When it comes to home and beauty products, the FDA's health and safety standards are unfortunately very low. According to a recent MindBodyGreen article, "About half of U.S. and Canadian cosmetics contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an industrial compound associated with serious health conditions." While the FDA allows these types of harmful chemicals to be put in our products, it's up to us to minimize the toxic load on our body to improve our skin, health, and the environment.
We answered a few FAQs below about making the switch to clean beauty products. And as a bonus, at the end you will find a Clean Switch Checklist to help you on your way to eliminating toxins in your life!
Why switch to "non-toxic" or "clean" beauty and home products?
Products that we use on our bodies or in the home can seep through the skin barrier into the bloodstream. Many of the chemicals used in these products are known carcinogens yet are still allowed to be sold! Synthetic chemicals in the body cause a disruption in the important functions of the microbiome and your hormones. Over time this can lead to inflammation and development of chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes, digestive issues, Alzheimer's and more.
So, which ingredients are bad for me?
The EWG puts out a list of The Toxic Twelve Chemicals and Contaminant in Cosmetics to avoid, which include phthalates and parabens, as well as formadehyle. Unfortunately many artificial fragrances are extremely toxic as well. Basically if it smells too good to be true (i.e. birthday cake smelling candle), it most likely is.
We already ingest a ton of chemicals and toxins daily such as pesticides on food, toxins in the air, heavy metals in our tap water...the list goes on. Even our cookware can have harmful chemicals that leach into the food. Our liver works hard to process out what can harm us, but can only process so much of a toxic load. By educating yourself on the ingredients and which are harmful and toxic, you can begin to switch to safe, effective products that are better for you and the environment
Want to see how your products stack up? Check out the EWG Database or the Think Dirty App for a score on how "clean" your cosmetics are! We also use the Sephora Clean Beauty product list for a lot of our purchases.
How should I make the switch?
For the purpose of sustainability (and your budget) we recommend switching slowly. As you run out of a certain product, do a little research and choose a less toxic option! We created a simple checklist for you to start making the switch over to cleaner products one at a time. Save the Clean Switch Checklist below and let us know if you have any questions. Stay tuned this week for our next blog post that rounds up our favorite clean beauty products.