Empowering Your Wellness: Navigating the World of Toxins in Personal Care Products
Updated: Nov 7
Did you know there are nearly 80,000 man-made chemicals in circulation today? They're all around us, but today, let's shine a light on the toxins that come into direct contact with our skin. There are many sneaky toxins in personal care products. These harmful chemicals can be found in skincare, makeup, lotions, soaps, hair products, and even everyday essentials like tampons and condoms. On top of that, they can also lurk in our cleaning products.
Consider this: on average, a woman uses about 12 cosmetic or personal care products every day. That translates to a staggering 160 DIFFERENT toxic chemical ingredients we're exposed to before we even begin our day. Our skin, our body's largest organ, absorbs what we apply to it. This mechanism is akin to how topical pain relievers like Biofreeze cream work (though we advise opting for peppermint essential oils due to the presence of other undesirable ingredients in Biofreeze).
Toxins In Personal Care Products
Parabens: These are synthetic preservatives used to extend the shelf life of products. They can disrupt hormone function and have been linked to breast cancer.
Phthalates: Often found in fragrances, phthalates can disrupt the endocrine system and have been associated with developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): These are foaming agents commonly used in shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste. They can irritate the skin and eyes.
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-releasing Preservatives: These are used to prevent microbial growth in products. They are known allergens and can release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, over time.
Fragrance/Parfum: Often considered a trade secret, fragrance can contain a mixture of hidden chemicals. Some of these chemicals can be allergens, hormone disruptors, and can even be linked to cancer.
Polyethylene Glycols (PEGs): These are petroleum-based compounds used in creams, lotions, and shampoos. They can be contaminated with harmful impurities like ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.
Triclosan and Triclocarban: These are antimicrobial agents used in soaps and body washes. They can disrupt hormones and contribute to antibiotic resistance.
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene): These are synthetic antioxidants used in skincare and cosmetics. They can be skin irritants and have been linked to hormone disruption and cancer.
Mineral Oil and Petroleum Jelly: These are by-products of petroleum production often found in moisturizers and lip balms. They can clog pores and prevent the skin from breathing.
Ethanolamines (DEA, MEA, TEA): These are used as emulsifiers and foaming agents. They can react with other ingredients in the product to form harmful nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.
Oxybenzone and Octinoxate: Commonly found in sunscreen, these chemicals can disrupt hormone function and have been linked to coral reef damage.
Coal Tar: Used in shampoos and hair dyes, coal tar is a known human carcinogen.
Lead and Heavy Metals: These can be contaminants in some color cosmetics, especially lip products. They pose serious health risks, particularly to children.
Talc: A common ingredient in powders and cosmetics, talc can sometimes be contaminated with asbestos fibers, which are known carcinogens.
It's important to note that many companies are now producing safer, more natural alternatives to these products. Reading labels, choosing products with fewer ingredients, and opting for products with certifications like "organic" or "cruelty-free" can help you make healthier choices for your personal care routine. You can also visit our FAVORITES page on our website to find toxic-free companies we love and trust!
Why Toxins Matter
Now that we're equipped with the understanding that what we put on our skin becomes a part of us, let's delve into why this knowledge matters. Toxic cosmetics and products pose a significant threat to our overall health. They have been linked to a range of serious issues including fertility problems, cancer, neurological disorders, birth defects, autoimmune conditions, gut imbalances, allergies, and more. These toxins are powerful endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with the delicate and crucial endocrine system. This system plays a vital role in regulating hormones, which in turn govern the proper functioning of our organs and bodily processes. It's responsible for controlling metabolism, sexual functions, growth, sleep, and mood!
What You Can Do About It
Embracing a more toxin-free lifestyle can significantly reduce your exposure to these harmful substances, allowing your endocrine system to regulate itself naturally, as it should. This shift may require investing in products from companies committed to creating formulations without harmful toxins, prioritizing both our health and the environment. At Balanced Friends, we refer to this as "voting with your dollar". Every purchase is a vote for the kind of world you want to live in. As consumers, we hold more power than we often realize. It's up to us to support companies striving to make our world better. This is how we will drive change and demand safer products for everyone, ultimately contributing to the reduction of cancer rates, combating the obesity epidemic, and lowering the risk of infertility for both men and women!
If you're grappling with issues like infertility, period pain, hormonal imbalances, or a range of other symptoms, the first step towards relief lies in transitioning to clean and safe personal care products. If you have regularly exposed yourself to these toxins please do not fret! We have the perfect detox bootcamp for you! Our Liver Detox Bootcamp was designed to help our bodies to combat years of toxin build up. It's to help us to learn to live with these toxins instead of in fear of them. The bootcamp is only 7 days and includes a functional medicine detox kit, recipes, tips for success, and educational material to help you feel more vibrant for the long haul! Sign up today! We can't wait to see you in camp!
**Please note that we make a small commission at no additional charge to you on any products you purchased through our links. We only promote products we personally use and have had a positive impact on our life. Thank you for supporting our small women owned business! We appreciate you!