We’re smarter consumers than we used to be.
We check the ingredients in the things we eat and put on our bodies. We avoid certain chemicals that we know can hurt us. We have a better understanding of how what we put in and on our bodies has a direct impact on our health.
For these reasons, a lot of us have decided to stick with “natural” products. Because natural ingredients should be a lot safer than a chemical made in a laboratory, right
Well… no. And here’s why
“Natural” Labels are Not Regulated by the FDA
Did you know that the word “natural” on your beauty packaging is NOT regulated by the FDA? That’s right: the FDA allows brands to describe their products as natural even if it isn’t true. Your “all-natural” products may actually only contain a minimal amount of natural ingredients.
It’s a common marketing trick I see all the time: a brand will use just one or two ingredients that are naturally sourced and call their product “natural” even when the rest of their ingredients are not.
“Natural” Does Not Mean “Safe”!
Don’t let the beauty industry fool you. “Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.” Even though poison ivy is natural, you wouldn’t be thrilled if your new moisturizer had poison ivy in it, would you? According to the Organic Consumers Association, toxins can still be present in products labeled “natural” or “organic.”
The FDA only gets involved with personal care products AFTER they’re already on the market and are giving people problems. Pre-market testing is done by some brands, but it’s not required. That means WE are the ones testing personal care products as we buy and use them.
Not only that, but the U.S. has banned or restricted only 11 ingredients for use in cosmetics, while the EU has banned or restricted over 1,100 ingredients found to be potentially toxic. So while European products are formulated with stricter guidelines, toxic chemicals are still allowed in beauty products in the US. Even in products like baby wash!
Toxins From Your Favorite “Natural” Products Can Bioaccumulate
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? But unlike other organs, like our livers or kidneys, the skin isn’t the best at filtering out what belongs in our bodies. In fact, our skin absorbs anywhere between 64-100% of what we put on it.
Up to 1 in 5 adults are using common personal products that were exposed to carcinogenic impurities. Women tend to use more products than men, so their risk is even higher. One shower with a liquid body wash containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – the body can clear that out within days.
But a lifetime of absorbing SLS with your morning shower while your pores are most open – that’s different. The exposure is multiplied and accelerated by the number of times we use them. We’ve become so used to our favorite routines that it’s hard to imagine that they’re actually making us sick.
How to See if Your Products are Safe - the RIGHT Way
If you’re serious about a toxin- and carcinogen-free lifestyle, the best thing you can do is to learn how to read an ingredient label. It’s much more important to know what these chemicals are than to be lured into a false state of security with “natural” products.
To get you started, here are some hints that a chemical in the ingredient label is harmful. If you have any of these chemicals in your beauty products, throw them away!
- Ends in -glycol
- Ends in -paraben
- Sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate
Is Your Beauty Empowered?
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