Walk down the personal care aisle of any grocery store, and you’ll find shelves filled top to bottom with lotions, salves, perfumes, colognes, soaps, deodorants, toothpaste and shaving cream. This vast array of products promises to make us smell better, have shinier hair, whiter teeth and smoother skin. But these enticing claims come at a price. Most personal care products are loaded with chemicals, many of which are toxic and have been linked to certain cancers.
I am a Garland chiropractor, who specializes in Nutritional Response Therapy. Because we treat many patients with special health challenges, I have seen the kind of toll common chemicals can take on a person’s health.
Certainly not all beauty products are carcinogenic, but some of their chemical ingredients are proven to produce allergies, headaches, hormonal disruptions, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and irritability.
More than 125 different chemicals are used in the manufacturing process of a wide variety of soaps, shampoos, and lotions. Many of these chemicals, when applied to the skin, may cause adverse nervous system reactions, and even birth defects. Since the skin is our largest organ, whatever you put on the skin’s surface is transported directly into the body and nervous system. Trans-dermal nicotine patches, pain patches and hormone patches prove exactly how this works.
The list below outlines a number of familiar personal care products, their ingredients, and a brief description of how these common chemicals can affect you and your family.
- Shampoos – Most commercial shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), In other applications, this foaming agent is used in car washes, and garage floor cleaners and as an engine degreaser! In animal tests, subjects exposed to sodium lauryl sulfate experienced eye damage, labored breathing, diarrhea, skin irritation, and even death! It also mimics the female hormone estrogen.
- Antimicrobial soap – Antimicrobial soap contains MIT, one of the most dangerous chemicals used in personal care products. MIT is quite similar to Agent Orange, the herbicide used in Vietnam as a Weapon of Mass Destruction! In essence it’s like being exposed to a dangerous nerve agent every time you take a shower or wash dishes.
- Nail polish – Many nail polishes contains phthalate, which has been linked to cancer in lab animals. Phthalate has also been proven to cause underdeveloped sex organs in newborn males. Nail polish also contains formaldehyde, which irritates the skin and eyes and even worse, is a known carcinogen.
- After-shave/Mouthwash – The active ingredient in your favorite mouthwash may be propylene glycol, which is also a primary ingredient in antifreeze! It works as wetting agent and solvent. Propylene glycol quickly penetrates the skin and passes into the bloodstream. It has been linked to brain, kidney, and liver abnormalities.Industry workers who use this toxic chemical must wear protective gloves!
- Underarm deodorants – The most common moisture-absorbing agent in deodorants is aluminum, a frequent contributor to heavy metal toxicity poisoning. Aluminum is also thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s, as heavy metals short-circuit the brain neurons.
- Baby oil – Baby oils that are made up of 100% mineral oil (as most are) coat the skin like plastic wrap, and prevent the skin from breathing. Baby oil has been known to promote acne, accelerate premature aging, and disrupt the skin’s natural immune barrier.
By making a gradual switch to more natural products, we can stop turning our homes, living quarters, and bodies into toxic
Alternately, you can make some of your own personal care products at home. The ideas listed below are both affordable and effective.chemicals dumps. You can begin by selecting just one or two items to replace. Next check out the “natural” section of your local grocery or health food store to find a safer replacement. In many cases, you’ll find products that are superior to the originals. For example, many natural toothpastes skip fluoride in favor of safe herbs that promote gum health keep teeth strong.
- Shampoos – Soft, clean hair should have a normal pH of 5.6. You can help return
- Toothpaste – Back in the good old days, Grandma’s toothpaste was a paste made from baking soda and water. Sometimes a pinch of salt was added as a cleanser. This combination still works as well as many expensive commercial fluoride-laden toothpastes!
- Hand lotion – Try coconut oil! This particular oil is very good for you, and can even be taken internally. Anhydrous lanolin is another alternative.
- Deodorant – Baking soda is a fantastic odor neutralizer! It also works very well in cleansing the body of accumulated oils. Add a few drops of tea tree oil for extra protection.
- Basic moisturizer – A combination of aloe vera gel and glycerin is a superior skin moisturizer. It will store safely for several months.
Try a few of this simple tips and you’ll find that smelling and looking good has never more economical or safe!
If you suspect that you’ve been affected by household chemicals or any other kind of environmental toxin, please contact our Garland Chiropractic office for more information on our customized Nutritional Response Testing Programs. We can help you feel your best!