Just in the United States, Americans spent $33.3 billion dollars on cosmetics and other beauty products in 2010! That’s more money spent on cosmetics than new foreign cars ($27 billion) and on TV’s ($25 billion). On average, a person uses up to 15 different cosmetic products a day (shampoo, hair gel, cologne, toothpaste, etc.). And with all the products that we pour into our hair or rub on our skin, about 60% of if gets absorbed into our bloodstream!
The problem is that the majority of these products we use contain some very harmful ingredients. A few of the most common that should be avoided include:
- Phthalates: Endocrine disruptors and developmental toxins linked to asthma. They can be found in nail polishes and in blended fragrances used in many personal care products. Phthalates are banned in Europe.
- Parabens: a family of preservatives that has been detected intact in breast cancer tissue, mostly used to prevent microbial growth in makeup. Banned in Japan and Sweden.
- Formaldehyde: a carcinogen associated with immune dysfunction, commonly used in lotions, mascara, nail polish, and makeup remover. Banned in Europe.
- Triclosan: antibacterial agent used in body wash and hand wash. It’s been found to build up in breast milk, and has been detected in 80% of US rivers and lakes.
With all the harmful chemicals out there in our beauty products, it can be hard to figure out what’s right for you. Below is a link to the website “Skin Deep”, with over 68,000 products ranked it’s a very useful site to help figure out what the safest options are for you. They rank each item from 1-10 (1 being the least hazardous).
The link for “Skin Deep”: