According to the Environmental Working Group’s survey of over 2300 people, the average adult uses 9 personal care products each day, containing 126 unique chemical ingredients. Twenty five percent of women (and 1% of men) use 15 products daily.
That seemed like a lot to me, until I gave it some thought as I went through my morning routine. In the shower comes my (1) shampoo, (2) conditioner, (3) facial cleanser, (4) bar of soap….and most days (5) a scrub for my face and/or body. Then after the shower I move onto (6) a facial toner, (7) moisturizer, and (8) sun block. Wow! I am not even done. Afterwards, I (9) brush my teeth, (10) put on deodorant, (11) apply lip balm and occasionally some (12) hand and/or body lotion. All this before I was 15 minutes into my morning!
I do not personally wear a lot of make-up, but on an average day I would wear (13) eyeliner, (14) mascara, and (15) face powder. For many women we would need to additionally factor in: foundation, lipstick, eye shadow, blush, perfume, nail polish, etc. and now I can definitely see this number going far above 15 products daily (probably closer to 20+) for many women! And it’s still only morning! This doesn’t even take into account whatever the night time routine might include…serums, eye cream, face masks, etc.!
Why does this matter? According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health “of the chemicals used in cosmetics, nearly 900 have been reported as toxic.”
The chemicals in any one consumer product alone are unlikely to cause harm. But unfortunately, we are repeatedly exposed to chemicals from many different sources on a daily basis, including cosmetics and personal care products. And, believe it or not, cosmetics are one of the least regulated industries in the United States. If you are interested in learning more, please visit The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Website.
Most people reading this blog are already thinking about what they put INTO their body (food!), but some may not have fully considered what they put ONTO their body, although that will likely effect their long-term health as well. How? Because 60% of what touches your skin gets absorbed into your bloodstream!
What can you do?
To begin, you can visit the Environmental Working Group’s terrific Skin Deep Website. With nearly 61,000 products in their database, you can search for the products you currently use (skincare, shampoo, makeup, etc.) and see how your current products measure up. More importantly, it will alert you to the ingredients that may be harmful in your current products, educating you on how to become a more informed consumer. You can also view their 2016 Sunscreen Guide, since many of us cover our bodies (and our kids’ bodies) with sunscreen at this time of year.
Truly healthy skin and hair always starts from the inside. So most importantly, eating an unprocessed whole foods diet is essential. This includes lots of fruits and vegetables, high quality animal and/or vegetable proteins, good quality fats, and complex carbohydrates from whole grains and vegetable starches. You also must be sure you are adequately hydrated (more on that in another post!).
If you are interested in switching to more natural products and don’t know where to begin, some of my favorite companies and products include:
- Acure Skincare (I use their eye cream and sensitive facial cleanser)
- Aveda (I use their lip saver lip balm)
- Elta MD (I use their mineral facial sunblock—please note, there are also many chemical sunblocks in their line)
- Alchemy Minerals (nearly all of my makeup is from this local Boulder company)
- Beauty Without Cruelty (I use their mascara)
- Desert Essence (I use their coconut body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner)
- Young Living (I use their essential oils as my “perfume” as well as therapeutically in our home and office)
- Honest Company (I use most of their products for my kids: shampoo & body wash, conditioner, hair detangler, sunblock, etc.)
- Mineral Fusion ( I use their nail polish and nail polish remover)
- Also, please check out my previous post on Do-It-Yourself Cosmetics. If you try only one, the deodorant is everyone’s favorite. It’s honestly better than anything on the market! I also love our home-made hand soap and body scrub too 🙂
Do you use a natural care product that you absolutely love? Or have a recipe for homemade cosmetics that is great? If so, please let us know by sharing below!!