Can You Trust Your Personal Care Products?

I’d be willing to bet that when you go shopping, you assume most if not all personal care products you are shopping for, are safe. You probably believe that anything that is unsafe couldn’t make it past Federal inspections and wouldn’t be allowed to be placed on the shelves for sale.

But, can you really trust the manufacturer of these products?!

I mean, let’s face it, given the size of the government these days; with all the different departments regulating this and that, it’s obvious they check products before they’re allowed to be sold, right?!

Well, not so much…

When it comes to cosmetic products you are pretty much on your own. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is the regulating authority for these types of products.  Unfortunately, they have no “authority” to mandate that companies test their products for safety before releasing them for purchase.  The only things the FDA does prior to market release is to check for certain color additives, and to check active ingredients in any cosmetic product classified as an over-the-counter drug. Not very reassuring, to be sure!

So, what else have you assumed about the cosmetic industry that is untrue?

Certainly the government prohibits the use of dangerous chemicals in personal care products! Common sense dictates, companies wouldn’t expose themselves to liability by including harmful chemicals in the ingredients of their products.

Wrong again! Cosmetic manufacturers are allowed to use any ingredient or raw material they want, except for the color additives, indicated above, without any intervention by a government consumer protection agency.

Did you know…

  • Over 500 products sold in the US contain ingredients banned in cosmetics sold in Japan, Canada and the European Union.
  • The International Fragrance Association has identified over 100 products sold in the US that have ingredients deemed unsafe by the organization.
  • A substantial number of “nanomaterials” whose safety is questionable may be found in personal care products.
  • 61% of lipstick sold in the US contain lead residues.
  • 60% of sunscreens include oxybenzone, which is readily absorbed through our skin contaminating nearly 97% of Americans with a potential hormone disruptor.
  • A cancer causing substance 1,4-dioxane may be found in 22% of all personal care products including those targeted for use by children.

But then, if you think about it, is there really that much risk in applying something to our skin? How dangerous could it be, when so little gets through our skin, right?

Did you know, that many products contain penetration enhancers, to assure ingredients find their way deep within our skin? More importantly, it’s not necessarily what you have rubbed on your skin, but the vehicle used to transfer the product. For example your risk exposure can be caused by breathing in overspray and dust from sprays and powders, swallowing chemicals applied to your lips or hands, as well as absorbing chemicals through your skin.

Ingredients such as paraben preservatives, the pesticide triclosan, synthetic musks and phthalate plasticizers remain in our bodies and can be found in men, women and children. Many of these ingredients disrupt our hormones and can lead to health issues such as heightened sperm damage, reduced birth rate in women, and the feminization of the male reproductive system.

Common sense says products made for children or those that are labelled as hypoallergenic would offer increased safety.

If you think that, you would be wrong, once again. Marketing claims made by personal care product manufacturers are not regulated and they almost never have to substantiate their claims. Manufacturers use of the terms “natural” and “hypoallergenic” are used to improve their marketability and often have no basis in reality.

A study performed in 2007 of 1,700 children’s personal care products labelled “gentle” or “hypoallergenic” revealed that 81% contained allergens or skin and eye irritants.

The same goes for products labelled organic or natural. Again, these labels improve consumer’s attraction to them and are used to increase sales. They are not necessarily reflective of the actual ingredients found in any given product.

Manufacturers often include a smidge of natural or organic ingredients simply so they can use those terms in their marketing. The amounts used, are so insignificant they have no real effect on the product’s performance, though.

The other point that is often neglected is, even if an ingredient is natural or organic, it is not necessarily safe to use. As an example, poison ivy is natural, but you’re not going to want to rub that all over your skin now, are you?!

Some personal care products which have been labelled as natural or organic, have been found to contain petrochemicals and have absolutely zero certified natural or organic ingredients. Zip, nada, zilch! Not only that, but “certified” organic products can have as little as 10% organic ingredients by weight, in order to be classified as such.

Finally, research has shown that 35% of children’s cosmetic products marketed as “natural” include artificial preservatives.

We all tend to believe that in the event a product causes injury, the FDA will immediately cause that product to be recalled. Sorry to burst that safety bubble – but the FDA does not have the authority to do that. Besides, manufacturers are not required to report these injuries to the FDA.

Of course, as a well-informed consumer, you always have the ability to read the labels and determine for yourself the safety of the ingredients in any given product. With one small caveat, though. Federal law not only doesn’t offer protection for the consumer, but actually facilitates the manufacturer’s deceit.

Federal law permits the exclusion of some ingredients from their labels! Ingredients considered “trade secrets” and ingredients that make up the fragrance may be excluded from the label. Fragrances can have some of the most harmful ingredients in them, yet they can be excluded from identification.

If you believe personal care product safety is just a women’s concern – think again. The following stats are the results of various surveys and reveal that on average women use 12 products with 168 ingredients everyday, men use 6 products with 85 ingredients and children are exposed to 61 ingredients daily. That’s a significant amount of exposure to a lot of different chemicals on a daily basis. And remember, the younger you are, the more susceptible you are to the negative impact of those ingredients.

In summary, be very, very careful with the personal care products you choose to use. Some of the most popular products endorsed by your favorite television personalities are not what they’re cracked up to be.

Follow this link for quality, natural health care products.

Rejuvenate Your Skin Naturally, to Look and Feel Younger and More Vibrant!

Ugh! How Do We Get Rid of These Wrinkles?

The reality is nobody likes getting older. As we age our skin loses its flexibility and becomes stiffer, which translates into wrinkles. So, how do we get rid of these wrinkles?!

There are a multitude of variables that determine the extent to which our skin wrinkles – foremost among those variables being our genes. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about our genes.

Regardless of how we age, we would all prefer to look younger, making us feel better about ourselves.

All my life others have assumed I have been younger than I actually am. Which I hope was because of my youthful looks and not my behavior. As a younger person, looking younger was often hinderance. Now that I am older my youthful appearance is working in my favor, as I don’t look my age at all.

Clearly, some individuals age more gracefully than others. For everyone else, there is quality anti-aging skincare.

A topical cream can be used to target specific areas of concern. Individuals with a history of smoking tend to have more wrinkles around their mouth and eyes, while a person who has experienced significant sun exposure may wrinkle prematurely.

In both cases a skin care cream may be applied to the specific areas to help smooth out those wrinkles and improve the health of the affected skin.

Using such products is a great way to improve the health, look and feel of skin. But there are other things that you can do, and should be doing to improve your skin’s health.

Smoking has a detrimental effect on skin. If you don’t smoke, please don’t start, and if you are already a smoker, the sooner you can quit the better.

Drinking plenty of water is also tremendously beneficial. Remember, the human body is made up of between 50-75% water on average. Skin is the body’s largest organ. There is roughly 3,000 square inches of skin, weighing about 6 pounds covering a 120 pound individual! Water is essential to maintaining the organ! Drinking water not only keeps skin healthy, it helps skin to retain its elasticity which is critical to reducing wrinkles.

Try to avoid extensive exposure to the sun. If you must be out in the sun for an extended period plan to wear a hat, loose-fitting clothing that is designated as blocking ultraviolet sun rays, and wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays have always had the potential to damage skin, but with the elimination of the ozone layer, the sun’s rays are even more intense and dangerous today. Children, especially, are vulnerable to sun damage to their skin.

Minimizing exposure to the sun will not only improve the health of your skin, but reduce your risk for skin cancer. A nice bonus!

Obviously, you need vitamin D, so normal exposure to sun light is acceptable. But, you should really try to keep exposure to short doses. And, you could always take vitamin D as a supplement, if you felt you were not getting enough sun exposure – especially during the winter months.

Personally, I try to adhere to a protocol of reduced sun exposure. But, I recognize that my daily activities will likely expose me to the sun. I try to mitigate that by following the suggestions mentioned above. For example, if I know I’m going to be doing a bit of driving, I apply sunscreen to my arms, face and neck.

When reviewing anti-aging skin care products, do your due diligence. Simply buying the most expensive, highly marketed product is not always the best course of action. In fact, some of the more expensive products manufactured by well know companies, are some of the worst products available for your skin.

From a logical standpoint, you should ask yourself: If the manufacturer is spending so much on marketing, how much are they spending on research and development? Also, how much are they paying the celebrity to endorse the product, and how does that endorsement affect the price?

When considering skin care products of any kind, look carefully at the ingredients. If you see ingredients such as parabens, allergens and fragrance – keep looking! Remember skin absorbs 60% of what touches it.

Ingredients you’ll want to see in an anti-aging skin care creams are: Phytessence Wakame, which is derived from Japanese sea kelp and helps your skin retain its elasticity naturally; and Nanobelle CoenzymeQ10 which penetrates down 7 levels of skin to produce dramatic results.

A quality skin care product will refresh your skin, naturally from the inside out, helping to get rid of those wrinkles, while making you look and feel younger and more vibrant!

Rejuvenate Your Skin Naturally, to Look and Feel Younger and More Vibrant!