Most men don’t realize that common skincare products contain toxic chemicals that can cause damage to your health. That’s right; unless you’re using natural skincare products, the soaps, shampoo, lotions and shaving items in your medicine cabinet could be making you sick. According to Dr. Mercola of Mercola.com, these chemicals can cause all kinds of health problems:
You’ve probably heard the health warning “Watch what you eat” because what you put in your mouth directly affects your body chemistry and how smoothly it functions. But did you know that what you put on your skin, hair and nails affects your body chemistry too?
You’ll be surprised at the amount of toxins that can enter your body through your skin, especially through cumulative, daily exposure to toxic ingredients found in modern beauty products such as shampoo, cosmetics and lotions.
These chemicals can cause hormonal imbalance, fatigue, headaches, digestive upsets, flu-like symptoms, and aching joints, which are just some of the symptoms of toxic overload.
Dr. Frank Lipman provides a description of toxic chemicals found in common skincare products including phthalates, parabens and propylene glycol, and recommends avoiding these altogether. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, brain, kidney and liver abnormalities, and can cause problems with the central nervous system. Indie Lee, brain tumor survivor and natural products expert explains the lack of attention to this problem at the Huffington Post:
Can you pronounce 4-phenylenediamine? What about triethanolamine? Neither can I. Now, can you say high fructose corn syrup? Chances are you read your food labels carefully to avoid that particular sweetener. You probably also buy organic produce and dairy products. What surprises me is that many consumers pay so much attention to the ingredients that go into their food but so little attention to what goes on their skin, their largest organ. Many of us look at food labels every day, but how many of us look at labels when shopping for personal care products?
About 1,100 ingredients have been banned by the European Union since 2003 (Cosmetics Directive 76/768/EEC). These ingredients were cited as causing or suspected of causing cancer, genetic mutations, birth defects or reproductive harm. The United States has banned fewer than 12, and we have not seriously touched the regulations that govern personal care products and cosmetics since 1938. Despite growing consumer awareness, scientific evidence and international precedence, the Safe Cosmetic Act has met stiff resistance in Congress. Money, political influence via lobbyists and the free reign of large corporations to protect their own activities have effectively prevented the necessary update to depression era laws.
So what should you do? First realize that it’s not easy to go 100% natural. Lots of men’s skincare products may claim to contain natural ingredients, but they often include harmful chemicals as well. But getting a start is better than not doing anything at all, so begin by looking at the ingredient list of the products you’ve been using. You want to see a simple list of ingredients you recognize. If instead you read all kinds of chemicals and toxins that you can’t pronounce, put that bottle down and choose more natural alternatives in order to protect your health.