Our skin has over 2.5 million sweat glands, one square inch of our bodies has over 650 sweat glands, 94 oils glands, 13 cold and 78 heat receptors, not to mention a whole lot of other important stuff like hair follicles, capillaries and nerves. Maybe the small amounts of ingredients like PEG (Polyethylene Glycol), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Petrolatum in our personal hygiene products would be acceptable, However, we are not using small amounts. The simple fact of the matter is that we use over a dozen of these products each and every day. We wash our face and hair, we brush our teeth, we clean our bodies, homes and cars with these chemicals. For the woman out there, how many hours a day does your face spend under a layer of makeup?
Here is what Health Canada says about Lead being ingested “Playing with a toy with lead is not a necessarily a health hazard, but ingesting lead through mouthing a toy or swallowing a piece, even with low levels of lead, can wreak havoc with a young brain and cause permanent brain damage if there is long-term exposure”. “Health Canada has amended the Cosmetic Regulations to require that ingredient lists appear on all cosmetic product labels. This is great news but the unfortunate part is Canada does not ban most harmful chemical ingredients that are in the products. Prior to this amendment, manufacturers were not even required to list ingredients. Canada is taking a step in the right direction but it is a small step.
Let’s put this into perspective using examples of just 3 ingredients that are in most of the Non-organic products that are being used on our skin. The Health Canada website does contain a list of ingredients that are either prohibited or restricted in cosmetic use but the list is quite small considering there could potentially be over 10,000 harmful products used in our personal hygiene products. Among the ingredients not listed on the “Hotlist” of harmful compounds are these 3:
Propylene Glycol is the active ingredient in anti-freeze. It is used to break down protein and cellular structure. It is also found in products including toothpaste, makeup and deodorants. “The EPA actually requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with it. Direct contact can cause brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.”
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is used in detergents and surfactants in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners, and engine degreasers. Yet it is one of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair conditioner, shampoo and other foaming products. Exposure causes eye damage, depression, diarrhea and many other ailments.
Petrolatum is a petrochemical that contains two well known carcinogens: Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluroanthene. It prevents the skin from taking in oxygen or respiring waste. It is used in hand and skincare products to form an occlusive barrier on the skin (it prevents the skin from doing its job, detoxifying)
Looking at these 3 examples it is easy to see why more Canadian and International legislation is also needed in the skincare industry. It is extremely important to pay attention to what you are using on your body. Only you can determine what is safe and what is not. Stop putting your trust in multi-million dollar corporations and start trusting nature again. “One of every five adults is potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients.” This is a pretty scary statistic especially since it is one thing we can take control of.
Organic Beauty products, essential oils for skin, aromatherapy, natural bath products and deodorants are not just a trend, they are the way of the future and optimal health.