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Changing Beauty

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Are you wearing any make up?


Did you use shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer or deodorant this morning?


Would you still want to you use them if they contained toxic chemicals or known carcinogens?


Well every day many of us do. We take in a cocktail of chemicals from our cosmetics and personal care products.


But who is to blame for this epidemic?


What can these products or services really do to us?


And what are some safer alternatives?


Every day when we wake up in the morning we are faced with the challenge of getting ready for the day. When we watch television, walk or drive down the street, are online or reading a magazine we are bombarded by this idea we need all of these products in order to be healthy and beautiful.


Now we have heard the saying, “monkey see, monkey do”


Well Mama do, daughter does. I’m sure most of us can remember watching our moms put on makeup, or go get a facial, dye their hair. I first helped dye my mom’s hair when I was around ten years old, and my mom first died my hair when I was in the eigth grade. Now young girls are watching their moms getting plastic surgery, fillers and Botox. Which actually, is a deadly neurotoxin that was originally tested on monkeys and can cause loss of muscle movement, flu-like symptoms, pneumonia or even death. Also the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, requires that they put a warning label on all packaging of Botox that says, “The effects of the Botulinum toxin may spread from the area of injection to other areas of the body, causing symptoms similar to those of botulism. Those symptoms include potentially life-threatening swallowing and breathing difficulties and even death.” I’m really curious why it’s ok for doctors to inject a deadly neurotoxin into people’s faces. There also is no age limit on getting Botox. You heard about the story of the mom giving her eight year old Botox, and eighteen-year-old singer Charice just got Botox for her role on Glee.


Young girls are watching their moms and other role models, not only condoning Botox but having parties in order to get injections. Shows like Dr. 90210, Extreme Make Over, and Real Housewives are showing how easy it is for women to go in and just say cut me up so I can feel prettier. Women are even going to the lengths of getting plastic surgery without anesthesia. A woman on the Tyra show came on and shared how she has had, breast augmentations, eye lid surgeries, and liposuction and fat injections in her face, all without anesthesia in order to save money. Women are going to extreme lengths to alter their appearance.


Girls as young as seven years old hate the way they look because the media pushes over and over that we need products or plastic surgery in order to feel more beautiful. In all actuality most of these products we are using can have serious harmful effects on our bodies.


While reading The Body Toxic by Nena Baker who is an investigative journalist, I learned quote, “Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show that endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which throw off the bodies’ hormone system in various ways, cause lab animals to exhibit disorders and diseases that, are on the rise in humans. The ghoulish list includes cancers of the breast, testicles, and brain; lowered sperm count; early puberty; endometriosis and other defects of the female reproductive system; diabetes; obesity; attention deficit disorder; asthma; and autism.”


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can damage the complex physiology that controls basic systems of the body from fetal development through adulthood. They pose the greatest risk during prenatal and postnatal development.


Known endocrine-disrupting chemicals are in our cosmetics and skin care products, I decided to see how many products I have in my bathroom that contain parabens a known endocrine disruptor, I counted fifteen products, and actually seven were considered to be “safe more natural products.” The brands I found that contained them were Bedhead, Crest Mouth wash, Vaseline healing hand cream, The body shops seaweed line of skin care products, Dermalogica which I have used since I was fourteen but recently stopped, Moist’s Hemp lotion, Barbasol shaving cream and Lush Handmade cosmetics, which I thought were to be natural and organic.


The two parabens I found were Methylparaben and Propylparaben, they are used to make creams feel smoother.


When researching parabens, according to ConsumerInternational.Org, in November and December of 2009, The Danish Consumer Council carried out a campaign to ban these chemicals from being used in cosmetics in Denmark. They stated that endocrine disrupters are under suspicion of causing poor sperm quality, testicular cancer, and early puberty in girls. Also they asked consumers to check their cosmetics and personal care products for seventeen substances that are on the Endocrine Disruptor priority list. To date the council has received 1,338 reports, which have made a complied list of 891 cosmetics and personal care products that contain one or more of the seventeen endocrine disruptors.


The two chemicals I found in my bathroom were the top two chemicals on their list, they found 1390 products containing them.


According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition in 1990 there were some 38,000 cosmetic related injuries that required medical treatment in the U.S. That doesn’t include how many people suffered from, allergies, irritation and or photosensitization.  People who can experience these adverse affects may never go to the doctor or hospital and may not realize they are cosmetic related injuries.  I myself have experienced eye infections from my mascara or eye shadow. The website mentioned three chemicals that can be found in your personal care products that can cause cancer, Diethanolamine DEA, or TEA (Triethanolamine), Bronopol which they say Chanel and the Body Shop often use, and 1,2-Dioxane.


Some known brands that contain chemicals with limited research on their harmful effects, because remember last week I told you how manufacturers only give limited research on a chemical in its purest form to the EPA, are: Chanel, Mac, Milani, Revlon, Neutrogen, Almay, Elizabeth Arden, Smashbox, Nars, L’Oreal, Yves Saint Laurent, Cover Girl, Sally Hensen, Peter Thomas Roth, Laura Mercier, Shiseido, St Ives, Avon, Murad, Clarins, Jonathan, Redken, Bumble and Bumble,  John Frieda, and many many more.


So you are probably wondering what products or things you can do to keep healthy looking skin?


Well in an interview I conducted with Percy Mccmanus a full time nutritional coach and herbalist for thirty years she stated that, “To keep your facial skin healthy take vitamins A, C, and E. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily; your skin is your largest eliminating organ and needs lots of water to remove toxins. It also keeps the skin hydrated and less prone to wrinkling. If you use a moisturizer, use one with less than seven ingredients in it. And never use a sunscreen-they’re loaded with toxins that do your face no good. What do all those poor peasants do in third world countries that have to work outside all day? Are they dropping dead of cancer? I don’t think so!”


However you can be mislead by products that say they are Organic, or use language like, doctor recommended, dermatologist tested, or 100 percent Natural, because they may not always be true. According to the USDA, who regulate the term organic to just display the seal, certifier and have the term organic on the label, it must be produced with at least 95 percent organic ingredients and any other ingredients must be an approved non-organic product. However you must remember, the FDA is the one in charge of cosmetic packaging and labeling and they have no definition of the term organic.


Other organic or natural things you can do are, if you have oily skin, just washing your face with water and not using a moisturizer can help suck up the excess oil. If you wear eye makeup, I actually found olive oil is great for removing it; it also makes your eyes really soft. Sleeping with eye makeup on can actually change the pigment of your eyelids, women put more and more eye makeup on to cover it up, when if they were to stop wearing it could make their eyes a lot brighter. Also brands like, Zatik, Origins, Classic coastal creations, Beeceuticals Organics, and Bubble and Bee Organics are good brands you can purchase from.


The skin on your face constantly changes so try not to lock yourself into one category of dry or oily skin. Also going to the spa too frequently, using harsh treatments, or things like microdermabrasion can actually do more harm than good. You can actually strip your skin making it raw and more prone to sun damage or other harmful effects. Also Ellen Marmur MD, who wrote Simple Skin beauty, suggests stopping using any chemical products three days before any spa procedure. Also, lasers, light devices, peels and even injectables all have to get down to the dermis and injure it to effect some kind of wound healing response that will make it stronger. Doing these procedures too often can have really harmful effects on your skin.


Moreover, the media has convinced us we need cosmetics, personal care products or even Botox, fillers, or plastic surgery to feel beautiful. Women wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and think to themselves that they need foundation, cover up, mascara, blush, bronzer, eye shadow, and lip-gloss in order to look good. No one NEEDS these products to be beautiful, we already are. The EPA and FDA are not watching out for us completely, and there are easier ways to take care of your skin. Using safer more natural products is a growing trend in the industry, it needs to continue to flourish and be regulated. Change takes time; however it’s a change that needs to take place because right now it seems chemical exposure and cancer is the latest trend in the beauty industry. 

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