Saturday, December 11, 2010

Your alarm rings. You hop out of bed, put the coffee on and jump in the shower. You wash your body, shampoo & conditioner your hair, scrub your face with some face wash. You get out of the shower, dry off, slap on some moisturizer, apply some deodorant, make-up for the ladies, maybe some hair gel for the guys, brush your teeth, get dressed, grab your coffee and head out the door. This is a typical routine for many in the morning. What’s also typical for most of us is the exposure to hundreds of toxic, health-hazardous chemicals even before we leave the house in the morning!

Yes, the bottles may say ‘contains natural ingredients’, ‘vitamin enriched’ or ‘hair-strengthening’ and come in all sorts of heavenly scents and pretty colors but for most of these products, there is nothing pretty about what’s really inside.

I love the irony that the ingredients found in the products we use to make ourselves look beautiful are also used in some of the dirtiest industries around. For instance, the chemical used by construction workers to soften concrete can be found in nail polish. Or degreasers that are used by mechanics on automotive parts are also found in your shampoo. Or my favorite – formaldehyde, yes the same kind that is used to embalm dead bodies is found in your anti-bacterial soap. How on earth can chemicals such as these make us look better??

More and more studies today are showing connections between health issues and commonly used cosmetics. For instance, there is a large connection between certain chemicals f/und in #osmetics and endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the synthesis of our natural hormones, which can have detrimental effects on our reproductive system (birth defects), nervous systems (mental illness), as well as our natural development (onset of early puberty). Fragrance ingredients, often listed as ‘Parfum’, have shown to increase asthma symptoms and allergies. And of course, the big ‘C’. It is more than likely if you are not using  certified organic products, than at least one ingredient in each of the products you use on a daily basis is linked to cancer. Considering the gravity of these side effects, is shiny hair and smooth skin really worth it?

Unfortunately we cannot count on our government to protect us either. There is presently no safety testing done by the FDA on any existing cosmetic product. Instead, the FDA leaves the responsibility of showing a product is safe entirely to the person or company selling/making the product. The FDA cannot even recall a product that is suspected to be harmful as a recall is a voluntary act by the company selling the product. Now let me ask: do you really think a company trying to make a profit would voluntarily recall a product, banishing their name to the public and ruining any future chances of success if they were not obliged to? That is why you never hear about recalls on cosmetics, certainly not because they are all safe.

As listed on the David Suzuki Foundation website, here is a list of the ‘Dirty Dozen’, commonly used ingredients to be aware of: 

BHA & BHT
Coal tar dyes (listed as p-phenylenediamine and ‘Cl’ followed by a number) 
DEA
Dibutyl phthalate 
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (listed as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15) 
Parabens
Parfum (fragrance) 
PEG compound
Petrolatum 
Siloxanes (also listed as methicone) 
Sodium laureth sulfate
Triclosan

Fortunately we can have our cake and look gorgeous too! Cosmetics have been used for hundreds of years by once again, looking no further then to the wonderful gifts from our Mother Earth. Making your own personal care products is not only easy but fun too! With the holidays right around the corner, here are some great gift ideas you can make with your own 2 hands and a little bit of love. 

Bath Bombs 
1 cup Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) 
½ cup Citric acid (fine) 
½ cup Epson salts 
Witch Hazel Essential oils 

Instructions: 
1. Mix sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and Epson salts really well in a bowl. 
2. Add in your essential oils for scent. Tangerine, lavender, eucalyptus are good ones. 
3. Using a spray bottle, spray witch hazel into the mixture while blending continuously. As soon as the mixture starts to stick together when you press down on it, you need to get it into your mold. Ice cube trays, rubber molds. Be sure to firmly pack the mixture into the molds. 
4. After a few minutes, gently tap the bombs out of the molds and allow bath bombs to dry on a towel for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight. Wrap bath bombs in plain tissue paper and store in a plastic, airtight container until you're ready to use them. Soak & enjoy! 

Vanilla Lip Gloss  
1 tablespoon grated beeswax 
1 tablespoon coconut oil 
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil 
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1. Place the beeswax, coconut oil and vitamin E oil in a saucepan. Heat gently until the wax and oils are melted. 
2. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix well. 
3. Pour the mixture into a clean container and allow to cool completely before using.

For those of you lacking in time, check out http://www.aubrey-organics.com/ for some of the cleanest beauty products on the market.


Posted by Kimberly Davidson C.N.P 

References:
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/ 
http://www.aerias.org/DesktopModules/ArticleDetail.aspx?articleId=60 
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/research/whythismatters.php

2 comments:

  1. This is awesome Kim, thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I made lip balm before and it turned out well. I would suggest using a double boiler as not to burn the mixture... just a suggestion! Great info, thanks!

    ReplyDelete