Being a Food Babe doesn’t stop at food. Once you’ve understood what chemicals can do in your diet – The next logical step is to understand what other chemicals in your surroundings can effect your health. Ever thought about what toxins are lurking in the cosmetic industry? Why there are so many chemicals in your shampoo or toothpaste? Check out this video for a fabulous explanation of why:
I am a firm believer that if I eat the way I do, I can avoid the impact of most of the chemicals in my surroundings, but I also want to vote with my dollars and I refuse to buy products from companies that continue to pollute the environment and our bodies with loads of toxic substances. I also don’t like the idea that something I wash my face with can potentially cause cancer over time.
Yesterday I counted the number of cosmetic products I used from morning to night – My number was 15. I’d like all my Food Babe readers to do the same little exercise! Count the number of products you use in a 24 hour period. And report back here!
Please share the results in the comments section below or on my facebook page – I’d love to find out your number!
Next – do this crucial step to become educated about what is lurking in those beauty products. Check the list below to find out if any of your products contain these dirty dozen chemicals.
- BHA and BHT. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
- Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number. Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1″ or “Blue 1″). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
- DEA-related ingredients. Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA.
- Dibutyl phthalate. Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
- Parabens. Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
- Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
- PEG compounds. Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
- Petrolatum. Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
- Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
- Sodium laureth sulfate. Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
- Triclosan. Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Ok so a lot your products have this sh&* in them – what do you do? Be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out!
*Apologies for the cursing – when I get mad I like to curse. It’s something I need to work on
Food Babe’s Tips: How to be a Drug Store Beauty Drop Out
- Stop going to the drug store to buy your cosmetics – This may seem a little extreme – but this is probably your best way to avoid the dirty dozen.
- Shop in organic and natural grocery stores to look for new products – or even your pantry! Use oatmeal & salt for a body scrub, coconut oil to remove eye makeup and olive oil as moisturizer.
- Adopt a minimalist approach to your beauty regime – do you really need to coat your hair in a chemical bath of 5 different products every day? Think about the money you would save if you just used one or two safe products?
- Find brands that are committed to safe cosmetics at this site and stick with them.
- Use this tool at EWG to rate your current products and find new ones that are safe.
- Order products on the internet – I do this so I don’t have to search around town or go to multiple places to find my staples. This saves me money and time. I like Lucky Vitamin and Vitamin Shoppe for this and they have free shipping.
- Read magazine’s like Whole Living, Natural Health, and Alive for new product reviews that would be safer than the ones advertised in magazine’s like Glamour, Self, Men’s Health and Allure.
- Jillian Michaels is a huge support of natural beauty and cosmetics products – check out the ones she likes here
- I’ve been through a load of natural products – some are great – some not so great. Shop at stores like Sephora that allow you to bring back a product if it doesn’t suit you.
- A few times a week, give your face a rest. Spend a couple of days without makeup and allow your skin to naturally be rejuvenated – I do this almost every Sunday!
Later this week I’ll share some of my favorite beauty products in a video post! Stay tuned!