There is so much buzz about living healthier these days. Everywhere I turn there is talk about a new great tasting protein powder, 10-minute fat-burning exercise, or Dr. Oz health tip. Kraft dinner and canned ham have simply lost their coolness. It makes me happy to see the wellness industry expanding rapidly but really disappointed to hear that toxic skincare product sales went up 9% in the last year. If your skin is the largest organ of your body and you know it absorbs everything slathered on it, why do you continue to purchase products that are toxic, harmful, and simply bad for you? These large companies are profiting on your purchase of personal care products that contain ingredients which harm your health. Unfortunately, their revenue appears to be more important than your well-being. I think it is a good idea to stop believing that everything on the market is safe. Consider taking control of not only what you put into your body, but also what you put on it. These 5 toxic ingredients need a new home immediately – how about your garbage can?
- PARABENS – These are widely used in personal care products to prolong shelf life. Great for the manufacturer, but not so great for you. There is plenty of research to demonstrate the harmful effects of parabens. They damage the endocrine system and are possibly linked to the increasing rates of breast cancer. One study reported that over 90% of tissue sampled in breast cancer patients contained parabens. Keep it simple. Look for paraben-free products. They are clearly labeled and fairly easy to find.
- FRAGRANCES – We all want our products to smell nice, but if your product isn’t scented with essential oils, it is likely made up of artificial, synthetic, toxic ingredients. The fragrance industry uses thousands of chemicals and most of them are considered toxic to the body. Besides being one of the leading causes of sensitivities and allergies, fragrances often contain phthalates, which is another ingredient that you’re better off without. Phthalates have been linked to infertility, asthma, and cancer – just embrace your natural scent or choose natural essential oils.
- MINERAL OIL – If you have no interest in smothering your skin with gasoline, keep mineral oil out of your cupboards. This ingredient is a by-product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Although you may enjoy the moisturizing feeling that comes with applying it, all mineral oil really does is coat your skin and block it from properly eliminating toxins. Your skin is your largest detoxification organ and when your pores are jammed, toxins buildup inside your body. Spend your money wisely and say no to this cheap, destructive ingredient. *Note that mineral oil may be listed on the label as petrolatum or paraffin wax/oil.
- POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG) – If you want to age prematurely, I encourage you to choose personal care products that contain this ingredient. For those of you who are exercising, eating healthy, and trying your best to keep your young glowing skin, PEG containing products will need to go into your trash can too. Did you know that PEG is found in many spray-on oven cleaners? Why in the world would you want to put this cancer-causing ingredient on your skin?
- SODIUM LAURYL AND SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLS) – This ingredient has been referred to as a mutagen. If you aren’t familiar with the word mutagen, it basically means it can change the genetic material found inside your cells. The worst part is that your body is not designed to eliminate this toxic substance; therefore it lingers in your system for a very long time. Even 15 years after death, SLS has been identified in human cadavers. No wonder it causes reproductive issues, disrupts hormones, and possibly causes cancer. It simply has no business in your body.
Your skin needs nutrients – not chemicals! Has this article inspired you to toss your harmful personal care products away? I hope so. Start shopping for better quality hair, skin, and cosmetic products. With so many great companies making natural products, there is no excuse for buying toxic merchandise that contain the ingredients above. Invest in your health by leaving these goods on the shelf.
If you want to release the toxic residues that have built up in your body over the years, I recommend dry skin brushing (an ancient detoxification practice). See below for directions on how to properly eliminate toxins through your skin and lymphatic system. Happy detoxing!
DRY SKIN BRUSHING
- soft natural fibre brush with a long handle
- has an exfoliating effect which removes dead skin that clogs pores
- stimulates the lymphatic system (the lymphatic system dumps out all the garbage in your body)
- boosts your immune system
- stimulates the oil-producing glands to eliminate excess oil / debris
- enhances circulation
- eliminates cellulite completely (must be combined with a DETOX diet and practiced daily for 3 months to eliminate cellulite)
- prevents early aging by tightening the skin
- improves digestion
Using your long handled skin brush (with natural fibers), begin brushing your bare, dry skin from the bottom up. Starting from the bottom of your feet, brush the skin in an upward direction. Repeated long strokes are recommended. Always brush towards your heart (on the left side of your chest). When it comes to your hands, stroke each hand to the shoulder. The goal is to stimulate circulation back to the heart. Perform this ancient detox practice once daily before your shower. It is recommended to spend at least 10 minutes per day dry brushing the skin.
DETOX showering is practiced daily (after your skin brushing) and requires you to turn the water cold for 30 seconds, then warm for 10 seconds for 3 full cycles.
* Avoid dry skin brushing over areas where you have skin sores, rashes, cuts or infections.