Although my title may seem ridiculous, there is a story behind it. I have very recently reached the point that if a product contains ingredients that I would never eat then that product will not go near my skin.
Seem a bit much? Take a look at my reasoning and then decide.
Remember, your skin is your largest organ, whatever comes in contact with the skin is absorbed by your body. In order to make these personal care products lather, smell wonderful and last long enough to be on store shelves and in your home for months and oftentimes years before expiring, additives, preservatives, and many toxic chemicals are used. So what’s the big deal? It’s not like we’re eating it right? Using such products on your skin may cause more harm than if you were to actually eat them. Sound crazy? Keep reading. For the record, I am in no way encouraging eating your personal care products :) however if you were to eat, let’s say, your favorite lotion, it would go through a number of steps before reaching your blood stream as the enzymes in your saliva and stomach would help digest it and then flush it out of your system. Now if you put that same lotion on your skin, it is not digested but instead it is absorbed by your porous skin and then goes straight into your bloodstream which will then in turn be sent to your organs. If your personal care products contain toxic ingredients (which unfortunately many do) and you are using such ingredients often and long enough, your body may begin to store these ingredients, which is obviously not good.
Since the list of chemicals found in personal care products is unfortunately rather endless, it’s impossible for me to go into detail right now of specific chemicals and what introducing them into your body may cause. Depending on where you are in your journey to better health, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect everyone reading this to trash any product they wouldn’t eat. However, it’s all about taking small steps in the right direction towards better health, and being aware of what you are exposing your body to. Part of becoming aware is knowing what is in the products you use and what potential harm these ingredients may cause. Not sure where to begin? I want to share with everyone a website that I find to be invaluable when it comes to personal care products. This website allows you to search your personal care products (there are over 50,000 name brands to search from) and tells you which ingredients are hazardous and why they are hazardous ie, cancer causing, developmental/reproductive toxicity etc. You can even do a search for healthy products based on their hazard score, so for example if you are trying to find a healthy baby shampoo you can do a search and filter it according to it’s hazard level. So I present you all with another challenge, better yet let’s call it your ‘homework’ for the week. I would like everyone reading this to take a few of your personal care products and do a search on www.cosmeticdatabase.com. Let me know how it goes!
**Remember there is a cure for widespread diseases like cancer, the best way to cure cancer is to prevent cancer as best we can. If you like what you are reading help me spread the word by sharing my articles with your friends. Follow me, Drug free pharmacist, on facebook**
–Hoda Elkassem, RPh, BSc Pharmacy, BSc Allied Health Sciences