Guest Author - Meredith Ball
Our skin lives, breathes, and absorbs nutrients, or toxins, into our bloodstream every minute of everyday. Right now estimates are that women take in up to two pounds of toxins per year by using makeup with dangerous chemicals. It is crucial that we treat our skin well with natural products to avoid creating internal health problems.
The easiest way to remember and be sure you choose healthy makeup is by knowing the three Ps. The three Ps to avoid are: phthalates, parabens and petrochemicals. If you see any of these listed as ingredients in your makeup, throw the makeup out and move on to more natural products.
Phthalates are actually petrochemicals that are so strong they are frequently used as a softener for plastics. Why would we want to put something like that on our face or in our hair? If you look at ingredients in mascara or hairspray chances are you will see phthalates listed. Studies show that phthalates may interfere with the endocrine system causing problems such as obesity, liver damage, and male reproductive issues when prenatally exposed. The production of phthalates also creates toxic emissions in the air, estimated at one billion pounds each year.
Parabens are synthetic chemicals used in makeup, moisturizers, shampoos and more. There are methylparabens, which are naturally found in plants, for example blueberries. Unfortunately parabens are synthetic and thus dangerous. Studies have shown they also have negative effects on the endocrine system and may be related to breast cancer.
Petrochemicals are exactly what they sound like - they come from petroleum. You may see propylene glycol listed as an ingredient in your cosmetics and that will tip you off to the danger. Rubbing anything derived from petroleum into your skin may send toxins to your lungs, brain and heart.
You now know to avoid the three Ps, and need to know what is natural and healthy in cosmetics. Be careful - just because a cosmetic has the word “organic” or “natural” on it doesn’t mean that it is free of the three Ps. Any product that has the USDA Organic label on it is free of synthetics and petrochemicals. If a product does not have that certification, check the ingredients for the three Ps. If the product does not have the ingredients listed, call or email the company to ask them directly whether or not their products contain the three Ps. A company dedicated to providing natural and healthy cosmetics will clearly write on their product and website that they do not use phthalates, parabens or petrochemicals.
It may take a little more time on your part, but once you find a cosmetic line you enjoy that is free of the three Ps, not only will you look better you will also feel better too.