Are your skin care products making you sick?

Happy Spring! Now that the warmer weather is here and we shed our winter layers everyone is showing more skin! In my May newsletter I covered tips for healthier skin and acupuncture for cosmetic facial rejuvenation that can help lift sagging skin and soften wrinkle lines to give you a more youthful appearance. Now lets talk about skin care, specifically skin care ingredients that should be avoided.

In the last 5 years there has been an increasing awareness and research around the harmful ingredients in our skin care products. We know what we put IN our bodies has an impact on our health, but what about what we put ON our body?

Our skin is the largest organ we have, it’s a living breathing organism and if we care about our health, we should pay more attention to what we’re slathering on our skin.

Substances (read: chemicals) can be absorbed through the skin and go directly into the bloodstream and because of this some scientists agree that absorption through the skin can be more dangerous than through the mouth. This is because when substances travel through the mouth to the digestive tract they get filtered and detoxified by the liver and kidneys, but when they go through the skin they don’t go through that cleaning process.

Common toxic skin care chemicals to avoid (the short list):

  • Parabens (including methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, benzyl- and butyl) – disrupt hormonal pathways, stimulate estrogen and may increase risk of breast and prostate cancer
  • Phthalates (abbreviated DEHP, DINP, BzBP, DBP, DEP or DMP)- linked to cancer, birth defects and disrupt hormones
  • Petrochemicals (petroleum) – linked to anemia, kidney degeneration, and nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord
  • Sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS) – can change genetic material in cells
  • Diethanolamine (DEA, TEA and MEA, Diazolidinyl Urea, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) and Polyethylene Glycol (PEGs)) – all known carcinogens
[/checklist] The FDA requires that ingredients on labels are listed in the order of highest concentrations – meaning that the highest level of ingredients are listed first.

To take back some control of your health it’s a good idea to read labels. Skin care labels as well as food labels. Look for USDA approved 100% certified organic products and avoid anything containing synthetic colors, fragrances and mercury.

I have a wonderful, toxic free line of skincare products that I love and personally use. I also give these products to my patients who do cosmetic facial acupuncture to further enhance the results. With or without acupuncture, these products will make your skin tighter and more lustrous.

Click HERE to look up ingredients in your favorite personal skin care products.

Although we are talking a lot about our physical appearance this month, it’s good to reminder ourselves of the bigger picture:

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~Kahlil Gibran

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