Today, there is a positive movement in the food industry to make and keep healthier eating habits. Companies are sourcing fresh produce and veggies locally, and finding healthier alternatives to refined sugars and processed foods. Since we are making a conscious effort to make healthier choices to what goes in our bodies, we should be doing the same for our outer shell as well, as those two are connected. Many of us think being healthy on the outside means making healthy choices that only effect your outward physique. The truth: skin is our bodies’ biggest organ, and absorbs anything it comes in contact with.
We are creatures of ritual – we don’t often think of our daily habits, like how harmful the products might be that we’re using directly on our bodies everyday. What’s in the shampoo are you using, or the lotion you use after the shower? What about deodorant? Or the perfume? Have you thought about what’s in the hand creme that stays tucked away in your bag, next to the chapstick? Let’s investigate!
Reading the information on personal products will give you some insight on the contents, but not enough. More often than not its a slew of words that are unpronounceable (not a good sign in the first place). One common chemical in the cosmetic and home-good industry is a compound called “parabens”. Parabens are essentially a special chemical made up of various acids, and are used as a preservative to increase the shelf-life of products. They are used in shampoos, make-up, lotions, cremes, moisturizers, and detergents.
Another harsh chemical to watch out for are phthalates. Phthalates are a bonding of various chemicals (acids and alcohols) that are used to essentially soften plastic material, making them more flexible, durable, and increase their longevity. Ever sprayed a perfume and encountered a strong, lingering rubbing alcohol smell? No more wondering! Phthalates are used in perfumes, lotions, cremes, moisturizers, shower curtains, nail polish and removers, house cleaning agents, and cosmetics. In these particular products, phthalates are used to make colors more vibrant and create longer-lasting scents in perfumes and cremes .
Both phthalates and parabens are extremely cheap, a big reason a lot of companies use them in their products. Your skin takes everything in and absorbs it into the blood stream, its time to be careful! Phthalates and parabens are both known to cause endocrine disruption, especially in breast-feeding moms and pregnant women .The endocrine system hosts vital glands that distribute hormones throughout the body (including reproductive glands, the adrenals, and pancreas), so healthy early development is essential. Chemicals that are endocrine disruptors (like phthalates and parabens) can cause serious issues like birth defects and cancerous tumors. Traces of parabens have been found by researchers in breast cancer tumors, closely to the use of cosmetic products . Research has also shown the exposure to some types of phthalates has caused a lower sperm count in men, as well as infertility .
Your body is a temple, and should be treated as such! Earthsake proudly houses products that are paraben and phthalate free, from body lotions and soaps, to laundry detergent. One of our favorite products is Hello Mellow, an LA based company that uses all natural and organic ingredients in their body oils and butters. Their Rejuvenate body oil includes sesame and olive oil, avocado and mango body butter, with essential oils of lemongrass, lavender, and litsea. Highly nourishing, all natural, and most important, their products are paraben and phthalate free! Swing by the Earthsake store to try it!
Sources and more info on parabens and pthalates:
1.”Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Phthalates.” Web log post. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Phthalates. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=290>.
2. “Parabens.” Web log post. Parabens. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/radiation-chemicals-and-breast-cancer/parabens.html>.
3.”Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Parabens.” Web log post. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Parabens. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2014. <http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=291>.
4. “Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Phthalates.” Web log post. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : Phthalates. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=290>.