Feed Your Face: Do-It-Yourself Skin Care

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Who needs those chemical-filled body products when you can go out to your own garden or farmers market and whip up some wonderful “food for your skin”? Not only will you save money, but your body will thank you.

Each day we begin our routine by using at least half a dozen to a dozen products (this includes  men, too)—from shampoo to soap to make up to hairspray to moisturizer. Continue reading “Feed Your Face: Do-It-Yourself Skin Care” »

Beautiful Skin Needs To Be Chemical Free

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In our ever advancing and constantly changing society, let’s get back to some of the basics—the basics of food and the earth. While technology and growth are amazing, chemicals and hormones in our food and body products is not so amazing. If we are trying to “eat organic” and “healthy,” why are we okay with putting chemicals onto our skin?

What goes onto our skin goes directly into our bloodstream, including all our wonderful smelling lotions, shampoos, cleansers, toners, make up, and perfume. Even if something says it’s “organic” you still have to read the label—unfortunately! The Organic Consumers Association’s Coming Clean Campaign explains this confusion and mess: Continue reading “Beautiful Skin Needs To Be Chemical Free” »

Chemicals in Cosmetics

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Make Up Safety

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INGREDIENTS TO AVOID

DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea toxic contaminants

Fragrance and dyes, allergies, cancer, nervous system

Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone - allergies, nervous system

Parabens or “-paraben” hormone effects

“PEG” and “-eth” toxic contaminants

Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate –  skin damage, toxic contaminants

Triclosan and triclocarban thyroid and environmental concerns

Triethanolamine (TEA) allergies, toxic contaminants

With no required safety testing, cosmetics companies can use almost any chemical
they want, regardless of risks.  Make sure you read the labels before you decide to purchase.

PRODUCTS TO AVOID

Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA, and BHA acids

Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene; all dark permanent hair dyes

Liquid hand soaps with triclosan

Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde

Skin lighteners

For more information on this list, visit cosmeticsdatabase.com and the Environmental Working Group.

Cosmetics

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New Look, MakeUp 2010

New Look, MakeUp 2010

Makeup primer with a classic-modern look.

Cosmetic Danger – Pthalates

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WHAT ARE PHTHALATES?

The widely-used group of chemicals called phthalates (pronounced THA-lates) can interfere with hormones in the body, posing potential risks to the reproductive and thyroid systems (Duty 2003, 2004, 2005; Swan 2005; Main 2006; Hauser 2007; Huang 2007; Meeker 2007). Preliminary studies also link phthalates to diabetes risk and asthma (Bornehag 2004; Stahlhut 2007; Jaakkola 2008; Kolarik 2008). Phthalates are detected in nearly every American, from babies to adults (CDC 2005). According to a large national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), levels of phthalates in some U.S. women of childbearing age exceed the government’s safe levels (Kohn 2000). Phthalates are widespread contaminants in the environment and in wildlife as well (Kolpin 2002; Rudel 2003).

HOW ARE WE EXPOSED TO THEM?

Though not always listed on labels, phthalates are common ingredients in cosmetics and body care products. Dibutyl phthalate may be found in nail polish. Phthalates are also used to moisturize and to help chemicals absorb into the skin. The most common use of phthalates is as an ingredient in “fragrance” mixtures added to body care products. Companies are not required to reveal the ingredients making up fragrance mixtures on the labels of products. EWG product testing found phthalates in nearly three-quarters of 72 name-brand products, though none of them listed phthalates as ingredients (EWG/HCWH/WVE 2002).

Phthalates also soften plastic used in a wide range of ordinary products, from food wraps and toys to building materials and medical equipment. Currently, the chemical industry produces billions of pounds of these chemicals each year. People are exposed to phthalates daily through contact with everyday products and via food, indoor air, and even house dust (CDC 2005).

WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS?

Studies of ordinary people suggest exposures to phthalates increase the risk of reproductive system birth defects and hormonal changes in baby boys (Swan 2005; Main 2006). In adult men they are linked to reduced sperm motility and concentration, increased damage to sperm DNA, and hormonal changes (Duty 2003, 2004, 2005; Hauser 2007). Phthalate exposures are linked to obesity and insulin resistance in men (Stahlhut 2007), conditions that can lead to Type 2 diabetes. They are also linked to thyroid irregularities in both men and women (Huang 2007; Meeker 2007), and to asthma and skin allergies in children (Bornehag 2004; Jaakkola 2008; Kolarik 2008). Animal studies indicate exposure to phthalates can trigger miscarriage or cause infertility in females, and can cause birth defects in male and female offspring of animals exposed during pregnancy (e.g., Marsman 1995; Wine 1997; Ema 1998; Mylchreest 1998, 1999, 2000; Gray 1999, 2000; CERHR 2000).

HAVE THESE CHEMICALS BEEN REGULATED?

Phthalates are considered hazardous waste and are regulated as pollutants in air and water. One phthalate, DEHP, is regulated in drinking water. DEHP was allegedly removed voluntarily from children’s toys over a decade ago. However, 2 recent studies detected DEHP in toys on the market today (Purvis 2005; Kay 2006). Bans on specific phthalates in children’s products were passed recently, first in California, and then nationwide. Phthalates are unregulated in food, cosmetics, and medical products in the U.S. In contrast, the European Union restricts use of some phthalates.

HOW CAN WE PREVENT FUTURE EXPOSURES?

Because phthalates are found in many everyday products, some exposure may be unavoidable. One way to reduce exposure is to switch to phthalate-free cosmetics and body care products. Choose products that do not list “fragrance” as an ingredient, and nail polish that does not contain dibutyl phthalate. You can also choose fragrance-free detergents and cleaning products, eat less food packaged in plastic, and not microwave food in plastic containers.

www.ewg.org
Continue reading “Cosmetic Danger – Pthalates” »

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