Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.
On average, the American woman uses 12 products a day exposing herself to about 126 different chemicals. The scary thing is that many women use more than this which raises serious concern with over exposure since many product ingredients are toxic and known to cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive and hormone problems. What is even crazier is that the European Union has banned more than 1,500 product ingredients for use in cosmetics because of their toxicity compared to only 11 ingredients banned in the U.S.
According to the Environmental Working Group, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to test cosmetic products for safety. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. The FDA conducts pre-market reviews only of certain cosmetics color additives and active ingredients that are classified as over-the-counter drugs (FDA 2005, 2010). Since the FDA does little to regulate ingredient safety, it has authorized the cosmetics industry to police itself through its Cosmetics Ingredient Review panel. The panel has declared only 11 ingredients to be unsafe since its creation 30 years ago and many of their recommendations to restrict certain ingredients are not binding on companies.
Cosmetics companies and the FDA maintain that these chemicals are safe, and many of them are but in small doses. However, the average number of products a person uses everyday causes toxic accumulation that may lead to illness and disease. Since we cannot trust the safety of many ingredients in personal products, treating your body with natural body care is the best way to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals.
SLN’s Take Home Message
Think before you slather! Our skin acts like a sponge, so we end up absorbing many harmful, unsolicited chemicals. Choosing natural body products that are natural or plant-based AND have fewer, but recognizable ingredients is the best way to get your skin in the game. However, be wary of the “organic” or “natural” product labels which can contain petrochemicals. Also, products that are certified as organic can contain as little as 10 percent organic ingredients by weight or volume.