Would you consider drinking a teaspoon of detergent, dye, fragrance, petroleum or other chemicals known to
be toxic, some even causing cancer? Would you want to rub toxins and poisons on to the skin of your children?
That is exactly what nearly all of us do who use ‘ordinary’ personal care products, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, bath gel, face cream and more, and have been doing for years if not decades.
The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and whatever we put on our skin goes into our bodies. Yes that is right, our bodies absorb about 60% of all those lotions and potions, age serums and wrinkle creams, bath gels and sweet smelling soaps, sun screens and make-up that we apply day after day, many of us, especially women, use over 10 different products daily. And in nearly all products are toxic chemicals, even when the product is labelled natural.
Just have a look at the ingredient list of your current shampoo. Ingredients are listed from the largest percentage to the smallest. Sodium lauryel sulfate or its slightly milder cousin sodum laureth sulfate (SLES) is probably one of the fi rst 3 ingredients, right? Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is used as a garage floor cleaner, engine degreaser, car-wash soap, laundry soap, dish soap etc. It is very strong and corrosive and readily attacks greasy surfaces. This is a harsh detergent that is proven to cause skin irritation and understandably so, as our skin is much more delicate than a garage floor or frying pan.
Another popular ingredient is petroleum, often referred to as petro-chemicals. Items made from this include baby oil, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and balms. Petroleum is a by-product from the production of crude oil, the same stuff gasoline is made from. No Petroleum based product is appropriate for health care as they can actually damage the body and interfere with the body’s reproductive functions.
Another common irritant and potentially toxic ingredient in many products is fragrance. Companies are not even required to list the exact ingredients comprising the fragrance and can simply add ‘fragrance’ on this list. As it stands today many ingredients used in cosmetics that are banned in the European Union are still allowed in other countries and are not required to be tested for safety.
It is important to read between the lines and read labels carefully, even contacting companies directly if you have questions about the ingredients. Many companies claim they sell “natural beauty products “but the truth is that they may contain less than 1% natural ingredients.
WHY SHOULD WE USE NATURAL PRODUCTS Health & Beauty Good Karma A very popular, expensive and global body care corporation had this to say about their products when questioned about why they used SLES and other toxic chemicals. “[Our] products contain natural ingredients, which can represent 0.5% – 99% of the formulation. We do not promote ourselves as “all natural.” Rather, we prefer to describe our products as “naturally based” – inspired by natural ingredients and traditional sources.” Certainly from their advertising one would think their products are “all natural” and not possibly only 1% natural and 99.5%
It is important for us consumers to educate ourselves and make informed choices when buying products. Is it worth it to have red lips if the lipstick contains lead? Do you really want to clean your body with toxins, some even known to affect reproductive health or cause cancer?
The good news is that Thailand has a lot of really great natural products. Virgin organic cold pressed coconut is amazing and has so many uses. It is a great replacement for baby oil, (which is just mineral oil with some fragrance). Coconut oil makes a perfect eye make up remover (do you really need something blue to
take off your make up?), body lotion, face cream if your skin is not too oily, lip gloss, hair serum and de-frizzer. It is also good for cuts and scrapes to prevent scarring and has some antibacterial qualities. Best of all it is not very expensive.
There are also many natural soaps, gels and shampoos available from small companies in Thailand who believe in offering consumers a healthier choice and an alternative to the big brands. Companies who actually care about providing a good quality product that is truly natural. Coconut oils, rice bran oils, essential oils and natural herbs can all be used to make wonderful body-care products, better and healthier than anything chemical. Products you can use with peace of mind.
So remember when you use shampoo made of chemicals, you absorb that. If you use natural shampoo made of natural oils and herbs, you absorb those botanical ingredients instead. As a general rule for healthier living we should only put something on our body that we would put also put in our mouth.
For more information visit The Story of Cosmetics Toxins in Toxins out www.storyofstuff.org/cosmetics
And for looking up ingredients the EWA’s cosmetic database www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
To find natural products in Thailand visit Good Karma All Natural
online health food store www.goodkarmathailand.com