Advice from Dr. Mercola – what should NOT be in your personal care and cleaning products! http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/26/Easy-Economical-Green-Remedies-You-Can-Prepare-at-Home.aspx
Chemicals You Definitely Want to Avoid
Did you know that if you use conventional cosmetics on a daily basis, you can absorb almost 5 pounds of chemicals into your body each year! Many of which have been linked to deadly side effects like cancer. Below I’ll offer a few simple, non-toxic alternatives to help you avoid some of these hazardous chemicals, which can be found in many personal care products:
Paraben, a chemical found in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics that has been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
Phthalates, plasticizing ingredients (present in nearly three-quarters of 72 products tested by the Environmental Working Group), which have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.
Musks, used as fragrances, can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to skin irritation, hormone disruption, and cancer in laboratory studies.
Artificial fragrances, which are among the top five known allergens, and can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.
Toluene, made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum, these products coat your skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They also slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging, and are a suspected cause of cancer and disruption to hormonal activity.
I highly recommend using the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database where you can look up a wide variety of products and brands to find out what they’re really made of, and whether or not they’re safe.
Being choosy and only using products made of real, recognizable, natural and organic ingredients bearing the USDA Certified Organic seal, is your best bet when purchasing products that go into your body, or onto your skin.
Easy-Breezy Home-Made Beauty Products
Like DeJong, I believe the absolute easiest way to ensure that you’re not being exposed to potentially hazardous agents is to simply make your own personal care products, using simple all-natural ingredients that many of you may already have in your home.
Here are a few of my recommendations:
All-natural moisturizers — Pure emu oil is a great alternative to facial- and body moisturizers and lotions, as is pure coconut oil. It’s a fantastic moisturizer and a potent source of the beneficial fat lauric acid.
All-natural acne fighter — Rubbing just a drop of oregano oil on a breakout can speed up the healing and prevent unsightly scarring without resorting to harsh commercial acne medication (remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards).
All-natural deodorant – I advise stopping ALL antiperspirants. Common soap and water works fine. If you still need further help then try a pinch of baking soda mixed into water as an effective all-day deodorant.
All-natural shampoo and soaps – You can find clean, non-chemical soaps at many health food stores.
Finding recipes for your own homemade beauty products is a breeze when you have access to the internet. Just Google “homemade cosmetics” for more than 400,000 pages of recipes and instructions.