Choosing non-toxic skin care
Choosing non-toxic, or at least less toxic, personal care products is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. Because your skin is one of four ways that toxins enter your body which are injection, ingestion, and inhalation.
The needle is not always from being injected such as Botox treatment but also involving around insect bite or any sharp object inserting our skin and delivery toxins to our system. Some of the toxins you absorb, ingest and inhale most come from the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the pollution in the environment you are in. By switching to nontoxic personal care products, you’re at least taking control over a lot of what gets absorbed into your skin.
Your Skin Absorbs Toxins
Many experts believe that the toxins you absorb through your skin are more dangerous to your health than those you ingest. Because once they’re absorbed through your skin, they go right into your bloodstream, bypassing detoxification by your liver.
Skin is your body’s largest organ. It has a layered structure that performs many functions that protect your body from outside influences. Whether or not your skin will absorb something depends on a lot of factors, including skin health and thickness.
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and absorbs substances the easiest. Your hands and the soles of your feet have the thickest skin.
The type of substance that your skin is exposed to is another factor that determines how much your body absorbs. An important characteristic of chemicals that travel quickly through the skin is that they are quickly dissolved in fat.
And many toxic chemicals are fat-soluble, making them easily absorbed. Plus, some of the chemicals in personal care products, especially creams and lotions, are added just to enhance skin absorption.
What Is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene glycol is the third “product” in a chemical process beginning with propene, a byproduct of fossil fuel (oil refining and natural gas processing) and also found in nature as a byproduct of fermentation. Propene is converted to propylene oxide, a volatile compound frequently used in the creation process of polyurethane plastics (and to create propylene glycol). Propylene oxide is considered a “probable carcinogen.” Finally, through a hydrolyzation process (separating molecules by the addition of water), you get propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol is found in thousands of cosmetic products as well as a large number of processed foods products. Another place you will find it is in many medications, serving as a way to help your body absorb chemicals more efficiently. It’s also a common ingredient in electronic cigarettes, contributing to taste and “smoothness” of the smoke.
The Dangers of Propylene Glycol
1. Skin Irritation and Allergic Reactions
2. Potentially Toxic to the Kidneys and Liver
3. Probably Not Safe for Infants or Pregnant Women
4. Neurological Symptoms
5. Cardiovascular Problems
6. Respiratory Issues
7. Potentially Bioaccumulative in Certain Cases
8. May Be a Pathway for More Harmful Chemicals
How to Avoid Propylene Glycol
1. Read Food Labels
2. Purchase Cosmetics Free of Harmful Chemicals and Preservatives
3. Avoid Processed Foods Likely to Contain Propylene Glycol
Many skin lotions, creams, and oils contain mineral oil, as do many tanning products. Mineral oil may sound safe enough, but… it's not.
Mineral oil is actually a derivative of petroleum, the same stuff you put in your car's engine. Because it's very viscous (slippery), many products use mineral oil as the main ingredient, as it allows the lotion to be spread easily across your skin. This although it's a known carcinogen!
It's also comedogenic which means it blocks your pores and your skin's natural respiration process. Blocked pores can lead to blackheads and pimples. And, because mineral oil can create an impenetrable film on your skin, it may also block the absorption of any beneficial ingredients that might exist in the product.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you're not being exposed to potentially hazardous agents is to simply make your own personal care products, using simple all-natural ingredients that many of you may already have in your home.
Two great all-natural moisturizers are pure emu oil and pure coconut oil. Both can be used for facial and body moisturizers and lotions. Coconut oil has been used to moisturize skin for ages and is also a potent source of the beneficial fat lauric acid.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS)
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It is present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color, and bleaching agents, toothpaste, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, and bath oils/bath salts. Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product.
Research studies on SLS have shown links to:
Irritation of the skin and eyes
Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
Possible mutations and cancer
Many studies report SLS being damaging to oral mucosa and skin. This is not at all surprising since SLS is actually used as a skin irritant during studies where medical treatments for skin irritation require an intentionally irritating agent.