Clean Makeup, Man Boobs and Toxic Top Ten
I like to wear makeup. Sometimes even when I’m home alone, I’ll throw on a fresh swipe of mascara. You never know when I have to run out of the house, even to the grocery store. And maybe it sounds vain but I want to look awake – and with my blonde eyelashes, a little bit of mascara (and a light lip) – well, it makes ME feel good.
But over the past several years, my eyes (proverbially speaking) have been opened by how poisonous makeup and skincare products actually are. It really feels to me that the beauty industry simply doesn’t care about the health and wellbeing of its client base. Selling beauty over health. Making profits over well-being.
They also seem to think that “just a little” doesn’t make a difference to our health. But the bottom line is that cumulatively, in a day, we expose our bodies to not just one toxic ingredient, but hundreds!
There is a saying in medicine . . .
It’s the dose that makes the poison
This saying is a basic principle of toxicology. What this means is that the dose matters. Hundreds of molecules present a different level of exposure to just one molecule. It also means that a substance with toxic properties can cause harm if it occurs in a high enough concentration.
The particular challenge with makeup and skincare is that we use these products EVERYDAY. And we tend to use multiple products. We get into elevators with others using makeup, perfume, and scented lotions. We walk through malls, constantly bombarded by synthetic aromas. We come to work every morning to a freshly cleaned office – but the cleaners used highly concentrated and powerful cleaning agents.
So we don’t just get exposed to one “not-so-great-for-us” product. We get exposed all day long and in very significant (#healthaltering) ways!
The cumulative dose of toxin exposure in one day is significant.
Let’s talk about hormones for a minute so we can make the connection between hormones and toxins.
Our bodies use hormones as communication molecules. The body responds to our environment through these teeny tiny little molecules that travel through the body and become attached to the cell (through cell receptors). Our cells then carry out the instructions based on what has attached itself to these receptors.
Hormones, as communication molecules, serve as regulators of the entire metabolic system. Hormones also impact other hormones. It’s how the body responds to its environment and has a very direct effect on modulating metabolism within the cell.
Here is where the problem is. The molecules within chemicals are often so close to our own hormones, that they “mimic” our own hormones – and throw off our body system. For example, instead of our body receiving its own natural estrogen (endogenous/internal), it gets a HUGE WHOPPING dose of exogenous/external) estrogen-mimicking hormones.
You know those smelly things that hang in the rear view mirror? Think: MAN BOOBS
So, we know (for a fact) that chemicals interact with our endocrine system. How a chemical interacts with our endocrine system depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Type and duration of the exposure to the chemical
- Frequency of exposure
- Potency of the substance; and
- How the body absorbs and eliminates a substance
Top Ten Most Toxic Products
The Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (formerly the Breast Cancer Fund) tested 140 popular commercial products. The 10 products that ranked the most hazardous in terms of the highest number of chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, developmental or reproductive toxicity and respiratory effects:
Sadly, the #1 product is marketed towards children of color.
- Just for Me Shampoo: A children’s shampoo, from a hair-relaxing kit marketed to kids of color by Strength of Nature.
- JLo Glow Perfume: A fine fragrance made by Coty and endorsed by music, television and film icon Jennifer Lopez.
- Kaboom with OxiClean Shower Tub & Tile Cleaner: Marketed as a “great cleaner that is safe and friendly to use,” made by Church & Dwight Co.
- Olay Luminous Tone Body Lotion: Made by Procter & Gamble and marketed for its anti-aging qualities.
- Axe Phoenix Body Spray: A body spray made by Unilever and marketed to young men using an overtly sexual ad campaign.
- Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfume: Another Coty fragrance that carries the famous designer’s name and uses beatific, radiant young girls in its marketing campaigns.
- Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Perfume: A Revlon fine fragrance endorsed by the beloved pop country singer Taylor Swift.
- Organix (OGX) Shampoo: A Johnson & Johnson product marketed as part of a “green/sustainable” line of products to young women.
- Formulation 64-RP: An industrial cleaner/disinfectant used by custodians, firefighters and others.
- White Linen Perfume: Created by Estée Lauder in 1978, marketed as “a beautiful perfume” for women young and old.