. The liver has special enzymes that help detoxify and protect you from toxins. When we put toxins directly on the skin, it bypasses your liver and goes directly into the bloodstream! Yikes!!!
Another reason these products can be so dangerous is the industry adds “penetration enhancers” into their products that are designed to make their products penetrate your skin more deeply and easily. These penetrating enhancers actually force anti-wrinkle creams, moisturizers and other ingredients deep into the skin where they can reach the bloodstream. A good example of this is sunblock products. Once in the bloodstream, these toxic ingredients have access to your entire body.
In addition, toxic ingredients produce cumulative effects. Using these products multiple times everyday poses unpredictable additional health dangers. Some ingredients when placed on your skin, interact with each other’s toxic effects. And when they interact, their toxic effects multiply in strength, causing far greater damage than each product individually.
Finally, exposure to toxic ingredients can be prolonged, meaning that once exposed, they can persist on your skin for long periods of time allowing for more absorption. Realize, too, that exposure to these products began early, most likely in the womb, when your mother applied her products to her body, absorbed them and passed some on to you through the placenta. And you thought you were safe and sound in the womb!
The cosmetic industry is huge and immensely profitable with annual sales of over $50 Billion in US, and they spend about $2 Billion on advertising. WHAT?? There are really only a handful of powerful players such as Estee Lauder, Max Factor, Procter & Gamble, Revlon and L’Oreal. Basically, these Giants are unregulated by the FDA. There are no requirements for safety testing of ingredients or label warnings when known ingredients pose cancer risks, hormonal danger, or allergic reactions.
Why am I focusing on cosmetic and personal care products when we are exposed to hundreds of chemical pollutants everyday in the air, water and food? Well, we have very little control over the pollutants in the air, water and food, but we sure do have considerable power over what we put on our skin and therefore into our bodies using personal choice!
I believe that when consumers become more and more aware of what is actually in these products, they can make better choices using the almighty dollar. I think there is an underlying current, a movement of people looking for healthier, cleaner alternatives. Consumers have begun to pull the veil of deceit away from their eyes and are willing to band together to boycott companies who use toxic chemicals. There are more choices out there using better, safer, organic ingredients.
Next time, we’ll talk about some of the chemicals in cosmetics that you’ll want to avoid.
That is why I use and represent L’BRI products. They are aloe based, safe and effective. I have a link to my L’BRI account. If you’re interested, you can go there and order some products. In full disclosure, I am a distributor of these products because I use them and believe in them. Also, I love how my skin feels and the compliments I get from other people. It is important to not only look good when using cosmetics, but to also have the confidence that you aren’t harming your health while using them. Try L’BRI. You’ll love your skin and your health!