Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, shower gel, bath gel, conditioner, deodorant, moisturizer, hand cream, lip gloss, night cream, anti-aging, foundation, eye shadow, face powder, mascara, eyeliner, nail polish, cleanser, toner, hand sanitizer, wet wipes for babies' and so on. etc. I’m not the typical user of beauty products and I get lost even in the nominations of many products.
But on average we use a minimum of 20 cosmetic products (beauty and health) per day. Among beauty products and cleaning products we are exposed to more than 100 synthetic chemicals (some say 200) every day, many of which have not yet been tested, and most of which quickly enter the bloodstream. "Natural", "organic", "hypoallergenic" have no legal definition in the world of cosmetics. And even their mere presence in ‘Natural’ shops or herbalists shops does not assure their purity or safety.
But WHY worrying about what we put on the skin? We do not eat creams and shampoos after all...
The skin is a layer that covers the entire body for a total area of about 2 m2 and only 2-3 mm thick. It protects us, it is our screen between the inner world (our bodies) and the outside (the world). It has about 100 nerve receptors (nerve cells that feel temperature, touch, pressure) every cm2, helps us maintain the constant body temperature, removes toxins from the body and absorbs absorbs absorbs ... ..
The necessary oxygen for the cells of the epidermis is directly absorbed from the outside, but also other molecules are absorbed, and many of these found in the external environment are very harmful. What we put on our skin, from soaps to creams can have harmful consequences for the internal organs: molecules not made for our natural chemistry in fact pass through the cells of the skin and are absorbed into the blood system and so transported around the whole organism and into all cells.
Knowing what to put on the skin is essential to protect our general health.
In hygiene and beauty products many artificial substances are used: bactericidal substances (for preservation), substances that allow the penetration of active principles through the layer of the skin, and emulsifiers to allow better mixing between hydrophilic substances (soluble in water) and lipophilic (soluble in oil).
However, some of these synthetic substances may also be allergenic, cytotoxic (causing cell death), carcinogens, irritants, comedogenic (causing acne), dehydrating and endocrine disruptors. These are chemicals that mimic the structure and activities' of our hormones. They are capable of acting both as agonists of a certain hormone (that is, increase its functionality) or antagonists (impede the functionality of the hormone). For example, they interfere with the function of steroid hormones (sex) or thyroid hormones (which control the whole metabolism), causing damaging effects on various parts of the organism. For example, these substances can interfere with reproductive function (suppress sperm production or alter sexual development, acting as masculinizing of females or feminizing of male), development (for example, mental and intellectual development of the fetus, causing cognitive problems and development of the brain), causing birth defects (deformations of the body) and are related to the emergence of tumors (mainly hormonal-related cancers such as certain types of breast cancer).
The activity of these substances depends on the dose, and the legislature controls the maximum doses that a product can contain. But they accumulate in the body with the use (different products used daily have additional effects on the body), so even small doses become dangerous.
Carcinogens are contained in sunscreens, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioners, deodorants, nail polish and almost all products containing "fragrance". According to a study the cosmetics concerned are more than 60%, including those used for babies (see wet wipes for cleaning).
So WHAT are these toxic compounds and how to recognize them in our tubes and jars of cosmetics ??
Carcinogens: benzophenone (benzophenone-second more numbers, BP # oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, sodium sulisobenzone), formaldehyde, urea imidazidinyl, phenoxyethanol (conservative, anti-bacterial), phtalates (diethyl and dibutyl-phthalate, DEHP, BBzP, MBzP, DBP, MBP, MEHP), mineral oils, parabens (methyl-, propyl-, buthyl-, ethyl-, isopropyl-, and benzylparabene), phenoxyetanol, Fragrances (phtalates), sodium laureth sulfate (if contaminated with dioxan).
Endocrine disruptors: benzophenone (benzophenone2, or other numbers, BP # oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, sodium sulisobenzone), cyclopentasiloxane (softener), EDTA, phenoxyetanol, phtalates (diethyl and dibutyl-phthalate, DEHP, BBzP, MBzP, DBP, MBP, MEHP ),
Allergens (eczema, dermatitis, allergies, asthma): Bronopol, parabens (methyl-, propyl-, buthyl-, ethyl-, isopropyl-, and benzylparabene), phtalates (diethyl and dibutyl-phthalate, DEHP, BBzP, MBzP, DBP , MBP, MEHP), diazolidinyl urea, dibromocianobutane, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone (contact dermatitis), methylisothiazolone, Fragrances (phtalates), quaternium-15, triclosan
Comedogenic (causing acne): mineral greases (petrolatum, liquid paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil)
Toxic to the organs: benzophenone (benzophenone2 and other numbers, BP # oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, sodium sulisobenzone), EDTA, propylene glycol (irritation, dehydration), methylisothiazolone (neurotoxic), sodium lauryl sulfate (corrosive skin, hair loss, dandruff)
WHERE are they found?
benzophenone and derivatives in lipsticks and nail polish, foundation, shampoo, sunscreen and anti-aging
sodium lauryl sulfate in shampoos, soaps, liquid soaps, makeup, toothpastes
WHAT to do then?
Choose soaps manufactured only with vegetable oils, neutral shampoo and reassuring brands or even better homemade products.
References and links
Julien KAIBECK, www.slow-cosmetique.com