Yes some of your personal products can be dangerous.

For a long time we’ve been talking about the dangers of modern skin care products and cosmetics, and in particular the risks involved in using a whole range of personal products, which includes big name skin care products and cosmetics. Though there are excellent SAFE and high quality skin care products available).

That’s because so many of these products contain ingredients which may be harmful to you. We’ve talked about the Cosmetic Safety Database and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, both of which seek to publicise the fact that, due to lax government regulation of this industry, many products contain ingredients which are known to be harmful to your health.

But it’s not just the Cosmetic Safety Database and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, (and our website) that are publicising the problems with so many modern brands of personal products. There are other high profile people and websites which are also seeking to publicise these facts as well.

Chances are you know of David Suzuki. He is an extremely high profile campaigner on a range of green issues and health issues. He has made some outstanding television programs about this type of issue, and travels the world and speaks regularly.dangerous cosmetics

David Suzuki has his own website at davidsuzuki.org, where, amongst other things, he also points out the risks inherent in so many modern personal products.

In fact he has a “Sustainable Shoppers Guide to a Dirty Dozen Ingredients to Avoid in Your Cosmetics”. In that guide he lists 12 things to avoid when shopping for cosmetics, or for that matter a whole range of other personal products. Included in that list are some that we have spoken about right here on our website.

For example he includes fragrances in the list. In the past we have written about the health risks of “fragrance” in so many personal products. This problem is that generally speaking any “fragrance” is usually listed on the label, if listed at all, as fragrance or parfum, no more.

This even applies to products which may well be labelled as “unscented”.

Unfortunately fragrances are usually a mixture of various types of chemicals, many of which can be a factor in various health problems such as allergies and asthma. As we have said before some of these chemicals have also been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.

We have also spoken before about the problems of parabens, which are in fact a class of chemicals which are used as a preservative. Whilst there are safer and more natural ingredients available which are effective as preservatives, parabens are particularly cheap, and can interfere with various hormonal functions in your body and which have also been associated with breast cancer.

Sad to say but so many women, and men, are completely unaware that so many personal products that they use every day, often multiple times per day, may well be harmful as a result of lax regulation and poor standards which allow the companies that manufacture these products to use pretty much any chemical they want.

And this includes a wide range of personal products such as, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, cosmetics, skin care products and more. Many lipsticks even have lead in them, and you’re probably well aware of the health risks of lead.

We encourage you to read David Suzuki’s Sustainable Shoppers Guide, which you can find here. It’s well worth a read and when used in conjunction with other resources such as this website, the Campaign Safe Cosmetics and the Cosmetic Safety Database, may well help you choose safe and effective skin care products and safe and effective cosmetics.

It’s very important when choosing personal products to be an educated consumer. The manufacturers of the products will not tell you of the health risks of the ingredients they use, and will often not even label those ingredients.

It’s up to you to educate yourself to make sure that you, as a consumer, are sufficiently educated to choose your products wisely.

Written by - Natural Skin Health

This is how you tell if a cosmetics or skin care company has a commitment to product safety.

We’ve talked elsewhere about the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. It’s an organization set up to monitor the ingredients used in the cosmetics and skin care products and anti aging products and all those other beauty and personal care products that you, and just about everyone else, uses every day.

It’s a sad indictment that there is any need for an organization like the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Surely we should expect that any product that we put on or into our bodies must automatically be safe for us to use. But sadly that’s not the case, and there are many instances of products containing ingredients that are known to be hazardous to human use. (Though some excellent skin care products are quite safe and work very well).

Like the lead found in many of the big brand name lipsticks recently tested. Or the new Environmental Working Group report, just a month old, finding hormone disrupting chemicals in many cosmetics and body care products, and then finding that many of our teenage girls had up to 16 of these toxic chemicals in their bodies.

So the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics has a “Compact For Safe Cosmetics” (there’s a bit of a pun there) for cosmetics, skincare and personal and beauty care product manufacturers to evidence their commitment to product safety.

How does it work? Well any company that produces a line of cosmetics or other products and is prepared to sign the Compact can do so, and by doing so it commits itself to the following:

That all of the cosmetics and personal care products made by our company anywhere in the world meet the formulation standards and deadlines set by the European Union Directive 76/768/EEC to be free of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects.To implement substitution plans that replace hazardous materials with safer alternatives within three years. We will accomplish this by:* Conducting an inventory of potential chemicals of concern in our products (or byproducts) to determine their toxicity to living things, their persistence in the environment, their ability to increase in concentration in the food chain, their contamination of our bodies, or qualities they possess that pose hazards including carcinogens, endocrine disrupters, sensitizers, mutagens, reproductive toxins, developmental toxins and neurotoxins* Developing an aggressive substitution plan and timeline: to move to safer materials, prioritizing for substitution those compounds internationally recognized as most toxic; to provide for an ongoing review of safer materials and chemicals as effective, cost-competitive alternatives are available, and; to work with upstream suppliers to provide toxicity data on chemicals in products.

* Publicly reporting on progress to meet these goals.

Oh, and the European directive is basically this. Whilst the US has done very little to attempt to control the use of dangerous chemicals in cosmetics and skincare products and body care products the European Union has, and has a directive banning “the use of chemicals that are known or strongly suspected of causing cancer, mutation or birth defects.”

There are many companies that have signed the Compact For Safe Cosmetics, including Xtend Life who, we believe, make the best, and safest skin care products in the world. 

And there are also some great manufacturers of safe cosmetics.

So there are some great products that you, (and your daughter), can use with confidence.

So if you’re begun finding out about the risks to women and their daughters of using many of our big brand cosmetics and skin care and beauty products, and would like to see if the company that makes your products has a commitment to product safety, then see if they have signed the Compact For Safe Cosmetics. You can search for them here.

Written by - Natural Skin Health

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