Protect Your Health by Selecting Organic Skin Care
Products for Body and Bath
Your skin is often referred to as your body's largest organ. And while you may think of it in terms of providing protection for your body's internal workings, your skin also performs important absorption and detoxification functions. In fact, about 60 percent of everything you put on your skin is eventually absorbed, sometimes in less than half a minute. From there, these substances make their way into your bloodstream and throughout your body.
The average woman typically applies about 500 chemicals to her body every day, just in personal care and cosmetic products. It is your skin's amazing absorption properties that should sound the alarm for you to be as diligent about what you put on your skin as you are about what you put into your mouth.
As awareness grows of the potential health risks of synthetic, petroleum-based skin care and bath products, it is no surprise more and more consumers are demanding organic bath and body products and choosing organic lotions, organic soap, and other organic personal care products.
In fact, consumer demand grew the nation's non-food organic industry by a strong 11 percent or $2.2 billion in 2011, according to the Organic Trade Association's 2012 Organic Industry Survey. That compares to only 5 percent growth for comparable non-organic products. The association expects this upward trend to continue.
Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report citing convincing evidence that there are fewer pesticides in organic produce and that choosing organic food is also likely to lower the risk of exposure to drug-resistant bacteria. While this underscores the benefits of organic food, protecting your family's health by choosing organic products does not start and end at the dinner table.
Knowing that skin potentially absorbs whatever it comes into contact with, makes choosing organic bath and body products just as important as choosing organic groceries. If you have already made the switch to organic food and green household products, don't diminish their benefits by applying non-organic products to your skin and exposing your body to a host of synthetic chemicals, potential toxins and unnecessary impurities.
Is the threat real?
Judge for yourself. Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., an environmental health scientist with the same firm that publishes Consumer Reports has determined that parabens, a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives in health and beauty products, interferes with the human hormonal system, increasing the threat of cancer. These chemicals have been associated with breast cancer in particular.
Sodium lauryl sulfate, a very common ingredient in bath and shampoo products, may disguise itself as a harmless detergent. But Dr. Samuel Epstein, M.D. and professor emeritus of environmental and occupational medicine with the University of Illinois School of Public Health, has gone on record as stating that sodium lauryl sulfate is a harsh irritant that can accelerate other toxic ingredients' entry into the skin. It has been linked to everything from cancer to cataracts. The chemical is known to denature proteins and change the genetic material in cells.
Even chemicals like those found frequently in baby products, like petroleum jelly, are linked to breast cancer and other cancers, and have already been banned by the European Union.
DEA, frequently used as a solvent and detergent in soaps and shampoos is carcinogenic and attacks the liver, kidneys and pancreas. It has also been linked to miscarriage and may be harmful to brain development.
Propylene Glycol is known to carry substances directly into your bloodstream. This chemical is found in brake and hydraulic fluids, anti-freeze--and virtually all baby products, moist wipes, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers and cosmetics. While mechanics are advised by the Material Safety Data Sheets to avoid skin contact due to potential for liver abnormalities and kidney damage, consumers of all ages continue to apply these products every day.
And the list goes on. While the Food and Drug Administration regulates manufacture of food and drugs, there are no government regulations preventing a company from using virtually any ingredient it chooses in manufacture of products you use every day on your skin, hair and nails. Besides running the risk of absorbing these toxins through your skin and scalp, they are also washed down the drain and some have been found to contaminate water supplies.
While skin readily absorbs many of these chemicals, it has no way of ridding the body of them. These harmful substances go deep into tissue layers, carried by blood and coming into contact with vital organs. At the same time, many of these chemicals impair the skin's detoxification capabilities, with some even causing skin to become more susceptible to absorption of toxins.
Bath and body care products typically contain emollients, humectants, emulsifiers, surfactants and preservatives. These classes of ingredients can come from either organic or non-organic sources, with no difference in effectiveness. Do you want to apply synthetic chemicals to your body or natural, organic ingredients, so safe they could be ingested without harm?
If you are truly dedicated to reducing exposure to unhealthy chemicals and carcinogens in your day-to-day life, organic bath and body products are the best choice. Quality organic products are made from all-organic natural ingredients that are highly effective in providing the same benefits to your skin, hair and nails as popular, conventional brands, while avoiding the potential toxins.
It is not enough to look for products labeled as "hypoallergenic" or "all-natural," however, as these labels are in reality, meaningless and unregulated. Source your organic lotions, organic soap and other products from a reputable source that provides readily accessible and complete information on ingredients in all its organic products. Companies specializing in products for organic living have experience in identifying and offering quality organic products and are in the best position to provide you with safe, effective organic bath and body items.
Big brands will continue to add a product or two to their line-up with the label "organic," in an attempt to meet growing consumer demand. In reality, these products contain perhaps one or two natural ingredients with the balance made of synthetic, petroleum-based substances.
Companies with a history of organic health and wellness products are in best position to provide quality organic bath and body products, and are diligent about ensuring all ingredients are identified for consumers. These companies do the research for you and provide quality products, making it easier for you to purchase organic skin care products that are both safe and effective.
Not only are you doing a good thing for you and your family, but buying organic skin care products has a ripple effect. You are supporting sustainable farming and manufacturing that results in improved environmental health, while fostering species diversity, combating climate change, preventing damage to valuable water resources and protecting farm families from exposure to harmful chemicals. In turn, this benefits the health of the planet, and ultimately, all of its inhabitants.
So do you, your family and the Earth a favor. Dispose of the body lotions, soaps, and other skin care products that harbor harmful chemicals and carcinogens. Replace them with products containing safe, natural, organic ingredients. You will be glad you did--and so will the planet.
*The goal of The OM Shoppe is to provide high quality, safe and intelligent health improvement and maintenance products at the lowest prices. To supplement this goal, The OM Shoppe also offers free shipping within the contiguous United States on orders over $99.
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Please note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of our products is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor. The OM Shoppe does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional information expressed by The OM Shoppe are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition, see your physician of choice.