Friday, April 10, 2009

We know to filter water. But should we be filtering our cosmetics too?

Hormone-altering chemicals in your makeup? Could be. The FDA does not require cosmetics manufacturers to test their own personal care products for safety. And yet, we buy it. We think...Chapstick can't hurt. It's just shampoo. But studies are showing that a little of something used over a long period of time can, in fact, hurt your overall health and wellness.

Ever wondered what those long, garbled words ("ingredients") on the back of your personal care products mean? They're synthetics. You probably new that. But...what do they mean? The skin is a complicated organ, one that needs clear pathways to excrete toxins. Synthetics block the skin's pathways, which, to the average eye, looks like less-than-vibrant skin.

To help you sort the good (natural!) from the bad and the ugly (synthetic), the Environmental Working Group has launched Skin Deep, a cosmetics safety database where you can search the products you use on a daily basis by product name, ingredient, or company. For example, did you know that Pantene Conditioning Spray has a hazard rating of 10 out of 10. Ingredients in this product have been linked to: developmental and reproductive toxicity, violations, allergies, and organ system toxicity, to name a few. Burt's Bees Avocado Hair Conditioner, however, only has a toxic rating of 3, which reflects its link to allergies.

Don't be fooled the word "cosmetics." We're not talking lipstick and sparkle eyeshadow here (not only). Toxic ingredients are equally included in men's and women's personal care products. For example, AXE Deodorant Body Spray for Men has a hazard rating of 5, while BOD MAN Fragrance has a rating of 8.

The decision to protect your health is a personal one. Make the most of it. Choose natural. For more information about natural products, download free tips and recipes from the Apothecary Shoppe College Store.

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