Your skin is regenerating new cells all the time. After all, it's the largest organ in your body.
But when you apply synthetic and toxic chemicals to it daily, you may be throwing off normal cell growth and exposing your body to all sorts of health issues. From skin irritation to cancer, why risk even the slightest chance at developing any sort of problem when you don't know how serious it will be?
Here are five of some of the worst ingredients found in common health care products:
If you have stepped foot in a cosmetic store in the last two years, you've probably seen the hype with paraben-free labels. Most companies are trying to get rid of parabens, and for good reason.
So, what are parabens? They are chemicals used as preservatives so that products don't develop mold, bacteria or fungus. But, they can also be very dangerous if absorbed into the bloodstream.
They mimic estrogen and bind at the cellular level, causing problems in breast and reproductive tissue. Some research claims cell growth changes when parabens enter the body, and in high doses, cancer cells develop.
Good news is, there are plenty of paraben-free companies that are amazing, including Korres, Josie Maran Cosmetics, Burt's Bees, Origins and Aveda. Why risk it?
Silica is a mineral found in the skin care industry because of its ability to absorb sweat. Everything from powders to deodorants contain it.
Exposure to large amounts of crystalline silica can be very dangerous, as it has been linked to respiratory issues, allergies, compromised immune systems and lung cancer due to organ toxicity. Beware of any products that guarantee no shine, no oil and no sweat.
There are plenty of natural substitutes that do the same job.
Aluminum-based compounds are the main ingredients in antiperspirants because they block sweat glands and keep your underarms dry. However, they can also be absorbed by your skin or reach your bloodstream through nicks on your underarms after shaving.
When you cannot sweat out these metal toxins, they sit in your lymph nodes in your underarms, causing changes in estrogen receptors in breast cells, which may promote the growth of cancer cells. Because studies differ on how much aluminum is actually absorbed by the skin, there is no way to be sure what causes breast cancer.
However, to be on the safe side, many companies have developed all-natural deodorants (and they actually work).
The FDA recently banned triclosan from hand and body washes because it claimed antibacterial soaps were dangerous. Triclosan is what fights the odor in products like deodorants by killing bacteria.
However, like some antibiotics, this chemical does not discriminate against bad bacteria, and instead kills all the bacteria in your body. Your body needs good bacteria to balance out the bad in order to function properly.
Unfortunately, when you use products with triclosan, you are killing all the good bacteria in your body and throwing it out of whack. Triclosan can interfere with muscle and thyroid function and even cause heart problems.
Even worse, it is known as a pesticide and may cause cancer cells to develop.
Talc is used to absorb moisture, making it perfect for cosmetic companies to use in their powders that promise a matte finish. However, several companies have come under fire recently when people have claimed that talc products gave them cancer.
Johnson & Johnson has recently been in the news for losing several court cases that claim its talcum powder has caused ovarian cancer. According to The New York Times, talc is often mined in proximity to asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Though manufacturers do have to follow steps to avoid contamination, talc is not reviewed by the FDA in cosmetic products.
Again, your body is meant to sweat out toxins, so chemicals that inhibit this natural process can be very dangerous. Always look for organic, all-natural products that contain no harsh or synthetic chemicals.