Let’s talk about brain health for a moment. None of us wants to lose our memories to dementia diseases, like Alzheimer’s; BUT what are you personally doing to keep yourself safe from products that can harm your brain and/or other products that are linked to cancer? I know you don’t want that disease either!
In a recent blog post from my favorite brain doc, Dr. Daniel Amen, he points to research which shows that hair salon workers have a higher than normal risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, he has first-hand knowledge from treating many thousands of patients that toxins, including toxins in personal care products, are some of the leading causes of major psychiatric issues.
I have been saying for years that we need to read the labels of EVERYTHING we eat, wash with, clean house with, etc.
Here is a list of ingredients Dr. Amen recommends that we stay away from:
- Polyethylene glycols
And, I will add Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) to the list of ingredients to watch out for.
When I wrote “Beautiful, Sexy Skin For Women Over 40,” I talked a lot about SLS – which goes by many names. At that time, there was no scientific evidence that SLS caused cancer. It dries our skin out, can cause rashes, etc., and I wrote about that, however, times have changed, and there is now a public health statement from the CDC that says studies have shown that:
“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that 1,4-dioxane is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) considers 1,4-dioxane as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.
The EPA has established that “1,4-dioxane is likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
Now, here’s a bit more about this chemical and why it’s in so many skin care, and cleaning products.
As a byproduct of the ethoxylation process, a route to some ingredients found in cleansing and moisturizing products, dioxane can contaminate cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, toothpastes and mouthwashes. The ethoxylation process makes the cleansing agents, such as sodium laurel sulfate and ammonium laureth sulfate, less abrasive and offers enhanced foaming characteristics. 1,4-Dioxane is a yet unregulated substance used in cosmetics in both China and the U.S.
Since 1979 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted tests on cosmetic raw materials and finished products for the levels of 1,4-dioxane. 1,4-Dioxane was present in ethoxylated raw ingredients at levels up to 1410 ppm, and at levels up to 279 ppm in finished cosmetic products. But the FDA says levels of 1,4-dioxane exceeding 85 ppm in children's shampoos indicate that close monitoring of raw materials and finished products is warranted. Huh?
Let’s review for a second: the CDC, HHS, and EPA have all established that “1,4-dioxane is likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
And while the FDA encourages manufacturers to remove 1,4-dioxane, it is not required by federal law – WHAAAAAT?. Do you want anything “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” on or inside you? Not me!
So, where can you find sodium laurel sulfate (SLS) today?
In every soap, shampoo, and toothpaste that I found in Wall Mart, CVS, grocery stores, etc. Also, in many of the cosmetics and skin care products that you use every day. I have even found some of the other toxins listed above in cosmetics that are labeled as safe and natural, with no harmful ingredients! And maybe using one slightly toxic product is okay… (?) But here’s the problem: the average person uses 5-7 skin care/cosmetic products on their skin every day, not one, so you’re getting 5-7 times the amount of toxic ingredients in or on your body!
So, is it possible to avoid all of these in everything that we put on our skin? Yes and no.
If you want to make sure that your soap, shampoo, and toothpaste don’t contain any of these toxins, take a good look at their ingredients. Then, maybe change your lotion to coconut oil instead of the toxic ones so readily available, and your lipstick to one without toxins. Reduce your use of toxic products as much as possible so the odds of harming your brain and getting cancer from these toxins goes way down. Do you need to give up everything you like to use? Well, that’s up to you. Complete your own product research, and then make your own decision on what’s best for you. I use toxin free Desert Essence shampoos, soaps, and toothpaste, and I only put coconut oil or magnesium lotion on my skin.
My mascara, however, has one product that I would rather not use, but I have yet to find any mascara that doesn’t have at least one toxin. And I’m not giving up mascara, so I have made my choice.
Keep yourself informed and make your own choices. Please don’t let advertisers sway you to put toxic chemicals on your skin, which, by the way, is the largest organ in your body and absorbs anything you rub into it in seconds.
Check the ingredients you may have questions about on the EWG website.
Here’s a video I made when I wrote the book “Beautiful, Sexy Skin For Women Over 40” about what some of the chemicals in your face creams actually contain. Enjoy!
Best of Health,