I have already written quite a bit about how chemical ingredients in skin care and cosmetics affect women so today I want to address how important it is for you to avoid them as well. This is not just a women’s issue or a one-sided deal. I see tons of marketing campaigns on natural products geared towards women and to be frank it is not fair.
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Chemicals affect ALL of us. In fact a couple of months ago I distinctly recall seeing an add for all-natural vegan condoms and lubricants that was aimed at women and all about how horrible it is if the toxic chemicals and animal derived ingredients come in contact with our delicate lady bits. While all of this is true I couldn’t help but think why aren’t they also marketing to men. You are the ones who will be wearing the condoms! Hello!
So, what ingredients should you be avoiding and why…
Weak and Old Law Means Unsafe Products
Many of us assume that the products we buy every day are already safe and have been thoroughly regulated. After all, how could it be legal to put toxic and untested chemicals into a sofa cushion, shampoo or a child’s sippy cup? Unfortunately, the law that regulates today’s chemicals is more than 30 years old – the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was passed in 1976 assumes that most chemicals are safe unless proven otherwise – and does not protect us and our families from the dangers of chemical exposure like it should. Reform is needed to ensure that chemicals are proven to be safe before they end up in our homes, schools, and workplaces. And if found to be unsafe should NOT be used period.
In an article published by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals they state “Of the 87,000 chemicals registered for commerce in the United States, only one-tenth have been tested for potential health effects.” You can read the full article HERE.
How Do Toxins and Chemicals Affect Men and Boys
There is mounting scientific evidence that demonstrates exposure to chemicals in everyday products can reduce semen quality and lead to –
- low sperm counts
- male infertility
- hormonal changes
- erectile dysfunction
- testicular and prostate cancer, and miscarriage in your partner.
Extensive animal studies and, in some cases, human studies have shown that exposure during development can lead to malformations of the reproductive tract and altered prostate development, breast development, testis size, and puberty onset.
The effect of toxic chemical exposures in parents on the developing brain of their child is a burgeoning research question in autism and learning disabilities studies. In one study, exposure to a chemical (DES) during pregnancy was associated with genital malformation in the grandsons of women exposed. Pretty scary, right?
In addition to the above, these same chemicals can also cause skin, eye, and scalp irritation, hair fall out, dandruff, skin breakouts, etc. And again this not only affects you, it affects your sons and daughters as well.
Ingredients to Avoid
Below is a list of the 4 most common toxic chemicals that can be found in commercial skin, hair, and body care products:
In addition to the above, you should also avoid products that contain Petrolatum and Mineral Oil.
These are petroleum by-products found in a variety of skin and hair care products, such as facial creams, lotions, lip balms, soaps, shampoo, conditioner, baby oil, and much more.
Although they have been prized for their moisturizing abilities these substances are actually occlusive. Meaning they form a barrier on the skin that actually does not allow it to breathe.
In addition, because they are petroleum derived there is a possibility that they could be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs is associated with cancer.
The European Union classifies petrolatum as a carcinogen and has restricted its use in cosmetics.
The list of chemicals used in skin care and personal care products goes on and on. The above 4 are the most common so this is why I chose to mention them specifically.
How to Choose Safe Products
Look for natural and organic products only. They are much more readily available than you may realize. In order to quickly find these products, it is important and helpful if you know how to read labels. Don’t just leave it up to your wife or girlfriend. It’s your body and your health so get educated. Most natural brands will have one or more of the following on their labels –
Here is a list of personal care brands that I know and trust:
- Badger Balm (Man Care Line)
- Andalou Naturals
- Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company
- Aubrey Organics
- Alitura Naturals
- Ursa Major of VT
- Sustain Natural (condoms and lube)
To help you further avoid toxic substances and cut down on your overall environmental toxic load here are some more helpful tips:
- Use Glass and Stainless Steel – swap out your plastic containers for glass or stainless steel. Plastics contain BPA and other toxic chemicals that off-gas. Plastics are also very bad for the environment.
- Check For Chemicals in Your Workplace – Request Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to help identify the chemicals you may be exposed to on the job. This is key for anyone who works in the auto detailing industry, manufacturing, or other similar industries.
- Stop Using Teflon – Most non-stick cookware is made using a chemical linked to cancer, pet deaths, and hormone disruption. Choose stainless steel, cast iron or enameled pots and pans instead.
- Less Canned Food – Most food cans are lined with a resin that contains BPA, a known endocrine disruptor. Opt fresh food, glass jars or frozen foods instead and only buy canned foods that are labeled BPA-free.
- Buy Organic – Shop for clean meats and produce by choosing organic over conventional. Non-organic foods contain high amounts of pesticide residues and GMO’s (genetically engineered organisms).
- Drinking Filtered Water: Remove common contaminants like arsenic and lead from your drinking water by filtering with a faucet or countertop unit. Look for NSF certification on the label — not all filters remove all chemicals.
- Leave Your Shoes at the Door: Take your shoes off at the door to keep pesticides, dirt, bacteria and other chemicals from spreading around your home. Vacuum frequently—toxic flame retardants and other chemical contaminants can be at high levels in household dust.
As always I hope you find the information in this post helpful. Please share this with your family and friends so that they too can be in the know and use this data to lead healthier and happier lives.
How to Read Product Labels Infographic: https://media1.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2016_03/938501/how-to-read-labels-chart_1d293e6d5dd417674e48ecbd95105490.today-inline-large.jpg
Lora is a native Californian currently living in the Southeast. She is an artist, designer, blogger and nature lover. Her hobbies include herbalism, cooking, baking, creating DIY aromatherapy recipes, sipping wine and listening to music. She also loves to go hiking and camping.