I used to be addicted to beauty and personal care products. From my teenage years up until about a couple years ago, I was literally obsessed with buying and trying every new cream, cosmetic or hair product available on the market. I was hooked by the promising claims the beauty industry would throw at me dozens of times a day on TV, in magazines, or as I was walking down the street.
Not only was I over-consuming beauty products (most of the time I wouldn’t even finish them!), but most importantly, I was completely unaware of the chemicals they contained and their potential harmful effects on my body.
Who would think that an innocent shampoo could contain carcinogenic substances?
Although I was raised on processed foods and frozen meals, making healthier food choices and switching from a refined diet to a whole-foods diet was something I did naturally over time. The more I started to real labels on the food I was buying, the more I became aware of what I was putting in my body and informed enough to make better choices. So I stopped buying packaged foods that contained ingredients I could not pronounce. However, it took me a while before realizing that perhaps I should read the labels on my beauty products too. Never did it occur to me that what I was putting on my skin could be equally, if not even more harmful as ingesting chemicals through food.
Skin is the body’s largest organ. It absorbs about 60-70% of what we feed it with. What we put on our skin makes its way into our blood, tissues and organs, and therefore has an impact on our health just as much as, if not more than what we put in our mouth.
If you are putting toxic chemicals on your skin, I’m sorry to tell you that you are inevitably making yourself toxic.
Allergies, sensitivities, hormone imbalances and infertility issues have increased tremendously in the last decades. Our bodies are facing an overabundance of toxins every day through the environment, pollution, exposure to pesticides, herbicides and chemicals, causing numerous imbalances and health issues.
Take a minute to go in your bathroom cabinet, pick a few products (shampoo, creams, deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics), and look at the ingredient list. I bet you’ll find that most if not all of them list words that you can’t recognize or pronounce. If your body can’t recognize the ingredients that make their way into your bloodstream because they don’t come from nature, then there’s a good chance it won’t know how to process them. These start to build up and this is when imbalances and issues begin to arise.
Shockingly, beauty and skin care companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish in their formulations, and products are not reviewed for safety before they’re put on the market. A few of the most common chemicals/harmful substances found in beauty products, cosmetics and household products include phthalates, lead, aluminum, sodium lauryl sulfate, BHA, boric acid, fragrance (or parfum), and parabens, among many others.
These substances have been linked to a long list of health problems, including allergies, headaches, asthma, respiratory issues, endocrine and immune disruption, infertility, developmental problems, organ toxicity, cancers, and many more. The global spread of toxic man-made substances is not only a threat to our health, it is also a threat to the environment and the planet’s natural eco-system.
Reversing this spread starts with each and every one of us. It starts by making small changes, such as replacing a Procter & Gamble shampoo by an organic and eco-friendly one. And the great news is there are tons of healthier and safer alternatives. The key is to be more conscious of our choices, read labels, and encourage companies that are making safe and environment-friendly products. Whenever looking for a beauty product, try to go for one that is labelled organic and that use a short list of natural ingredients such as plants and oils (plants are usually identified by their latin name).
Don’t try to replace your entire bathroom cabinet all at once, you will soon feel overwhelmed. Instead, make a slow transition into switching to organic products by replacing a toxic product by a safe one, one at a time. Next time you run out of moisturizer, make the effort to buy a new organic one. Slowly, you’ll clean your entire cabinet and you’ll set your home and your body free of chemicals!
If you want to learn more about the health hazards of your everyday products, I highly recommend checking out Skin Deep, a wonderful online resource by the Environmental Working Group. It allows you to search among thousands of specific products and brands and evaluate their potential health risk or safety.
I’ve had the privilege to create my own natural skincare line in collaboration with a dear friend of mine who’s an incredible herbalist. Our products are handmade in small batches in Quebec using the purest, most potent botanical ingredients. 100% natural, vegan and cruelty-free, they will always be free of fillers, fragrances, chemicals, artificial preservatives and other synthetic, hormone-disrupting, man-made ingredients. High vibrational, they are infused with crystal and flower essences so that they not only work on the physical plane, but also on energetical and spiritual levels as well.