Our family loves Christmas, in fact it is the most important event on our calendar as we celebrate the birth of Jesus long ago in that little town of Bethlehem. What does Christmas mean to you? In Australia today, with our blend of cultural and religious customs, it is interesting to observe that so many of us enjoy the spirit of Christmas. That spirit means spending time with family and friends, an abundance of food, and of course, lots of presents!
Gift giving can be a real pleasure, from the list writing to the elaborate wrapping. However this year, before you go out and purchase that lip gloss for your daughter, the hand cream for Nanna or the shaving lotion for hubby, take a moment to consider what you are really giving.
The following excerpt sums it up:
The chemical cocktail in your make-up kit
By Erin Tennant
A love affair with cosmetics is putting women at risk of chronic health problems, with toxic chemicals packed into beauty products that are largely unchecked by regulators, a leading Australian expert claims.
From rubbing in body lotion to applying mascara or re-coating lip gloss, women every day expose their skin to hundreds of man-made chemicals, including carcinogens. Repeating these personal care rituals over a lifetime creates a “big unknown” risk to women of developing long-term diseases, says Peter Dingle, a toxicology expert from Murdoch University.
“Most people assume that if it’s sold on a pharmacy shelf or in a supermarket, it’s safe,” Associate Professor Dingle said. “There are virtually no controls going into cosmetics.”
The author of Dangerous Beauty said the government regulator, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification Scheme (NICNAS), is ill-equipped to test the range of chemical ingredients found in cosmetics. “There is a national scheme to identify which chemicals are toxic, but there is no authority to regulate how those chemicals are used.”
The NICNAS assesses all new chemicals used in cosmetics before they end up inside bathroom cabinets and women’s make-up bags. But the regulator does not authorise cosmetic products themselves and existing cosmetic chemicals are assessed only on a “priority basis in response to concerns on health and environmental grounds”, a spokeswoman said.
That leaves a whole range of untested chemicals that have lingered on the cosmetics market decades before NICNAS was established in 1990, said Associate Professor Dingle. “We are thousands of chemicals behind in toxicological studies — we just can’t keep up,” he said.
One American study estimates the cosmetics industry uses more than 10,000 chemicals in its products and 89 per cent of these are yet to be evaluated for human safety. “When you’ve got women putting on a lot of make-up over a long period of time, the body just gets over-burdened with chemicals,” Associate Professor Dingle said. “If you’re not exceptionally healthy, in terms of lifestyle and diet, your body has a harder time breaking down those chemicals, so they circulate longer and can do more harm.”
The health effects may range from skin irritation and respiratory problems to more chronic illnesses linked to cosmetic chemicals such as Formaldehyde, a potential human carcinogen, the Perth-based academic said.
Doctor Dingle’s danger list
Parabens: a preservative used in a majority of skincare and cosmetic products which can disturb normal reproduction and development.
Formaldehyde: used as a preservative in shampoos, mascara, creams anti-ageing creams, face makeup and nail products. It is known to cause eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing, asthma attacks, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, nose bleeds, headaches and dizziness.
Polyvinyl pyrrolodene (PVP): found primarily in hair sprays and also in facial makeup, shampoos and creams. It is a suspected human teratogen (capable of causing birth defects in a fetus) and carcinogen.
Triclosan: an antibacterial agent used in toothpastes, soaps and body washes. It is a skin irritant and moderately toxic by ingestion.
Phthalates: gives body lotions a creamy texture, but are also a ‘plasticiser’ used to make plastics flexible. Certain phthalates are known carcinogens and may cause birth defects.
So is going organic the answer? Dr Mercola reports that increasing numbers of women and men are trashing their conventional, chemical-laden cosmetics and personal care products in favour of more natural, organic varieties. However, he questions the safety of many of these alternatives.
Just like their conventional cousins, “organic” or “natural” cosmetics do not have to undergo any testing or approval process. The terms “organic” or “natural” have no definitions and the products may include just a few organic ingredients, along with the usual host of nasty chemicals.
What is the solution?
Check the label: Do you know what is in the products you are using? Many women are turning to mineral foundations as they become aware of the dangers of petrochemicals in many liquid foundations. However, talc is often found in mineral foundation – a nasty ingredient linked to ovarian cancer – even though it could be claimed to be both natural and organic!
Check the company: Purchase your personal care and beauty products from a company with a demonstrated commitment to your safety.
Kings Mountain Detox uses and recommends the Modere range of safe, effective skin care, hair care and cosmetics, in addition to powerful nutritional supplements.
Now the whole family can look good and feel great, with peace of mind!
“The rise of organic make-up”, Dr Joseph Mercola
” Chemicals in Cosmetics”, Erin Tennant