Are you aware there is a list called The Nasty Nine, outlining 9 of the most harmful toxins added to skin care, hair care and cosmetics?
Did you know that the cosmetics industry is filled with harmful chemicals that directly or indirectly cause allergic reactions? Some can cause hormone disruptions. Some are considered systemic disruptors, meaning they can interfere with vital systems in the body like the nervous system or the endocrine system. The endocrine system is essentially where our hormones are managed.
This is an important topic that is often undervalued and glossed over. As a female, there is a certain expectation that we need to look pretty, feminine, and sexy. To help us achieve those looks we use cosmetics, skincare and hair products. And they make us feel beautiful.
But these dangerous ingredients are not discriminating at all. They are included in men’s skin care, shampoo, and cosmetics. And they are included in babies and children’s skin care products.
It’s not only what we consume that we need to mindful of, but what we put on our body too. The skin is the largest organ we have. Every thing you put onto your skin is directly absorbed into the blood stream and is a gateway to the brain and the nervous system.
I’m passionate about nutrition and creating healthy bodies because many years ago I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cervical cancer. The diagnosis was to wait and see if the cells progressed to the next stage, or reversed on their own. I went back after 3 months to find that my cells had progressed to stage 2 and was told to wait and see if the cells would continue to progress or reverse on their own.
At this point I decided I wasn’t going to wait to see if I developed full blown cancer! I decided to take matters into my own hands. I decided to look at what I was eating. I looked at how I was moving. I looked at what I was thinking. And I looked at what I was exposing my body to.
When I returned for my next check up, my cells had completely reversed and I was free of the diagnosis.
That’s my story and why I love doing what I do. But I also want to share with you that I recently posted on social media a photo after spending some time at the hair salon. I was very happy with what my hairdresser did and I received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from so many people. I was genuinely surprised and touched by the kindness.
What I didn’t share was how I almost didn’t post the picture because whilst I was sitting in the chair, my eyes became red and puffy. The irritation subsided as soon as my hairdresser took the chemicals away, and by the time it was washed off it was almost gone. But I could tell my eyes had been irritated in the photo.
I go to great lengths to ensure all the products I choose are cruelty free because this is important to me. I also go to great lengths to ensure all the products I choose are free of nasty chemicals. It’s also my preference to choose a salon that uses not only cruelty free products, but low ammonia and low toxin products. I know my salon does all of this, however I still felt some irritation.
When looking at ingredients, it’s good to be aware of which ones are more harmful then others. Or more importantly, pay attention to how you feel when you use them or are exposed to them. You may not be as sensitive as I am. You may not have any symptoms. That does not mean your body isn’t fighting to remove the toxins.
And lets be honest. Do you really want to wait until you have rosacea, or an imbalance in your hormones that has ultimately led to some high level allergic reaction, or even cancer?
Toxin awareness is important.
Learn to read labels of all packaging. That means food. That means skincare. That means cosmetics. That means shampoo. That means deodorants. It also includes household and cleaning products.
Today there are some really wonderful companies creating lovely products that are not only good for us, but good for the environment too. And many have fantastic sustainability programs.
Here is a brief run down of Toxins on the The Nasty Nine list.
- Mineral oil: Paraffin of various types, a by-product of gasoline.
- Alcohol: There is a long list, ingredients ending in ‘ol’ or contains ‘propan’ in the name. These are dehydrating for the skin and can lead to respiratory problems or hypotension.
- Pthalates: Commonly found in household plastics as well as deodorant, nail polish, perfume, hair sprays and are linked endocrine disruptions, asthma, spectrum disorders and altered reproductive development.
- PEGS: Contain dangerous levels of dioxin which is a toxin linked to cancer, nervous system disorders as well as reduce the immune system.
- SLS – SLES: These are the Sodium Lauryl Sulphates and other Sodium or Sulphate ingredients – originally used to de-grease engines and known to cause skin irritations, eye damage, depression, respiratory issues and diarrhoea.
- Parabens: Used as a preservative to increase shelf life in products but have been linked to breast cancer, and hormone disruption by mimicking estrogen in the body.
- Coal tar dyes: Derived from petroleum and known to be a human carcinogen and to contain heavy metals.
- Silicone: Stick to the skin clogging pores and slowing skin renewal, possibly causing pigmentation, redness and fine lines.
- Formaldehyde: Classified as a carcinogen and banned in some countries. Known to cause allergic reactions and lower the immune system.
Please note that this is not a detailed list of the toxins within each of the Nasty Nine categories but is intended to give you a running start. A rule of thumb can be ‘if you can’t pronounce it, then leave it out’ or ‘if in doubt, go without’. If you are interested to learn more about these ingredients in details, please get in touch via the contact form.
Choose wisely. Live vibrantly. 🌿
Photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash