Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's in your Bathroom Cabinet?

Come on, lets be honest, Do you really know what goes on in all of those jars, pots and tubes of cosmetics you use? Have you ever looked at the label and wondered what on earth the ingredients were? Bearing in mind that scientists now agree that at least 80% of the 200 different types of cancers known today are related to the synthetic and toxic chemicals we use in everyday life, it is now more important than ever to read your labels and become a conscious consumer.

Skin is the largest eliminatory organ of the body, a two way membrane, which eliminates toxins through perspiration, and absorbs them into the body via hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Considering we have 65 hairs and 100 sebaceous glands per inch of skin, you can be pretty certain that a large percentage of what you are putting on your skin is getting absorbed into your body!

Here are some of the most important ones to look out for:
1,4-Dioxane: A chemical which does not occur naturally and is petrochemically derived. 1,4-Dioxane is of large concern to industry regulatory bodies due to its well documented carcinogenic (cancer causing) potential.
Parabens: Used mainly to extend the shelf life of cosmetic products. Parabens have been shown to mimic oestrogen in the body (capable of binding to oestrogen receptor sites), and increase the expression of genes that are regulated by oestradiol (shown to proliferate breast tumour cells in vitro studies).
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS): Found in most commercial shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, cleansing lotions, foaming bath oils, and liquid soaps. Alarmingly, studies have indicated that SLS enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain after skin contact.

Other nasties to look out for include propylene glycol, nitrosamines, artificial fragrances, and ethoxylates. A full listing can be found in a book called ‘The Chemical Maze’ (RRP $14.95) by Bill Statham (a handy little shopping companion that lists all food additives and cosmetic ingredients).

Ok, so now we know what to look out for on our labels, what are the alternatives?
Fortunately these days there are plenty of products out there which are natural and absolutely safe to use. Some of my personal favourites (which we stock here at Evelyn Faye Nutrition) include Akin, Alchemy, Biologika, Nude by Nature, Renew, Giovanni, LaPurete, AUM, Natural Instinct, Burts Bee’s, Lavera, Weleda, Grants & Red Seal (Toothpastes), plus many more!

If you would like to know more about the chemicals in cosmetics and products visit ‘Skin Deep: The Cosmetics Database’ ( a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products, or pop in and have a chat with us here at Evelyn Faye Nutrition, South Melbourne.

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