We’ve been hearing more and more about dangerous chemicals lurking in our beauty products. Mercury in our mascara? Yikes! Lead in our lip-gloss? Get out of town! We’ve all heard the saying, “beauty is pain”. Well, how much pain are you willing to put your body through for “beauty’s” sake? The United States cosmetic industry is the largest in the world with over $50 billion dollars in revenue. Employing over 50,000 people, the United States has the second largest beauty industry-including nail salons. Americans, everywhere, clearly spend much money on keeping themselves clean and pretty. Statistics show that the over 70% of the revenue comes from women consumers.
To many, this is not surprising. But what may be surprising is that the same percentage of women are suffering What’s in our beauty products? When it comes to beauty or cosmetics, the effects of the ingredients contained can be more than just skin deep. The cosmetic industry uses hundreds and thousands of synthetic chemicals in everything from lipstick and lotion to shampoo and deodorant. Many of these products are also used in the industrial world as cleaning and sterilizing agents. For example, the same ingredients used to sterilize surgical instruments- Ethylene Oxide- is a contaminant in many shampoos and body washes. Do you get your nails done at a salon? Have you ever purchased nail polish? Or gotten acrylic or gel manicure/pedicure? Then you have run into phthalates. This is one group of chemicals that we should stay away from. These chemicals disrupt the endocrine system- a system in the human body in charge of producing and regulating hormones, metabolism, growth and development, tissue function and much more. Overtime, phthalates can cause cell and tissue damage, which is associated with breast cancer. Yikes! Many women have more than one lipstick in their beauty bag.
You might have a lipstick color for from a variety of diseases that may very well be attributed by the use of unsafe and chemically saturated cosmetic and beauty products. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has major loopholes in the federal law that allow the cosmetic industry to put thousands of chemicals into personal care products, even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility or even birth defects. These untested chemicals continue to be sold, sometimes at ridiculous prices, and are consequently introduced into our environment. And we wonder why people are getting sicker and sicker?
Maybe you have a lipstick color for every mood, or if you’re like me, you might have one, all-time favorite lipstick from MAC. However, lipstick contains high amounts of dangerous metals, a major one being lead. Lead has been found in over 650 cosmetic products, including lipstick. Lead is a proven neurotoxin, linked to learning and behavioral disabilities. It has also been linked to miscarriages and reduced fertility in men and women. Not cool! Parabens, now these groups of chemicals are very sneaky and dangerous. They are in thousands of products. They are widely used as an anti-fungal agent, preservative and antimicrobial in creams, lotions, ointments, and almost all scented products. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. It doesn’t stop there! According to the Journal of Epidemiology (2012), African American women are at high risk of fibroids and cognitive disorders due to the use of hair products, such as relaxers, gels, skin creams...etc. “The chemicals found in common African- American hair products are known as estrogen and endocrine-disrupting chemicals or EDCs,” says. Although comprehensive research is ongoing, many of these chemicals are believed to be linked to reproductive effects and birth defects, breast cancer, heart disease, cognitive disorders, premature puberty and altered immune function, to name a few (Dr. Mary Beth Terry, an epidemiologist from Columbia University)
It’s time to make a change. From hormonal contamination to tumors; behavioral problems to reduced fertility, the potential costs to our health are staggering. The skin is our largest organ, it absorbs everything.
There are great options. There is a significant benefit to using natural sourced ingredients-like essential oils. All natural products are becoming more and more available on the market.There are also plenty of recipes online on how to make your own beauty products with simple, affordable ingredients. We must take care of our bodies both inside and out to prevent illness and disease. I believe that God invites us to treat our bodies as His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19,20) and allow our beauty come from the heart. Try making simple changes today-your body will thank you. Lets not bow to the beast that beauty has become. Remember, you are beautiful and your body is a precious gift. Let your true beauty shine!