Yes, what you eat has an important effect on your health, however did you know that what you put on your skin and what you breathe are two other factors that are just as critical?
What you put on your skin matters
Your skin is your largest organ, whose prime purpose is to protect you from external toxins. In fact, did you know your skin is a breathable organ, and that up to 60% of what you apply topically on your skin is actually absorbed into your bloodstream? This is why it’s so important to do a thorough evaluation of what products (e.g. deodorant, hair products, makeup, moisturizers, shave gels etc.) you choose to put on your skin. In recent decades, reproductive and developmental problems have become more prevalent, and recent reports have highlighted the presence of low-level concentrations of potential reproductive or developmental toxicants, particularly phthalates in personal care products. Phthalates, are known endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the body’s endocrine system, and can cause over or under production of certain hormones. For example, a 2015 study revealed that exposure to phthalates contributed to a decline in semen quality. In particular, makeup, skin lotion, shampoo, and nail polish also contain chemical ingredients that have been linked to male genital birth defects, decreased sperm counts, and altered pregnancy outcomes. Increased awareness of the potential dangers hidden in the ingredient list have led consumers to be more selective in deciding what self-care products they use.
What are some examples of toxic ingredients you should look out for before buying a product?
- Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number
- BHA and BHT
- DEA-related ingredients
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Parfum / fragrance
- PEG compounds
- Sodium laureth sulfate
A good mantra to have when choosing self-care products is to not put something on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.
Cleaning products often go overlooked as part of a healthy life-style regimen, and in fact often contain toxins that can disrupt neurological functioning as well as hormone health. The same phthalates mentioned above in self-care products can also be found in fragrance home-cleaning products like detergents, fragrance-infused products like air fresheners, and even toilet paper.
Some other common toxins found in household cleaning products that you should avoid include:
- Perchloroethylene or “PERC”
- Triclosan. …
- Quarternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” …
- Sodium Hydroxide
So, remember that your health is a direct outcome of not only the food you eat, but the products you use, and the air you breathe.