In most cases, yes. There has been news regarding the dangers of cosmetic ingredients, and the lack of FDA testing and approval of these ingredients. This is an important article, as we all use on the average at least eight personal hygiene products per day. I encourage you to read on.
There have been press releases published by a non-profit organization called the Environmental Working Group, EWG, based in Washington DC. This group reviewed 7500 personal products, including lip balm, eyeshadow, shaving cream, deodorant, hair gel, shower gel and more. They concluded that these products should have the same marketing testing as food additives and pesticides, as they do not at this time. As of now, the US food and drug administration allows evaluation of cosmetic ingredients by a self-policing review board called the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. This board is appointed by the cosmetics, toiletry, and fragrances associations. According to EWG, the FDA has no authority under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to request data from the cosmetic companies. Only 11% of the 10,500 ingredients the FDA has identified in personal care, have been assessed for safety. I highly recommend reading the report called “Skin Deep” found at one of my favorite websites www.EWG.org. Patients of mine know that I frequently recommend this site as a great source of products and foods we use every day.
Not only do most mainstream cosmetic and personal care companies use harmful chemicals, but reproductive toxins and hormones as well. You don’t have to wear makeup to be exposed to these chemicals. The list also includes liquefied face creams, bath oils, hair regrowth and removal treatments, nail polish, and liquid hand soap. Some of the ingredients are even used in ways that are known to be unsafe. Here are a few according to the report.
“Fade Cream” containing hydroquinone to lighten aging spots is advised on product labels to be left on the skin. This should be washed off immediately.
Sodium borate and boric acid used in diaper creams should not be used on infant skin.
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate used in tanning spray is expected to cause health problems as an aerosol. That is how it is dispensed.
The FDA does review some ingredients that may find their way into our products, and this list includes mercury, vinyl chloride, chlorofluorocarbon propellants, hexachlorophene, and some others. As mentioned earlier however there are many more harmful substances that are allowed into our products that are not on that list.
So now how do we groom ourselves effectively without keeling over? The first step is to go to the above mentioned website, and search out the products you use. I was amazed myself to find products that claim to “natural” and received an undesirable score.( One example is Neutrogena receiving high danger list ingredients. ) Once you find products that you use or are interested in using, make record of the score they received and decide whether they are within your comfort level of caution. If products you regularly use are listed as more dangerous, just seek out alternatives on the site. The second step is, to follow the KISS method. Keep it simple stupid! This is the best method I can recommend. It involves using simple products like coconut, olive, avocado, and nut oils to name a few for moisturizing. You can add your favorite organic essential oils too. One example of a popular summer product, is bug repellent. Medical grade eucalyptus oil can be used for a DEET free bug repellent, scar repair or, skin antibiotic and anti-itch spray. A simple change that can make a big difference for you and your family
The bottom line is, beware of what you put on your body as our skin is our largest organ.
For any questions regarding my articles, please feel free to contact me.
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
21043 N. Cave Creek Rd. #A9
Phoenix, AZ 95024