The skin is our largest organ of our bodies and anything applied to it — moisturizer, soap, cosmetics, sun care — is absorbed into the body and the blood stream just as if you had eaten it.
It wasn't until I had children that I became incredibly aware of the products I was buying for my family. It started when my daughter broke out in a prickly rash and had recurring bladder infections. Her pediatrician said it was due to the chemicals in her sunscreen like PABA and parabens, as well as the chemicals in her soap, such as Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfate.
I couldn't believe all the chemicals in the products I was using and their harmful potential not only for my young children, but also for myself as their mother. The average adult is exposed to over 150 hazardous chemicals each day. As parents, it's possible to control everything our families are exposed to despite how hard we try.
But we CAN control what we choose to buy. I've become an avid reader of labels and ingredients, and want to share some of what I've learned with you.
Be aware of the following chemicals in everyday products for their potentially negative effects on both you and your children:
- Dioxane: A petroleum-derived contaminant considered a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Ureas: Common preservatives that release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
- Oxybenzone: A known hormone disrupter in children, this chemical acts like estrogen in the body. It's been found to alter sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women.
- Phthalates: Toxic carcinogens and hormone disrupters. Known to cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.
- Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): Made from the same chemical used to create anti-freeze. This chemical easily penetrates the skin and is linked to damage of the liver, kidneys and brain.
- Fragrance: Many are made of phthalates. Fragrances are considered to be one of the top five known allergens and are known to cause asthma.
- Synthetic Colors: FD&C Yellow 5, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Blue 1 Labeled FD&C and D&C followed by a number are all known to cause skin irritation and many are believed to be carcinogenic. They affect the immune, reproductive, and endocrine systems.
Remember that whatever you put on your skin also gets absorbed into your body. It's important to read labels and educate yourself to find non-toxic skincare that doesn't disrupt your body's natural state.
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