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HomeNEWSBLACK GIRL MAGICBe Informed!: Saving Your Reproductive, Skin & Immune Health

Be Informed!: Saving Your Reproductive, Skin & Immune Health

When we think of avoiding toxins, our first mind tends to go to pollution or the bad stuff in the food we eat. Although toxins can be found in the air and some of the foods we consume, we should also be mindful of the preservatives our food producers use to process our meals or make our food last longer on the store shelves.  This is  great information to be aware of, especially if you deal with allergies or conditions that are exacerbated by certain foods. What’s not so well known is that we should be aware of the toxins that are used in the products we put on our skin too!

Yes! Our skincare…the very products we use, sometimes multiple times a day, can also be made with chemicals that are dangerous, banned, cause internal issues or all three! So, in observance of Informed Woman Month, this message is an instructional manual to educate on what to look for in your skincare products and the types of things to avoid.

Starting today…until forever, we are READING PRODUCT LABELS! It is so important to pull out those readers and examine the ingredient labels on the skincare products we purchase in much the same way we read them on the foods we eat. Grab your pen and paper or print this article and take it with you. Either way you get it, we MUST make ourselves aware of those things that are harmful to everyone, but really harmful to women.

Ready? Good. Here goes…

There are a lot of chemicals to look out for, and we should always opt for skincare that is as natural or organic as possible. Depending on the product it can cost more, but what we save ourselves from is priceless. For today, let’s talk about the primary 6 that are the most harmful and are banned in some places (Yes, it’s unfortunate, but not all of these chemicals are banned around the world).

Parabens are most likely the most recognizable for many of us. Many products have visible markings that none are used. That’s a good thing, because parabens are known to disrupt our hormones and reproductive systems.  You may see it listed on products as:

  • Methylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Propylparaben

 

 

 

 

 

SLS is another chemical that should not be in topical skincare.  SLS is pretty slippery and creeps up on us without us knowing.  It accumulates within our bodies and can start to impersonate estrogen.  SLS can irritate our eyes as well as our skin and lungs with continued use.  Ever wonder why you’re all of a sudden sensitive to a product?  This could be why.  You will see it listed as:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate

 

 

 

 

 

Triclosan is used in skincare and other products like household cleaners, toys, paints, mattresses, etc. to fight bacteria.  While it does effectively fight gingivitis in toothpaste, there’s not much need for it in soaps and cleansers since they work well, if not better, without it. And our immune systems will thank us!  Look for it in products as:

  • Triclosan
  • TCS
  • Lexol 300

 

 

Phthalates are around to help with the durability of plastics and to help dissolve one ingredient into another.  The most recognizable product for us is nail polish, soap, and hair sprays.  Similar to parabens, phthalates affect the endocrine system, disrupting the development in kids and reproductive systems or all of us.  They can be listed on labels as:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Diethyl Phthalate
  • Diisononyl Phthalate

 

 

 

 

 

Formaldehyde is another chemical that is all too familiar for obvious reasons. For not so obvious reasons, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and has no place in our furniture or our skincare.  It is highly dangerous to us because it causes cancer, but also because it damages our DNA. Yes…our DNA.  We definitely don’t need our cosmetics preserved from bacteria with a chemical that literally changes our DNA.  It may show up on labels as:

  • Methanal
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea
  • DMDM Hydantoin

 

Mercury poisoning because of our skincare products is a real thing.  As recently as 2021, dangerous levels of mercury have been found in creams and lotions for lightening the skin, reducing wrinkles and general anti-aging.  Mercury poisoning can cause tremors, vision issues, and problems with memory, to name a few.  For those of us who want to use skin-lightening products, be aware that mercury is what enables the skin lightening so be sure to research the symptoms of mercury poisoning prior to using.  How can we tell it’s made with mercury?  The label may read:

  • Mercurous chloride
  • Calomel or Mercuric
  • Mercury or Mercurio

 

The alternative to all the chemicals is to purchase skincare products from natural handcrafters.  Many handcraft high-quality skincare products that are free of harmful chemicals–whether it is due to a reaction we had ourselves or even a loved one had.  Handcrafters tend to be small, family-owned businesses that can frequently be found at the local farmer’s market, craft show, or other festivals.  If all else fails, Google is your friend in helping locate a natural/organic skincare company near you.

All in all, we MUST make a habit of reading the labels on the products we consume as well as the ones we use topically.  We can literally save our own lives.  As women, fibroids are directly linked to hormone-disrupting chemicals.  Phthalates, in particular, as well as consuming a lot of processed carbs in our diets.  What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our mouths. Read the labels and taking charge of our health is our best defense.

 

Informational Resources:

 

From the FDA: Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skincare Products

From the National Institute of Health Podcast: Chemicals in Personal Care Products

 

 

 

Kim Cross | Kim is the owner and Happy Skin Formulator at Zhi Bath & Body, a natural skincare shop based in Charlotte, NC.  She has been in the beauty industry for the last 30 years; working both as a stylist and skincare formulator.  Having dealt with severe psoriasis for over 20 years, she knows the hardship of finding products that are gentle, good for the skin, and smell amazing. 16 years of research and formulating has resulted in a goat milk skincare and soy candle line that is simply amazing. Helping you love you…naturally.

 

 

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  1. […] Kim Cross | Kim is the owner and Happy Skin Formulator at Zhi Bath & Body, a natural skincare shop based in Charlotte, NC.  She has been in the beauty industry for the last 30 years; working both as a stylist and skincare formulator.  Having dealt with severe psoriasis for over 20 years, she knows the hardship of finding products that are gentle, good for the skin, and smell amazing. 16 years of research and formulating has resulted in a goat milk skincare and soy candle line that is simply amazing. Helping you love you…naturally. […]

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