Just as important as the foods you consume are the products you administer to your skin and use in your household. After all it doesn’t make sense to avoid toxins such as additives and chemicals in your diet then use a lead-filled lipstick every day!
Yes, that is correct: your favorite shade of lip wear may contain lead! Your hair dye may contain lead as well. Perhaps even more alarming is the presence of mercury in eye liners and eye drops. This toxic metal is known as “thimerosal” in eye products and is currently banned for cosmetic use in Europe. Minnesota banned the use of mercury in eye products in 2007, and other states, including Rhode Island and Connecticut, are discontinuing the sale of these products. The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (PPNF) believes consumers should not only rely on their home state or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to step in and prevent the sale of toxic hygiene products but also refer to the household and body care products guide we have included here.
Various physical factors such as the thickness of one’s skin can affect the body’s rate of absorption. Therefore, some people may absorb the toxic metals and agents in cosmetic and skin care products at a higher and more dangerous rate than others. These elements are often found in the artificial colorings added to cosmetics and skincare products. Shockingly, the FDA permits a stronger concentration of metals in these products than all other products it regulates, including foods. This means the lotions and hygienic products applied directly to the body may be more harmful to consumers than the air fresheners and insecticides used in their homes. For further information on what products the FDA regulates see http://1.usa.gov/WcwRH.
Sometimes hygienic items contain ingredients that make your body’s barriers more porous and therefore more able to absorb toxins. Shampoos and toothpastes often contain sodium laurel and laureth sulfate, both of which are unnecessary foaming agents that increase the absorption abilities of mucous membranes. To avoid these toxins in your shampoos and learn about non-toxic hair care methods PPNF members can refer to Journal article “Natural Hair Care” (1982, Volume 7, No. 2) or search our online Journal archives. Never underestimate the abilities of oral absorption! The mouth is where digestion begins, so be careful what you put in it, even when “cleaning” your mouth and teeth.
Air fresheners and cosmetic perfumes can contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors in both men and women. The attached product guide offers alternatives to traditional air fresheners as well as a source for essential oils. Our PPNF Journal article “Breath Fresheners: Cleaning the Air with Indoor Greenery” (Summer 2008, Volume 32, No. 2) also offers alternatives to traditional products. Essential oils contain medicinal properties and are not to be confused with fragrant oils which include artificial ingredients. Synthetic fragrances and cosmetic nail products can also contain toluene, which can affect unborn children.
PPNF board member Joann Berger, CCN, goes into further detail regarding make-up and skin care products in her Journal article “Are There Make-up and Skin Care Products?” (Winter 2009-10 Volume 33-4) and in her skin care DVD and PowerPoint presentation.
Refer to our Recommended Products that provide safe alternatives to the commercial versions of toxic items such as air fresheners, shampoos and skin care. These products do not contain artificial ingredients and are safe for human use. Whenever possible we have provided the vendor and location where you may purchase these products.