Parabens – Known Carcinogens in Your Beauty Products

Is your current beauty routine harmful to your health? Photo courtesy

Seeing how the last post was about deodorant, I thought it would be fitting to create another post about skin products. The popular products on the market contain many conventional, man made ingredients that are not always good for us. It may smell good and make us look good, but at what cost is this to our health? Could the products we use, day in and day out, actually be contributing to a slow degeneration of our bodies and minds?

What’s So Wrong with My Beauty Products?

You might be unknowingly risking your health. Photo courtesy

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, some products, like deodorant, contain aluminum. This is a heavy metal toxin that is found in high amounts in Alzheimer’s patients. When we put something like this on our skin (especially after shaving–looking at you, girls!), the chemicals contained within are most definitely entering our bodies through our pores.
Some of these chemicals are treated as a toxin in the body and are processed and released. However, the remaining chemicals can find their way in the nervous system, they can devastate our immune system and even find their way into the brain. These chemicals, especially aluminum, can accumulate in the brain, not showing its health effects until years later.

What is So Bad About Parabens?

Go paraben free! Photo courtesy

Parabens are a synthetic, man made preservative found in almost all conventional beauty products. From make up to face soap, lotions and creams, parabens have made their way into the mainstream beauty line. They prevent mold and bacteria growth, and help keep the product stable for a long shelf life.
However, parabens have been shown to mimic estrogen in the human body, showing a possible carcinogenic link to certain forms of breast cancer. This is a concern for anyone, male or female, as this preservative is going to be absorbed into your blood stream after placing it on your skin. It really is not a pretty picture.
A six month study performed on men and women’s beauty products assessed the safety of 7,500 beauty products (over 10,000 ingredients) with 2,300 people. What they found was quite astonishing.
Out of 7,500 products, only 28 of them were tested completely by the cosmetic industry’s self regulating panel. 1/3 of all the products in the study contained at least one ingredient that showed a strong carcinogenic link, and has actually been classified as a human carcinogen.

What Can You Do?

Natural beauty. Photo courtesy

Diet and exercise will provide your body with the health it needs to proccess out some of the chemicals and toxins in your beauty products, but it won’t be enough to provide adequate safety for your health. You DON’T have to live in a bubble and ignore your beauty when you enhance your health–far from it! In fact, when you enhance your health through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, you enhance your beauty.
There are amazing organic beauty products out on the market today that are paraben free, and even some that claim to be all-natural. I go for the organic version, because this normally ensures that I won’t be putting anything on my body that I wouldn’t put in my body (the term “all-natural” isn’t regulated, and often doesn’t mean that it is all natural).
Look at the ingredients of your beauty products, just as you would with your food. Make sure you do not find parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, or basically anything you can’t pronounce. It may be difficult at first, so just wean yourself off of these products slowly. It may take some time to find products that work for your skin or hair type, but you will find some. Make your way down to your local health food store and ask about the products they carry.
Right now I am using a shampoo and conditioner that is 75% organic and contains only 5 ingredients, all things that I would have no problem ingesting if I had to. I also use a coconut oil castile soap for my face, as well as an organic body wash (and occasionally a homemade, raw goat’s milk soap made with coconut oil). What products do you use? Tell me about them in the comments section.
This is The Healthy Advocate.
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