Chemical Detox – what you need to know

August 17, 2015 by Lisa - No Comments

Chemicals could be affecting the health of  you and your family, not to mention messing with you hormones & everything else in your body……..

What you need to know

There is no time like the present to take a closer look at your everyday skincare and household products.  So many of us have simply trusted that the products we grab off the supermarket shelves are safe. I personally have previously thought and expected that companies would only put safe and non toxic ingredients in the products we use on ourselves, our families and in our home. I thought for sure that there would be strict regulations that cosmetic companies must comply with before manufacturing and distributing  products.

Unfortunately, it seems this is far from true. Over the past few years since having children it has come to my attention that there seems to be more in our products than we might be aware of. The chemicals are in our skincare products shampoos, conditioners, hand soap, body washes and everyday household products. Some of these nasty chemicals are responsible for mild to very serious health issues and some even mess with your hormones aka endocrine disrupting chemicals. Like us women don’t have enough hormonal stuff going on with puberty, pregnancy, new born babies, sleep deprivation and menopause….

Greenwashing Products

As a woman with two kids, I have enough problems with my hormones without adding a whole tonne of unknown toxic chemicals into the mix. Unfortunately some companies have started taking advantage of us trusting mums and dads trying to do the best for our families and are “greenwashing”their products. Making out they are green and clean when in fact their products contain some of these nasty chemicals and many others. Always read the ingredients and when products state they are organic and natural  – do a quick scan and check because sometimes they can contain one organic ingredient and still contain toxic chemicals.

From my research what I understand is that in Australia companies can put their products on the shelves without first proving their safety. It also seems that products need to be proven unsafe to be removed instead of the other way around?? I see this as a totally backward process, and on top of that they can put whatever they like in products as the cosmetics industry isn’t heavily regulated so companies can at present use whatever ingredients they like, even when some of these chemicals have been banned by other countries in the world. I have had enough, this totally baffles and annoys me! Lets start looking at the ingredients and simply boycotting brands that do not have our health in their best interest. Lets take back control of our health for ourselves, our family and the environment.

What are Toxic Chemicals?

Toxic chemicals are substances which may be harmful to the environment or hazardous to health conditions if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. It is time to say no to companies that put harmful and unnecessary toxic chemicals in our skincare, in our babies skincare and in our everyday household products. From carcinogenic chemicals and other nasty stuff (see some are listed below) that can affect not only our external skin but also be absorbed through our skin and even affect our bodily systems including reproductive, nervous, immune, developmental and the many other important systems in our body that keep us functioning. Its just plain crazy and unnecessary on all levels.

So here is some information I have collated from a variety of sources including an app called The Chemical Maze and the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Grab your products and do a quick review and start cleaning out your cupboards and switch to safer there is no better time than the present to detox your skincare and household products. It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive but there is no time like the present. I have put together some (just some) of the nasties that are lurking around in everyday skincare and household products for quick reference as I know we are all busy and I am so passionate about this and want to spread the word and help other mums and dads make the switch to safer and better products and don’t freak it doesn’t have to cost the earth but if you continue to use these products it just might. So here’s an quick overview on what to AVOID!

To name a dirty few…

Phthalates:  This is usually derived from petroleum (and has been banned in some European cosmetics) and may be hidden in your body lotions, hair spray, nail polish, perfume and detergents. This chemical is a suspected hormone disruptor linked to birth defects and damage to the male reproductive system (Seriously say what now – I hear you say?)  but wait there’s more, and it’s not good, this chemical can effect your body’s systems including  gastrointestinal, liver, immune, kidneys, nervous, developmental and reproductive and neurotoxicity. Not to mention it is harmful to our wildlife and the environment. Ditch it!

Fragrance: Many fragrances are producted from cheap ingredients that are known to be toxic and carcinogenic and are best avoided. Fragrances are used in many cosmetic and household products including in deodorants, perfumes and masking . Fragrance effects the immune and nervous system and is linked to allergic reactions, asthma, suspected immune and neurotoxicity and they are not assessed for safety in cosmetics. Check your candles too and make sure they are essential oil based, not burning fragrances because that means your burning and breathing toxic fumes throughout your home.

Sulphates: – aka  sodium laurel sulphate can be from lauryl alcohol (from ethylene from petroleum and sodium hydroxide). This toxin can be found in your body wash, facial cleansers, foundation, hair colour and bleach, shampoo, teeth whitener, toothpaste and many other household products and can penetrate your skin and accumulate in vital organs. It is an irritant that can cause contact dermatitis, skin dryness and suspected liver toxicity and then when it washes down the drain and out into the ocean it is toxic to aquatic organisms. Sulphates harms you and the environment big thumbs down.

Parabens:also knowns as methylparaben, propylparaben, Ilsoparaben, Butylparaben, esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid and is petroleum derived. This is a preservative and can be found in conditioner, lipstick, liquid hand soap, shampoo, sunscreen, toothpaste and various other household products. This toxin can cause contact dermatitis and skin irritation and it is a suspected endocrine disruptor. Endocrine Disruptor means it messes with your hormones and can cause cancerous tumours, birth defects, thyroid issues and other developmental disorders i.e learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders. So any system in the body controlled by hormones can be derailed by hormone disruptors. It is also a suspected skin and organ toxicity and is toxic to our wildlife and environmental. So my motto is when in doubt chuck it out!

Propyl Paraben: This endocrine disrupting chemical acts as a weak synthetic oestrogen and can alter the expression of genes. It has been shown to accelerate the growth of breast cancer cells and has been shown to decrease sperm counts and testosterone in animals. This chemical can be found in anti-ageing products, eye shadow, facial cleaners, lip gloss, lipstick, mascara and moisturiser. It is derived from petroleum and can cause skin ailments like eczema, dermatitis, itching, hives and rashes. Also suspected of skin or sense organ toxicity and is also toxic to wildlife and environment toxicity. Watch out for this not only in your skincare but also it is hidden in some popular food brands.  Say what I hear you say some more??? Yep that’s right – food! In good sense cosmetic companies have removed Propyl Paraben from their products but now it seems we are unknowingly eating it. There is something so wrong with the industry to allow people to unknowingly be not only putting this on our skin but also unknowingly digesting this harmful toxin.

Formaldehyde: so this one is a preservative and may be petroleum derived, methanal, is potent and has now been restricted in cosmetics in Canada. This nasty one is known carcinogen (meaning cancer causing) and causes sensitisation, suspected liver, respiratory, reproductive, immune and neurotoxicity. It is often found in nail polish and nail treatments, floor polish and household cleaners its can effect immune system, nervous system, reproductive system, respiratory system and gastrointestinal system and liver.

Nanoparticles Titanium Dioxide – this is most likely in your sunscreen, foundation and lipstick. It is associated with respiratory tract cancer in rats, nano particle-induced cytotoxicity and has not been assessed for safety yet is it is through the very products we are told to wear everyday and to put on our kids. This one one damages DNA – it is an endoctrine disruptor.

Triclosan: so this one is a chlorinated aromatic compound – sounds delightful doesn’t it? Well not so much…its petroleum derived and is restricted in cosmetics in Japan and Canada. It also may be contaminated with chloroform and dioxin and cause skin, eye and lung irritation as well has immunotoxicity and is also harmful to our wildlife and the environment. Guess where its found? Yep everyday products such as toothpaste, deodorant, facial cleansers, liquid hand soap and it goes on… WHY? I have absolutely no idea I am as dumbfounded as you but  I say this is simply not good enough!

Unfortunately the list goes on and on and on and on including Toluene, benzene, toluol, phenyl methane, methylbenzene,  benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate, ethoxycinnmate, nano particles, TEA Lauryl Sulphate and TEA Stearate, PEGS, DEA’s, Glycols, GMO’s and Ethoxylates. I can’t stress enough switch to safer we use these products every day and so do our babies and children and the people we love most so why oh why are these companies putting these chemicals in our products?

The way forward (it’s not all doom and gloom I promise)

The good new is it’s not all doom and gloom. Lets start sending a clear message to these companies that we will no longer accept them putting harmful toxins in our products harming not only ourselves but our babies and kids, animals and the environment. Let’s hold them accountable and say enough is enough. Nothing like a boycott to hit them where it hurts. Companies need to get ethical and start caring about us, our families and the environment. We need to start looking after ourselves and the Earth otherwise at I am not too sure what we will be leaving our children.

So take a look as there are lots of brands out now that take pride in being made from natural ingredients. I have built my business around this very principle I am looking to make it easier for other to make the switch for themselves and their homes. Doesn’t have to be hard but do it now there’s no time like the present and health is the most important gift! I hope in some way this has helped but definitely time to go through your cupboards and start chucking the toxic stuff out and switch to safer.

Some helpful sources include the EWGs Skin Deep Database to research toxic chemicals that may be in your cosmetic and person care products. I have downloaded The Chemical Maze as a guide and I have heard about The Good Guide App which scans the product barcode. I am yet to give this one a go.

This quote really resonates with me “when you know better – do better!” Its a work in progress and we can’t change the past but we can change the future for ourselves and our families and there is no time like the present to make change for better. So make the change today and switch to safer.

Join the Organic Evolution. Lisa x