Most of us these days worry about the chemicals and additives in our water and food supply, and rightly so. But when was the last time you reviewed the ingredients on your lotion, lipstick, perfume, sunscreen or tinted moisturizer? I once heard the skin described as containing “1000’s of little mouths”–a powerful visual for reminding us that whatever goes on the skin ends up in the body. It’s time to take a closer look at your toiletry and cosmetics bags.
I try to be very careful about the chemical load I bear, but I, too, have been known to get lured in by the fancy YSL lipstick or Chanel perfume. I also happen to think that’s okay. I’ve never heard of death by lipstick. Nonetheless, your concern needn’t be with this or that cosmetics item, but with your overall intake of toxins. We encounter cell- and DNA-damaging compounds today in every place our bodies come into contact with the external world: air, water, soil, food, medication, etc. Some BPA in that water bottle you sipped today may not of itself harm you, but think about the cumulative effect of all of the toxins assaulting your body in all of these formats on a regular basis. The human body was not designed to withstand assault at this level.
That said, please take a look at some of the excellent resources on the web for evaluating the safety of your favorite cosmetics. I like safecostmetics.org, the Green Guide, and the Environmental Working Group’s “skin deep” database. Be on the lookout for such ingredients as: parabens, formaldehyde, pthlatates, and triclosan, among others. Again, the key here as with everything is moderation. But being mindful of what you put on your body is as important of being mindful of what you put in it–cuz ultimately they’re the same thing.