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Toxic Chemicals & Our Skin

Most people are unaware that 60 percent of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream. If you stop and think about the ramifications of this, it is quite disconcerting. You may think the sunscreen, body lotions and deodorants are safe, because the FDA approved them, but did you know that the average person (women) puts more than 168 toxic chemicals on their body with only 12 products? Men use about half that.

Our skin is the largest organ in (of) our body and is responsible for: sensations, controlling our body temperature keeping us warm or cool (sweating), waterproof and protects our inner organs and also our immunity by keeping out potentially infectious microorganisms, and fighting infection. It transforms sunlight into Vitamin D and protects our body from excess ultraviolet light. Skin is a complex organ with many functions.

Many ingredients in our everyday products have been linked to asthma, low birth weight and have carcinogenic affects, to name a few. The Environmental Working Group (www.EWG,org) has researched hundreds of products over the past several years, and continues to have them researched by independent labs, and have found safety concerns for adults and children. Below is a short list of ingredients to be aware of and to avoid.

Product Avoid

Soap triclosan and triclocarban.

Skin moisturizer Retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol in daytime & lip products products

Hand Sanitizers Pick: ethanol or ethyl alcohol in at least 60% alcohol

Sunscreen Just say no: SPF above 50, Retinyl palmitate, Aerosol spray and powder sunscreen, Oxybenzone, Added insect repellent

Say yes to: Hats and shade in mid-day sun, Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients, otherwise Avobenzone (at 3%)SPF 15 to 50, depending on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover. Use a lot and reapply frequently

Hair Care Avoid or limit: Dark permanent hair dyes, Chemical hair straighteners

Toothpaste Avoid: triclosan

Nails Avoid: Formaldehyde or formalin in polish, hardeners or other nail products. Toluene and Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in polish.

Pregnant? Skip polish

Staying out of the sun and away from tanning beds is the easiest way to get great-looking skin. The suns UVB and UVA rays cause skin damage, which is prematurely aging, and skin cancer. Every day you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks UVB and UVA rays, with an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply at least every two hours while outdoors. For a dewy glow, use skin-care products with 10 ingredients or less to reduce irritation, use moisturizer and feed your skin from within. Dark chocolate and antioxidant-rich foods such as cantaloupe, citrus fruits, blueberries and leafy greens improve the skin’s appearance.

More skin care related articles including skin cancer and DIY Natural products. (Links to be added here)

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