Are Your Beauty Products Poisoning You?
According to the American Cancer Society, over a quarter of a million women and approximately 2,600 men (yes, men!) are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. As we continue to explore new and innovative approaches to managing this disease, it's equally important that we adopt practices that support prevention. Early cancer screenings, exercising and making healthy food choices are just a few ways we can actively prevent it, but there are additional measures that we can take to reduce our risks. Becoming more informed about the ingredients in the products we use daily is also a proactive measure we can take to maintain a healthier lifestyle. By scrutinizing the products we put into and onto our bodies, we arm ourselves with twice the fighting power.
Many of the products we use daily contain hidden cancer-causing chemicals, including cosmetic products. We use makeup and other personal care products every day with little regard for the risks it may be imposing on our physical health. For decades, lipstick has been the cornerstone of my daily beauty regimen. Until recently, I never considered how many harmful ingredients were lurking in those tubes. These ingredients include just about everything from heavy metals to preservatives and although some present no cause for concern, other ingredients pose more of a health risk. Preservatives are a common ingredient used in cosmetic products but, in recent years, certain preservatives – specifically parabens - have faced heavy criticism because of its possible link to breast cancer and infertility.
Parabens, a group of chemicals used to prevent mold and bacteria growth, were first popularized during the 1950s. Since then, they have become a less than desirable ingredient because of its estrogen-mimicking effects. When products containing these chemicals are applied to the skin, they are absorbed into the bloodstream and disrupt the body’s endocrine system. Because the body recognizes parabens as estrogen (the female sex hormone), absorption can result in increased estrogen levels, putting consumers at risk for developing breast cancer.
The U.S. has not officially deemed parabens as a cancer-causing ingredient even though more than 40 nations have enacted strict policies to regulate its use. An article published by the Environmental Working Group indicates that some of these nations have banned over 1,400 chemicals from cosmetic products while the U.S. has banned fewer than a dozen (yes, fewer than a dozen!). In Europe, at least five paraben ingredients (i.e., Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenylparaben, Benzylparaben, Pentylparaben) have been banned while others are subject to regulations limiting concentration levels in cosmetic products.
Due to the flexibility in U.S. law for regulating the cosmetic industry, many brands still use parabens and other internationally banned ingredients in their products. For this reason, SAM LEA Cosmetics' commitment to offering more socially and health-conscious options for beauty lovers will always be our primary goal. I'm also personally committed to becoming more knowledgeable about the hidden risks of product ingredients and sharing that information with you. In the meantime, let’s all commit to educating ourselves and making healthier choices so that we aren’t “dying” to be beautiful. Take good care of yourself.
Until next post,