We are all exposed to huge numbers of chemicals every day in the environment, in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. The vast majority of these chemicals are what we call “endocrine disruptors” which simply means that they mess with your hormones (insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, etc) in a number of different ways. One of the biggest sources of exposure is cosmetics and personal care products.
On average people apply more than 100 different ingredients to their bodies every day – soaps, creams, sunscreens, shaving products, cosmetics, etc. Some of these ingredients are directly ingested (on the lips or hands) and some absorb through the skin into the bloodstream. Nearly 90 percent of the 10,500 ingredients FDA has determined are used in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the CIR, the FDA, or any other publicly accountable institution. We are conducting a huge chemistry experiment with our skin!
One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to buy organic skin care products, or at least buy products with a very short ingredients list. Would you feel comfortable eating your hand cream? What about your lip balm? Remember that what goes on, goes in. For more information visit the Environmental Working Groups website on safe cosmetics and personal care products: www.ewg.org/skindeep