In the last few months, I’ve had an increased number of women contact me who are starting to think about motherhood or actively trying to conceive to discuss the state of their personal care products. Most of them are aware that parabens and SLS are “baddies” so they try to choose products that tout their freedom from these toxic products but what about other toxic beauty ingredients?
Chemicals For Breakfast
Looking into others bathroom shelves (and remembering my own pre-green days), I can easily understand how Environmental Defence discovered that the average Canadian uses more than 15 personal care products with over 100 toxic ingredients before breakfast. Consider your morning beauty routine: toothpaste, soap, deodorant, face cream, makeup, and hair care products. The chemicals in these products can include petrochemicals, lead, and triclosan, end up in our bodies where they accumulate creating our toxic body burden.
Toxic Ten Ingredients To Avoid
according to Environmental Defence
- Artificial Musks
- Coal Tar Derived Colours
- BHA & BHT
- Formaldehyde Releasing Agents
- Silicone Chemicals
Avoiding The Toxic Ten Ingredients Before Pregnancy & Beyond
Once they enter our body, the toxic ten chemicals can harm our health in a variety of ways including disrupting our hormones (e.g., mimic or block estrogen), impacting our respiratory system (e.g., allergies or asthma), playing havoc with our reproductive system, and the introduction or aggravation of cancer through carcinogenic chemicals.
These toxins can cause greater impact for children as they are still developing. Pound for pound, children eat more food, consume more liquid, and breathe more air than adults. Their organs and respiratory, immune, and neurological systems are still developing making children more susceptible to the negative effects of poor indoor air quality and chemical exposure. Even babies are being born pre-polluted, read Environmental Defence’s report here.
Regardless of where you on your parenting journey, auditing your personal care products is a step towards healthier and greener living. Not only do the ingredients absorb into our skin but they end up in our water and soil systems.
How To Tell Which Products Are Safer To Use
Three great options for choosing better beauty products:
1. Get the EWG’s Skin Deep database app to help you scan and search products when shopping or at home. I have long relied on this database to help me search products toxicity ratings and find better alternatives for clients and myself. It is a comprehensive database detailing and rating the potential health concerns of an item.
2. Download the Think Dirty Shop Clean app. It quickly scans products to give you the low down on their ingredients including how they rate on the “dirty meter”. It’s my new favourite eco-beauty tool because it often provides cleaner options of your product right in the same screen.
3. Download a free pocket guide of the Toxic Ten ingredients to avoid to keep in your wallet.
Take action today by investigating the two beauty products you use most frequently. Report back in the comments below to tell me what you found out!