Are you aware of what’s lurking in your lipstick and other cosmetics? Sunscreens, perfumes, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, nail polish, hair spray, hair dyes, styling gels, and other cosmetics may contain harmful chemicals. Substances that are applied to your skin enter your body and can disrupt the endocrine system. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your skin care products are safe:
- Read labels! Keep an eye out for the endocrine disrupting compounds dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate and diethylhexyl phthalate. Look for labels that say “phthalate-free.” Remember: “all-natural” doesn’t mean organic.
- Hair dyes and lipstick may contain toxic metals, such as lead. Test your lipstick by putting some on your hand and scratching it with a gold ring. If the lipstick color changes to black, it contains lead.
- Steer clear of parabens, found in many personal care products and cosmetics. Choose another brand if yours lists butyl paraben, ethyl paraben, methyl paraben, and/or propyl paraben.
- Ditch the perfume, which includes synthetic fragrance. Choose essential oils instead; they have health benefits and smell great! Beware of products marked “unscented” (they may still contain phthalates, which have been associated with cancer). Look for products marked “fragrance-free.”
- Order online or shop at health-conscious venues. You don’t have to purchase your makeup at the local drug store, which may not carry a selection of organic products. Try your local health food store, or eco-conscious online shops, which are more likely to carry chemical free cosmetics. Just be sure to check out the label!
- Make your own! Did you know you can make an awesome blush out of beet powder? Research some recipes, and host a cosmetic-making get-together with your friends.
- Try going makeup-free at least one day a week. True beauty and radiance come from within.
- Find out more by visiting www.ewg.org/skindeep. This electronic database contains info on thousands of products. Knowledge is power — be savvy about what you put on your skin!
Sources: Healthy Breast Foundations Program Manual, p 118
For upcoming courses in the Healthy Breast Program, see http://mammalive.net/upcoming-courses/