If I asked you to describe a healthy person, I might get descriptions like: They look muscular…they eat lots of veggies…they exercise…they meditate. But I doubt whether anyone would say “They have clear radiant skin.”
We don’t realize what our skin has to endure and all it does to protect us. Being the largest organ in the body, its jobs are numerous and important. Regulating body temperature and protecting us from the sun’s radiation are two.
But without even realizing it, every day we collect big spoonfuls of poisons and ask our skin to “open wide”. As we faithfully sip our kombucha and green tea, we shop for toxic potions and lotions that we slather on ourselves in the name of “younger looking skin” and we don’t give a second thought to what that is doing to our overall health.
26 seconds….The amount of time it takes for lotion applied to your skin to reach your blood
Your skin is a carrier…not a barrier. As a nurse, I know skin is one of the “routes of administration”. Doctors prescribe medications (sometimes narcotic painkillers) to be given transdermally which means applied to the skin and allowed to quickly absorb. Anyone who has ever put on a nicotine patch or a hormone patch trusts that the medicine in the patch will travel through the skin and into the bloodstream to be distributed to all major organs. But that thought doesn’t even enter our minds when we grab a bottle of moisturizer or after-shave.
And it’s worse for kids. Several years ago, manufacturing giant, Johnson and Johnson, announced it would no longer include cancer-causing ingredients in their baby shampoo. Wow…thanks. You can read that story here.
For those of you that like videos with your blogs, here I am giving a short presentation recently at a wellness event in Chicago.
Believe me, I know how difficult it is to read those cosmetic and lotion labels. The print is small and sometimes you have to go to a website to get the entire ingredient list. But it is so worth it because you may be surprised at what your “dosing” yourself with.
Here are a few horrifying ingredients that you may find in your skincare and personal care products. Look through your stash of creams, lotions, deodorants, aftershaves, toothpaste, and everything else you use in your morning routine:
- Parabens: This is a group of chemical preservatives that have been around for decades. You can find them on the label by the names methylparaben, butylparaben, etc. Manufacturers have gone to a lot of trouble paying bloggers and writing articles stating the “parabens are 100% safe”, but they don’t have any right to say that. Not when studies clearly show that exposure to parabens increase the growth of cancer cells in the lab, and when exposed to more than one paraben, the growth rate multiplies tenfold. Parabens are found in breast cancer tumors and if I took blood from everyone reading this, 95% of you would have parabens in your blood right now. They are widely used as preservatives in lotions, cosmetics, liquid medications, hair products, and so on. Avoid parabens like the plague. Don’t trust google to find you articles that explain the research on this one. Manufacturers have flooded the internet with stories of safety. Go straight to the source:Dr Phillipa Darbre The PhD who has spent the last 11 years studying toxins and publishing hundreds of research papers on parabens and other widely used chemicals that affect your risk of cancer. She’s real and humble and all she wants to do is get to the truth.
- Fragrance/parfum: Not to be confused with perfume as in cologne, fragrance and parfum are terms used for slimy concoctions of chemicals that manufacturers use to make stuff smell good. They don’t have to list all the chemicals they used to make the “fragrance” because the law defines that as a “trade secret”…..for them to know and for us to find out I guess…There’s a good chance that the smell-good stuff contains cancer causing 1,4 dioxane or diethyl phthalate. The “phthalates” are another gang of chemicals like the parabens that find their way into a variety of products and are known hormone disruptors, which means they have the potential to increase the likelihood of hormone related cancers like breast, prostate, and uterine cancers. Unless the words “fragrance derived from 100% natural essential oils” appears after the word “fragrance” in the ingredient list, steer clear of it.
- DMDM Hydantoin: Found in products like hand soaps, DMDM Hydantoin releases formaldehyde when used. You may recognize formaldehyde as the fluid used in embalming corpses. Yep. That’s it. Formaldehyde is not only a cancer promoter, but it is also a cancer causer. This taken directly from the National Institute of Health’s website: “Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” Formaldehyde releasers differ from other forms of the chemical, but does it really matter? I still ask the question: why are you washing your hands with it?
- Tricolosan: Found in deodorants, and toothpaste among other places, triclosan is an anti-bacterial and a powerful hormone disruptor…especially to the thyroid. If you see the words “anti-bacterial”, chances are that products contains triclosan. An interesting fact is that since triclosan was introduced, thyroid cancer rates have been steadily climbing. (Thyroid cancer is of the very few cancers that have actually increased in incidence over the past few decades.) There have been so many negative studies presented about triclosan, that the EPA and the FDA will issue new guidelines (supposedly) in 2015 regulating its use. Some states like Minnesota have already introduced legislation that would remove triclosan-containing products by 2017. Triclosan is also destroying our rivers and wildlife because when it washes into the water system, it kills life-giving bacteria that is the base for all life. It’s also contributing to the increasing resistant bacteria problem we have in the world. We are not just killing the harmful bacteria, we are killing all bacteria. Hey, we humans need some of that bacteria to live!
There are so many more harmful chemicals that touch us every day, but just start with this short list, and you’ll be on your way to reducing your cancer-causing exposure. Look at everything you use. Everything. Of course you won’t get cancer if you just use something once, but think about how many of these chemicals you are exposed to day after day…month after month…year after year. It’s the constant toxic influx that affects your health and immunity. By forcing your liver to work overtime, eventually it will put up the white flag and call it quits. A sick liver is not able to do its job of filtering out toxins, so the toxins will get re-introduced into your blood and eventually settle in the fat or brain cells. And just think what toxins in your brain or stored in your fat can do in the long run…
If you’re juicing leafy greens after hitting the gym and visualizing good health, it may all be a waste unless you include changing your toxic skincare to natural healthy stuff. Here is a sheet to get you started with making some yourself. (Mother Nature makes some really good products.)
There are many companies out there that have wonderful healthy products. A good place to start is your health food store. One brand that I can always recommend with confidence is Dr Bronner’s for soaps. Please take a look at their stuff and shop knowing that whatever you buy will be pure with 100% truth on their label. Their company story is one of family ingenuity, persistence, and the grace of God.
I would also be honored if you took a look at MOON Organics created by your truly. All products are made with healthy ingredients and love with cancer survivors in mind.
Whatever products you choose, please make sure they fit with your healthy and natural lifestyle! Thanks very much for choosing to spend your time here!
Live well…be well!