Today, we’re gabbing with Elizabeth Allen, a safe beauty advocate and toxin-free educator. She is passionate about educating women about safer alternatives for healthier personal care products.
The products we choose to use not only affect us. They affect the people around us, our community, and the world. During the holiday season, many of us give and get lotions and potions, so this is a perfect time to look instead to healthier personal care products.
Why Healthier Personal Care Products Matter
It’s important to remember that our skin is our biggest organ, and what we put on it is absorbed. Studies show that 60% up to 100% of what we put on our skin goes right into the bloodstream, with no filters. What you use in your daily routines matters to your overall health.
Europe has banned more than 1,300 harmful chemicals from everyday products. The United States Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, has only banned 11. That means we need to be very diligent in what we purchase and use in and on our bodies. Unfortunately, our government isn’t always looking out for us.
Don’t Be Fooled by Greenwashing
Given the minimal regulations on packaging and ingredients in the US skincare industry, companies are likely to claim what will help the product sell—regardless of the truth behind it. The packaging may highlight “good ingredients” and not mention the harmful additives. In fact, they may even lure you in with pictures of flowers or natural surroundings. As a smart consumer with an eye on healthy ingredients, you need to review the ingredients yourself.
Ingredients to Avoid in Healthier Personal Care Products
How can you know which ingredients are good and which are bad? Elizabeth has a rule of thumb, and she consistently avoids three specifics products. They are:
Elizabeth refers to fragrance as the f-word for good reason. Did you know there can be up to 3,000 different chemicals hidden behind that fragrance? Companies don’t have to list them because they are protected as trade secrets. Unless the product specifically states that it uses essential oils, it’s a smart idea to avoid anything that’s blanketed as fragrance.
It is often suggested to avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce, and one of those is phenoxyethanol. This is a preservative that is commonly used in brands that are marketed as natural and safe. The truth is that it can cause allergic reactions, eczema, and hives. When ingested, it can lead to central nervous system damage, diarrhea, and vomiting. You’ll find it in many bubble bath brands targeted to kids.
Commonly used in cosmetics from baby powder and eyeshadow to feminine hygiene products, talc is a lung irritant and has been linked to organ system toxicity. There is even a concern that talc has been associated with cancer.
Start with Baby Steps
It can be very overwhelming to think that the products in your home might be causing you and your family harm. Your first response may be to trash everything in the house, but that can be costly. Instead, as you run out of a product and go to replace it, look for healthier personal care products. Scan the labels; avoid the big-bad ingredients; and seek to improve your health.
And as you look for holiday gift ideas, be sure to read the ingredients. These days, healthier options are available at every store. You don’t need to shop only at specific places to find great options. Read the labels at Walmart, Target, and the grocery store. If you shop online, look at those ingredients.
Take the first step to a happier, healthier you. You’ll be glad you did.
Connect with The Green Gab Podcast Hosts:
About the Hosts of The Green Gab Podcast:
Green Gab Podcast Host Marla Esser Cloos is the Founder of The Green Home Coach – a company leading the way to inspire you to learn about, focus on and put into place Green Solutions when it comes to your life, home building and more.
Marla is an NAHB Master Certified Green Professional, LEED AP and Missouri Woman Business Enterprise. She Earned her B.S. in Engineering and Public Policy and a Certificate in Energy from Washington University.
Click here to learn more about Marla at her website online via TheGreenHomeCoach.Com