As the years go by and more information comes out about chemical use in health and beauty products, I have started to take a good, hard look at the products I use. A few years ago, my cupboards were stocked with Pantene shampoo, St. Ives body wash and Clean & Clear face-wash. I used nail polish often, wondering why my nails would always peel and become brittle. I bought whatever was on sale at the drug store and didn’t think twice. These big companies like Proctor & Gamble wouldn’t sell us something harmful, would they?
What’s scary is just how many health and beauty products are laced with chemicals that can cause health issues such as hormone imbalances, respiratory problems and even cancer. They’re everywhere, hiding in your perfume, hair dye, deoderant and even make-up. The David Suzuki Foundation did a survey on Canadian’s cosmetics and found that 80% of products had at least one ingredient from their Dirty Dozen list for Health & Beauty products, and more than half had multiple ingredients. This survey was from 2010, so it’s about 5 years old. I’m curious about what the results today would be, but still. Not good.
If you’re trying to live a cleaner, healthier life, you can’t forget about the products that you put on your body on a daily basis. Our skin is our largest organ, and what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. If you are looking to “clean” up your health and beauty cupboard, you want to avoid using products with these “dirty dozen” ingredients:
- BHA and BHT
- Coal Tar Dyes (p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number)
- DEA-related ingredients
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
- Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
- PEG compounds
- Sodium laureth sulfate
Take a second and look at that list. Daunting, right? Do you even know what you just read? More things we can’t pronounce or don’t understand. Awesome.
Lucky for us, the David Suzuki Foundation has created this super convenient Sustainable Shopper’s Guide listing the 12 ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics. Print it out and take it with you shopping. If you go to your local drug store, finding anything without these ingredients is like finding a needle in a haystack. You will probably have to venture off the beaten path a bit. Check out your natural food stores – often they have a beauty section. Or look for great, reputable brands online. There are so many people playing in this arena, such as Joyous Health, Green Beaver or 100% Pure. The Environmental Working Group also has a great database of health and beauty products and their “risk” ratings. Check out how your current health and beauty products measure up on this list – you may be surprised with what you find.
Take time to research what you are putting on your body. I promise it will be worth it. Do you pay attention to the health and beauty products you buy?Follow