photo credit

As college girls we’re no stranger to the ins and outs of makeup and beauty – but it’s time to face the hard truth that many of us overlook as we browse the beautiful eyeshadow quads and delicious smelling lotions at our local drugstore or beauty supply store: personal care products such as those, from everything to makeup, nail polish remover, and shampoo contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and Alzheimer disease, just to name a few. Choosing natural products or buying from FDA certified organic companies that don’t use harmful ingredients like preservatives and dangerous substances can have a great long-term impact on your health: don’t let beauty products be a short-term solution to your health.

 

Ditch your perfume and use a few drops of essential oil. Because of a loophole in regulation perfume producers aren’t obligated to post an ingredients list (to avoid copy cat formulas). The downside? You have no idea what you’re putting on your skin, and no idea what kinds of chemicals are seeping into your pores everyday you spray some on. Some researchers have found that some mainstream perfumes contain similar ingredients as cigarettes.

Here’s how to detoxify: choose essential oils instead, sold in the organic aisle of most grocery stores or health stores. A few drops go a long way, and they smell great! In fact, each essential oil (lavender, eucalyptus, or tea tree for example) have their own health benefits such as stress reduction or focus boosting depending on which scent you choose.

 

Skip shaving creams and lotions and opt for organic coconut oil. Most shaving creams include chemicals that are toxic to our systems, such as Propylene Glycol (a chemical similar to glycerin that can be found in anti-freeze or brake fluid) and Triethanolamine and Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulphate, which are both linked to carcinogens that can cause cancer after long-term exposure.

 

Here’s how to detoxify: when shaving, rub a few drops of organic coconut oil instead. Organic coconut oil has many uses and health benefits, which we have already written about here, and its effects as a shaving cream are unrivaled even by the best store-bought creams. Not only does it help to moisturize your legs and prevent skin irritation, razor burn and painful nicks, it also helps your razor to last longer by preventing dullness. It will leave your skin feeling baby smooth and beach ready without the harmful chemicals.

 

Use organic deodorant. Organic deodorant is not limited to yogis and Ayurvedic specialists. The reason to switch lies in the label – almost all store-bought deodorants contain aluminum, which prevents your skin from sweating but is also a neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s disease. When scanning the label you might also find Propylene Glycol, which is the same thing as antifreeze. According to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer, breast cancer rates have tripled in the same time frame that antiperspirant sales have increased 14,000 percent between 1945 and 2000.

Here’s how to detoxify: buy organic (check the label to make sure you can read all of the ingredients), or don’t be afraid of DIY. I’ve recently tried an organic deodorant by an all-natural company called JASON and I love it, and it works just as well as the Clinical Strength Dove deodorant I previously used.

 

Be wary of your makeup and go organic whenever possible. Did you know that 1 in 3 brands of red lipstick tested by the FDA contained more lead than the FDA’s acceptable upper limit for candy? Lead gives natural red dyes their hue, but long-term exposure is also linked to DNA damage. It is also a published fact that 89 percent of cosmetics in the United States have not been tested publicly for safety. In fact, a review of cosmetic chemical safety is left up to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Committee, which is founded by the cosmetic industry itself.

Here’s how to detoxify: buy smart – either go organic when you can or buy from companies that choose to print their label of ingredients. Because cosmetics aren’t subject to FDA approval, and the fact that makeup is applied almost each day (and for some of us everyday) on sensitive areas of the body such as around the eyes, it is important to take the extra time to ensure that your products are as natural as possible.

 

For more information on this subject, an infographic is available here.

 

 

 

What do you think?

What do you think of this article? Are you pledging to detoxify your beauty routine and opt for safer and healthier products? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Anna Patrick Author: Anna Patrick

More Every College Girl

2 Comments

  1. Serena Serena says:

    The reason cancer rates are higher in Europe is because so many people smoke cigarettes there. Antiperspirant is not linked to cancer. I notice you did not cite any scientific sources from medical journals in your article. You do not seem to have a basic grasp of chemistry or how chemicals interact with the human body. I’m a chemistry major and the only thing I agree with in this article is watching out for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

    There are many brands out there that offer organic products free of parabens and harsh chemicals. Burt’s Bees is available in most drugstores. Dr. Bronner’s is another good one I recommend.

  2. Amanda Amanda says:

    “According to a study published in the European Journal of Cancer, breast cancer rates have tripled in the same time frame that antiperspirant sales have increased 14,000 percent between 1945 and 2000.”

    Correlation does not prove causation. It’s silly to suggest that there is a link between deodorant and breast cancer without further proof.

Leave a Comment