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  • Amy Jeffers DC, CACCP

Cosmetics are more than skin deep


As you've probably heard before, your skin is your largest organ. All the more reason to make sure what you are putting on it is safe. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average female uses12 products per day exposing them to 168 different chemicals. The average man uses less products, but still is exposed to an average of 85 chemicals per day. Not only are those chemicals on the surface of the skin, but many get inhaled and also absorbed into the bloodstream and can even effect hormone balance, which can impact fertility and cancer risk. Europe and many other countries ban many harmful chemicals in cosmetics, but the United States, still allows many of them in our products.

What can we do to limit our exposure? First be aware of what you are using. Read product labels. Look for products with fewer synthetic chemicals and more organic and naturally sourced products. Look for food grade quality products-if you can eat it, it is less harmful! Use EWG's Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database and Safe Sunscreens list to help find safer products. Eliminate any unnecessary products, perfumes, and fragrance. Avoid sunscreens that contain chemical filters including: retinyl palmitate, oxybenzones, parabens, phtalates, According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the The United States Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) classifies sunscreen as an over the counter drug and has determined that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are recognized as generally safe and effective (GRASE) and that PABA and tolamine salicate are not GRASE and products containing either of these are no longer legal to be sold in the United States.

I frequently get asked about the products I use and how I choose them. I look for organic, locally sourced products, food grade, and those that rate well on the EWG Skin: Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. I do not receive any benefit for recommending these products, but here are a few of my favorites that I currently use:

Skincare: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum, Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer, Little Barn Apothecary Aloe + Rosewater Balancing Mist

Deodorant: Brown Barn Botanicals Lavender Lemongrass Deodorant

Hair care: Aromatica B5+Biotin Fortifying Shampoo and Aromatica Lemongrass Volumizing Conditioner

Want to see how the products you use measure up for safety? Use the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Have safe products you use and love? Let us know and post in the comments below!

#skin #sunscreen #chemicalsafety #skincare #haircare #fertility

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