Colds, allergies, asthma… What’s the connection to your personal care & cleaning products?

Let’s keep our Lymph System clean and our immune system strong.

Avoid toxic chemicals found in skin care and cleaning products.  And leave some of the natural oils on your skin.  Those oils are your first line of immunity.[1]

I know it’s hard to make the connection between our skin care and cleaning products and sicknesses (colds, allergies, asthma, cancer, autoimmune disorders, joint pain, inflammation, headaches, migraines, TMJ, anxiety, depression, poor sleep, weight gain…).

But most of the commercial skin care and cleaning products people use are loaded with toxins.

We’re putting these products on our skin and/or we’re breathing them in.

We’re exposed to more chemicals & toxins in one day than people were in a lifetime 100 years ago.[2]

Our skin is our largest organ.  It’s our first barrier and line of defense in our immune system.

Hence, it’s essential we protect and maintain the natural micro biome of the skin so it can do its job.

The skin keeps things out, but it also allows things in. 

What goes on our skin potentially goes right into our blood stream and our lymphatic system… and can get stored in various tissues and organs.

These chemicals are super taxing on our liver which has to play cleanup.

And the same is true with our lungs.  The lungs can act as a protective barrier.  They are the second most detoxifying organ in the body (after the liver).[3]

What we breathe in potentially goes into our blood stream and lymphatic system.

Our lungs can only filter and protect us from so much.

We need to shield them from harmful chemicals, including those found in beauty aid and cleaning supplies.

You may be thinking, “I don’t use that many skin care or cleaning products.”

But the average person comes into contact with 32 personal care and cleaning products a day.[4]

It adds up quickly.  Think about it.

You have your:

  • Dental hygiene – toothpastes, mouth washes, whiteners, flosses…
  • Hair care – shampoos, conditioners, gels, mouses, hair sprays, highlighters and colors…
  • Hand sanitizers and wipes
  • Make up (for some woman that alone could be 10-15 products)
  • Lotions and creams for the skin
  • Soaps
  • Laundry – laundry detergent, fabric softeners, dryer sheets,
  • Dry cleaning – Most dry cleaners use a number of toxic chemicals
  • Household cleaners – floor cleaner, toilet bowel cleaner, glass cleaner, countertop cleaner, hand dish soap, automatic dish soap…
  • Air fresheners and candles with fragrances and toxins

There was a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which studied the umbilical cords of babies at birth. 

They found over 200 chemicals and toxins in ALL of them.[5]

That’s crazy.  What would they find if they could somehow measure the number of chemicals and toxins in us adults?

It’s not that our bodies can’t get rid of some of the toxins, but there are accumulative effects.

If we want to “detox” from the accumulative effects of these harmful substances, we must first stop putting them in us.

That’s the focus today.

*   *    *    *    *    *    *

What are some of the specific toxins that I am talking about?  What harm ARE they causing?

Phthalates.   Phthalates are synthetic chemicals used to make plastics flexible and to make products smell good.

They are ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS, which means they affect our hormones – hormones essential for appetite, digestion, reproduction, blood sugar regulation, maintaining a healthy weight, dealing with stress, feeling good, sleeping, and much more.

Specifically, they are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver problems, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD.[6]

Fragrances.  Although companies are required by law to list all chemicals ingredients in a product, a special loophole permits them to hide what’s in the “fragrance” component.[7]

They can legally include hundreds of chemicals in this one ingredient termed “fragrance” – chemicals that studies show may be linked to allergies, asthma, skin reactions, endocrine disruption, and possibly birth defects.[8]

And more than 75% of the time there’s a fragrance, there are legally hidden phthalates.[9]

Even “natural” fragrances can contain toxins.

And you and innocent bystanders are inhaling these toxic fragrances found in skin care products, cleaners, laundry detergent, candles, plugins… on a regular basis. 

As I said above, the toxins we breathe in can easily go into our blood and lymph systems.

Parabens.  These are used as preservatives.  They have been linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive problems.[10]

Triclosan.  This is the active ingredient in “ant-bacterial” products.  It’s classified as a pesticide, is an endocrine disruptor, and is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity.  Even at low levels it may disrupt thyroid function.  [11][12]

Oxybenzone and Octinoxate (and other chemicals found in sunscreens).  These are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.  Check out my blog: Now we know. We Must AVOID products with an SPF rating.

Siloxanes. These are used to make deodorant slide on your armpit easier and your hair products to dry quicker.  They are also used extensively in moisturizers and facial treatments. [13]

They give that slick feeling.  Research shows some to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems.  Some siloxanes can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system.[14]

PEG’s (polyethylene glycol).  These are petroleum byproducts.  There has been concern that during the manufacturing there is contamination by ethylene oxide (a known carcinogen)[15] and 1,4 dioxane (a possible carcinogen)[16], which are byproducts created when manufacturing PEGs.  It’s used in products from medications to toothpaste.  In skincare, it’s used in as an emollient and emulsifier.  Many people are allergic unknowingly.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and ingredients ending in “eth” like ceteareth, triceteareth.  These are also associated with 1,4 dioxane (a possible carcinogen).[17]

Retinyl Palmitate.  Found in sunscreens.  In the presence of sunlight, it enhances skin cancer lesions by 21% (FDA, 2011 Report).[18]

Nanoparticles.[19]  These are found in products more and more, especially sunscreens in the form of nano-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Nanoparticles do not leave the body. Their harmful effects can accumulate and continue indefinitely[20]

For example, inhalation increases exposure of the brain to zinc nanoparticles because the olfactory nerves can directly transport the nanoparticles into the brain.[21]

This is even more harmful for babies and children whose brains are developing up to age 25.

Inhaled nanoparticles also cause lung damage. This allows nanoparticles to travel through the blood to all tissues and organs, creating oxidation damage in the brain, lungs, blood, lymph nodes, liver, kidney, and spleen.[22]

Aluminum.  Gets stored in cells and tissue.  It accumulates overtime.  Like heavy metals, it’s very hard to get rid of and can cause mental health, cognitive and neurological issues, including Alzheimer’s.[23]

Synthetic Colors and Dyes.  Most dyes are made from a combination of 20 or more chemicals in order to achieve a particular shade.  These chemicals come from refined petroleum by-products, acetone, and coal tar and may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals.  Some are combined with an aluminum substrate.[24],[25]

Formaldehyde.  According to data from the federal Food and Drug Administration, nearly 1 in 5 cosmetic products contains a substance that generates formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.[26]

It’s used as a preservative.  The reactions that generate formaldehyde occur silently as the products sit on shelves in stores or bathroom cabinets.[27]

Formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, joint pains, headaches, cancer, and immune dysfunction.[28]

Diethanolamine (DEA).  Is used in cutting oils, soaps, shampoos, cleaners, polishers, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.[29]  It can cause or worsen asthma.[30]  And it may react with other ingredients to become carcinogenic.[31]

Talc.  Talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer.  It’s in the same family as asbestos.[32]

Mineral oil.  This is another petroleum ingredient.  It’s promoted as an anti-aging product but actually promotes aging.  It clogs the skin and inhibits its ability to breathe and absorb natural moisture and nutrition, and its ability to release toxins.[33]

That was a lot.  I am sorry.  But I felt it was important you know what’s going into your body.

I will talk about what we can do in a moment.

But let’s look quickly at cleaners.

Cleaning supplies are not required to list the ingredients.  They only need to list contaminants, potential hazards, and first aid remedies.

If they are so hazardous, why are we using them?

Think about those products that you may not physically touch because you put gloves on.  Where do those products go?  They don’t just vanish. They go into our waste system, our waterways, our soils…

They can’t be cleaned up. They stay in the environment.

In the meantime, you (and anyone around) have breathed in their fumes.  Remember, what we inhale can also go into our blood stream and lymph system.

Inhalants can cause allergies, asthma, neurological issues and much more.

Often a product is promoted as killing germs.  However, it can leave residues that in turn produce more germs. 

*   *    *    *    *    *    *

So, NOW, what can you do to create a healthier you and a cleaner environment for all?

  • Switch out your beauty care and cleaning products one product at a time.
  • A great place to start is your laundry detergent. Just doing that can make a huge difference in your toxic load and overall health.  You sleep on your sheets 8 hours/night, your clothes are against your skin all day, and you’re breathing in toxic fragrances 24/7.
  • And then move to other skin care products.
  • Toothpaste is another easy one to swap out. Baking soda works great and will save you a lot of money.  If you don’t want to use straight baking soda, you can mix it with coconut oil.  Or, do as Dr. Natasha Campbell recommends, brush your teeth with olive oil.  It both cleans your teeth and pulls out toxins.
  • Use less soap and stop using hand sanitizers. Remember, the natural oils on your skin are your first line of immunity. You want to leave some of them on.  
  • For a moisturizer or lotion, use edible fats – tallow, lard, coconut oil, extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil, and other cold-pressed natural oils.
  • Read the “ingredients” on the label.
  • Look for 3rd party certification.
  • Print this cheat sheet and take it with you shopping.
  • Choose products with simpler ingredient list.
  • If you like using your smart phone and aps, check out the Environmental Working Group, Safecosmetics.org, and the Clearya & Think Dirty aps to scan barcodes and find more information on a given product.
  • Be aware of “Green Washing.”  This is when products are advertised as being clean with words and colors, when they are far from being a green product.
  • Consider the company.  Is it a large company that offers only one product that is  “good for you or the environment” while also selling a conglomerate of chemical products?
  • Use less products.  Doing so will also save you money.
  • Choose natural products that do double duty.  Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon go a long way.[34]
  • For the toilet, sprinkle baking soda, let set for ten minutes.  Then add white vinegar, scour with a toilet brush, and flush.  [I bucket flush the toilet to make all the water go down before sprinkling with baking soda.]
  • For an all-purpose cleaner, try Merlin’s magic.
  • For glass & window cleaner, mix 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons white vinegar, and ½ teaspoon liquid detergent (I use Dr. Bronner’s) in a spray bottle.  Spray on windows and wipe as you normally do.
  • For furniture polish, try mixing 1½ cups of olive oil with ½ cup white vinegar.  Apply to furniture with a clean, soft cloth.  [Note. I have not actually tried this yet.  So, I recommend doing a test first in an obscure place first.]
  • If you need a fragrance, buy good quality essential oils and add them back to your homemade cleaners.

See if after making just one change you don’t start seeing a significant improvement in your health, your family’s heath and even your pet’s health. 

Peace and grace,

Karen

[1] Bowman K 2016. Alignment Matters.  Propriometrics Press p. 375

[2] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[3] Campbell McBride, N Gut and Physiology Syndrome. Medinform Publishing

[4] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[5] https://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns

[6] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[7] EHNC, FDA Petition 99P 1340. 1999, Environmental Health Network of California.

[8] https://www.ewg.org/research/scented-secrets

[9] Houlihan, J., C. Brody, and B. Schwan, Not Too Pretty – Phthalates, Beauty Products & the FDA in Skin Deep. 2002, Environmental Working Group: Washington, DC. p. 24.

[10] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[11] Ibid

[12] https://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-triclosan

[13]  https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/ingredients-to-avoid-in-skincare

[14] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[15] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/ethylene-oxide

[16] https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/potential-contaminants-cosmetics/14-dioxane-cosmetics-manufacturing-byproduct#Is

[17] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[18] Ibid

[19] Note 1:  Nanotechnology involves putting particles that are less than 100 nanometers (nm) into a formulation.  The term “micro” applies to particles greater than one hundred nanometers. The diameter of a human hair is approximately seventy-five thousand nanometers. Numerous modern products—including paints, papers, foods, toothpaste, makeup and chewing gum in addition to sunscreens—now contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles, with skyrocketing exposure over the two decades since the FDA’s approval.[19]

[20] Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts Volume 19 Number 4 p 26-35

[21] Kao YY, Cheng Tj, Yang DM, Wang CT, Chiung YM, Liu PS. Demonstration of an olfactory bulb-brain translocation pathway for ZnO nanoparticles in rodent cells in vitro and in vivo. J Mol Neurosci 2012;48(2):464-71.

[22] Pujalté I, Dieme D, Haddad S, Serventi AM, Bouchard M. Toxicokinetics of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles after inhalation in rats. Toxicol Lett 2017;265:77-85.

[23] https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/aluminum-exposure-brain-alzheimers-disease-cola/

[24] https://www.bendsoap.com/blogs/sudsy-scoop/colorful-chemicals-why-dyes-in-your-personal-care-products-are-harmful

[25] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[26] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20236159/

[27] https://www.ewg.org/research/exposing-cosmetics-cover#formaldehyde

[28] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[29] https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-09/documents/diethanolamine.pdf

[30] https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health/

[31] https://www.liferootbotanicals.com/

[32] Ibid

[33] Ibid

[34] https://www.thespruce.com/homemade-and-natural-cleaning-products-1900456

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