For generations, women have always been pressured to look their best. Whether it's being slim yet curvy "enough", dressing up or keeping a clean appearance, women have been pressured enough when it comes to how we're seen. These big companies know that. We keep our bathroom counters stocked with serums, creams, makeup, washes, scrubs and masks. But do we really know what goes into crafting our favorite beauty regimen?
I mean, let's be honest, who really looks at the long list of ingredients labeled on these containers? I know I didn't until a few years ago out of curiosity. I saw things I could barely pronounce like polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, parfum and many more. All of these chemicals have one thing in common: they are harmful when exposed to for extended periods of time.
Fun Fact: Did you know that it only takes 26 seconds for the chemicals in your beauty products to absorb into you skin?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a cheap detergent typically used in soaps and shampoos. You know, the stuff that gives us that "rich lather" and makes us feel squeaky clean. However, this chemical is not good for our bodies at all. Not only is SLS extremely drying to the skin, it's a possible carcinogen that can harm the kidneys, liver and nervous system. The issue is that SLS is often contaminated with 1, 4 dioxane which is a known carcinogen (cancer causing) and is actually banned in Europe!
Parabens are preservatives often used in cosmetics, deodorants and lotions. They typically begin with methyl-, propyl- and ethyl-. They can easily penetrate the skin and mimic estrogen, disrupting the hormonal system. Parabens have links to breast cancer and have been found present in tumors. If you struggle with unexplainable mood swings, these chemicals could be the culprit! I noticed a significant difference in my mood control when I started to be more aware of the products I used. Crazy, right?!
Polyethylene Glycol also known by PEG are petrolatum compounds that function as moisturizers, solvents and stabilizers. PEGs are often contaminated by pollutants like dioxane, ethyl oxide and heavy metals like arsenic, lead and nickel. These are known carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer, leukemia, brain & nervous system cancers, bladder cancer and stomach cancer.
These are just a few of the chemicals that could be in your products RIGHT NOW. Why would these companies put these harsh chemicals in our products? Well, these chemicals make their products cheap to produce, and we have a high demand for these products. Consequently, it may be difficult to tackle certain health issues like hormonal imbalances while using products with these chemicals. The first step to taking your wellness back is to manage what you are applying to your body topically. Always look for products that say "paraben free" "sulfate free" and always check your labels. The Environmental Working Group has dedicated their time to fighting against companies who use toxic chemicals in the products we trust to be clean for consumption. If you are ever curious about a chemical, you can search it on the website here.
**This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness or disease. Also, seek the professional advice of a licensed medical professional before taking any advice listed here.