This month at Pasture Living, we are doing a series on how to take care of our skin naturally. The skin is the body’s largest organ and it absorbs everything we put on it directly into the body’s bloodstream; bypassing the organs that would filter out harmful ingredients. This is why it is so important to know what we put on our skin. At the beginning of this series, we talked about how we can nourish our skin naturally. Today let's focus on cosmetics.
Do you know that chemicals in cosmetics are largely untested and unregulated and companies do not have to show cosmetic ingredients are safe before they go on the market under the current law? The law that governs cosmetics has not been updated since its enactment in 1938 and under the current system, the industry mostly regulates itself (source).
I didn't know there are many potentially harmful chemicals in cosmetics, including lead in lipstick and mercury in mascara. Did you know that? What goes on our skin is absorbed into our bodies, including harmful chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products. This studyfound an average of thirteen cosmetic chemicals in the bodies of teenage girls, including phthalates, triclosan, parabens and musks – all of which are linked to hormonal disruption. There are also a few other studies here and herethat found these toxic ingredients in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies and clearly documented in-utero exposure to these cosmetic ingredients. That is quite serious!
What Cosmetics to Use?
Remember that claims such as "dermatologist-tested," "gentle" and "natural" are just that, they are claims, which may not be true. Always go for safer products by reviewing the ingredient labels. EWG's Skin Deep is a good resource for cosmetic safety ratings. It is an independent body that aims to protect us from everyday exposures to chemicals from personal care products. Most days I don't wear makeup except an eyeliner when I go out. I really have to do more research for when I purchase new makeup for special occasions. I browsed through some of my personal care and cosmetic products and they are rated high by EWG (which means bad and toxic!). I know I do not want to use them anymore and will not buy them again (just that I have to brave myself to toss them away). Everyday Minerals and BareMinerals are two brands that are quite popular among the health conscious if you want to try. They are rated well by EWG.
Do you know about these harmful ingredients in cosmetics? What is your favorite brands for natural cosmetics?