What Are You Feeding Your Family’s Skin?

When you eat food, your liver has the first shot at removing synthetic chemicals and toxic substances. When we put synthetic chemicals onto our skin, there is little to stop them entering our bodies and wreaking havoc.

Take a look at the packaging of products you use on yourself and your family and read the ingredient listing. You may find you need a chemistry degree to understand them. Do you really believe they are safe for you and your family?

There are over 85,000 synthetic chemicals approved for market use today, from preservatives in our lipstick to flame retardants in our sofas, from plasticizers in our water bottles to pesticides on our fruit and vegetables. Few of these chemicals have been tested for their effects on human health and no one really knows the lifetime effects of living with this toxic “cocktail” of chemicals.

Cosmetic companies will argue that we don’t need to worry about harmful chemicals in their products because they are only used on our skin and hair. For example, the cosmetics industry has long stated that their widespread use of parabens and phthalates is not harmful because they remain on our skin and are not absorbed into our body. However, a recent study by Dr Philippa Darbre found parabens in human breast cancer tissue, raising obvious questions about the ability of parabens to accumulate in our bodies. Their detection in human breast tumours is of further concern since parabens have been shown to be able to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen. For more information on parabens see this report.

In September 2000, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found phthalates at surprisingly high levels in every one of 289 people tested, especially in women of reproductive age. The issue with phthalates is that they can cause damage to the liver, the kidneys, the lungs and the reproductive system, especially the developing testes which makes them a serious issue for women pregnant with male babies. Phthalates are found in many leading beauty care products, including hair spray, deodorant, nail polish and perfumes. For more information on phthalates, see the Not Too Pretty website.

Take an online tour around the Environmental Working Group website and get some real information which may well change your mind about the products you use. You can view the EWG report on the brand Johnson & Johnson and make up your own mind about the safety of this brand. Take the time to view some other brand reports and make up your own mind. You’ll find in this comparison of baby lotions, the Johnson & Johnson brand are of the highest concern.

My personal issue is that once these synthetics enter the body, they can create havoc but I also believe that the body is not able to easily remove these synthetic substances and they accumulate.

What we don’t detoxify we slowly, silently stockpile in our bodies forever. When the load reaches a critical level, we have symptoms and eventually a disease level.

Sticking your head in the sand and pretending all is safe will not make this issue go away. You can choose to dismiss it and ignore it but as Mulder of the X-Files would say, ‘The truth is out there’. Are you prepared to risk your health and the health of your family? I am not prepared to take the risk when there are better choices to be made that will make a difference – to your health, the health of your family, to the environment and to the legacy we leave for the children.

There are skin care ranges out there that are free from synthetic chemicals and there is even a skincare range that is certified organic to food standards. Certified organic means you are really getting a synthetic free product that you can trust. I switched to this range in 2004 and I have never looked back. I used to sell the French Aromatherapy range Decleor which I used for 15 years but after discovering Miessence, I knew I had to change. Miessence is synthetic free and retails at almost half the price. In my opinion, it is also better than Decleor – how could I not change!

I like to live by the precautionary principle says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. It’s common sense. The precautionary principle guides us to take action now, as individuals and as a society, to prevent harm to human health and the environment before it happens.

Start taking responsibility for your choices. Read the labels on your products. Vote with your money and your feet. Make your own informed decisions. If you need help understanding the ingredient listings on your cosmetic products then I highly recommend the excellent book called The Chemical Maze by Bill Statham. It lists food additives and cosmetic ingredients and their potential health effects. It is small in size but big on information and can be purchased through my website for $AUD15. For a more in depth look at environmental toxicity then order the book Detoxify or Die by Sherry A. Rogers, M.D. from for around $AUD45.

Written by Tracey Habron.

Please feel free to contact Tracey if you have any questions.




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