Nearly 20% of personal-care products contain at least one chemical linked to cancer, and yet the FDA has not regulated beauty ingredients since 1938. This, however, is evolving as consumers change their lifestyle and consumption habits. A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 samples of human breast tissue. Parabens are in almost 100% of drugstore skincare products and cosmetics. Finally, only about 10% of the 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products have safety data.
Now we can begin to understand why you must throw away your non-organic products. First and foremost, the toxic ingredients they contain can (and do) cause cancer. As the creams, lotions, serums, etc are absorbed through the skin, they are then traveling to your bloodstream and inside the body. Studies have shown that the toxic ingredients have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors, ovarian cancer and more!
The chemical components of many products don’t break down and instead accumulate in our ecosystems, harming our environment. Most of the damage is done when we wash our face or body and these chemicals are washed down our sinks, which are then streamed to our lakes, rivers, and the water systems. But of course, the manufacturing process of creating nasty chemical personal care products can be harmful to the environment, too. Just take petroleum based oils, for example – these are byproducts of the oil industry. Most palm oil used in cosmetics is the result of razing rainforests to grow palm plants, and non-organic rapeseed or cottonseed oil is almost always the result of GMO farming.
1. Cosmetics Are Badly Regulated
Although the EU has stricter regulations and has banned many of the most harmful ingredients, cosmetic companies in the United States are allowed to use almost any new chemicals without government approval, with the exception of colour additives and any ingredient classified as a drug. Congress is starting to respond to consumer concerns and, for the first time since 1938, the FDA may be implementing restrictions on ingredients placed in beauty products. Not that that’s much help: after all, the FDA has approved aspartame, saccharin, human growth hormone in food products and many other artificial colourings, flavourings and chemicals which have proven to harm human health. For now it is up to you as a consumer to pay attention to the ingredients and do your research – especially if you have any favourite brands you’re ordering from the USA!
2. Most Mainstream Cosmetics DO Contain Harmful Chemicals
Let’s first start by identifying the toxic chemicals to look for in your products. The main toxic chemicals found in lipsticks, nailpolishes, skin creams and are as follows:
Lead – found in lipsticks, toothpaste, makeup, etc. Can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage), seizures, gastrointestinal issues, reproductive dysfunction and kidney dysfunction.
3. Mainstream Cosmetics Lack Nutrients
Vitamin C: a superpower when it comes to antioxidants and it fights free radicals, which attack the skin’s support structure and leads to imparting collagen and the aging of skin.
Vitamin E: another powerful antioxidant that soothes out the skin and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin A: vital for the repair of skin. If you notice your skin is dull, flaky, or quite brass, look for products that include this.
Most organic and natural brands include these essential vitamins and more in their products and you can also purchase pure nourishing serums on their own.
4. You Could Be Harming Your Baby
What most people don’t realize is that non-organic products not only affect you, but also your children, especially when in the womb. Organic beauty products help protect our children so that they are healthy, strong, and don’t have any birth defects. According to The Lancet Neurology study, toxins in cosmetics can affect brain development and lead to neurobehavioral problems like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. Disorders of neurobehavioral development affect 10–15% of all births and are steadily increasing. Of course, it’s impossible to know which percentage of these are related to toxic chemicals in personal care products, but why take any risk?
5. Value for Money
There’s a misconception that organic skincare and makeup is more expensive than mainstream brands, but that’s far from true. Have you checked the price of (highly chemical) Estee Lauder products lately? Lancome? Chanel? Sure, organic products may not be as dirt cheap as mass produced chemical supermarket brands, but think of it like this: junk food is way, way cheaper than organic food, but wouldn’t you rather spend $1 on a few organic bananas instead of a huge bag of free-radical laden, salty, MSG riddled crips? Better for you, and the same price! Some great lower cost brands include Weleda (which is amazing!), Naturaleve, Dizao, Greenscape and many more.