Natural Skin Care
by: Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, Ph.D, ND, DACBN
You work hard to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. You know that organic foods can help you avoid ingesting nasty hormones and chemicals but did you know that these toxins are creeping into your system in other ways? Your moisturizers, eye creams, and make up may seem harmless, but check out the labels and you'll find a laundry list of tongue-twisting ingredients, many of which could be hazardous to your health. In a recent survey, conducted by Health, eighty three percent of responding consumers indicated that they would rather use all natural body products. The skin care industry is responding to this demand. The natural and organic skin care product sector has seen a growth of thirty nine percent over the last year. Some of these products may claim to be all-natural, while still containing a slew of chemicals and toxins. Here's what you need to know about natural skin care and how to determine if the product you are using is free of harmful chemicals.
Why Choose Natural Skin Care Products?
There is approximately six pounds of skin on your body which provides a porous membrane into your system. Dirt, dust, pollutants, and other environmental pollutants enter the body through the skin, providing a more significant gateway to your system than food. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that 884 chemicals used in personal care products and cosmetics are known to be toxic. And a recent Canadian study in Pediatric Drugs found cosmetic and personal care products as the most common cause of unintentional poisonings of kids under six.
The chemicals and toxins found in most commercial skin care products also have a detrimental effect on the environment, although this effect is just beginning to be understood. In March, a team of US Geological Survey scientists showed that a variety of chemicals from personal care products were among 95 wastewater contaminants found in US waterways.
Why poison yourself and the environment with toxic chemicals and pollutants? Natural skin care products are healthier for you, for your skin, and for the environment. But many products may claim to be all-natural while still containing a number of harmful ingredients. Make sure you read and understand the product label to ensure that the product your using is as natural as it claims to be.
Reading the Ingredients Label
Organic personal care manufacturing needs strict standards and enforcement in order to be effective. Currently, some manufacturers claim their products are organic merely as a marketing gimmick. One look at their products ingredients clearly suggests otherwise. Only by tying organic beauty care closely to the National Organic Program standards can the "lifestyle" marketed by the manufacturers represent the values at the core of organic agriculture.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies cosmetics into 13 categories, but it does not regulate them. According to the FDA, "A cosmetic manufacturer may use any ingredient or raw material and market the final product without government approval." Seven toxins are banned, but many more known toxins and carcinogens are allowed in cosmetic formulations. Less than one percent of the FDA's budget is for the evaluation of skin care products.
Many commercial skin care products have been regularly found to contain toxic chemicals. Surprisingly, most personal care products are not tested for health and safety. And because the FDA does not regulate skin care manufacturers, questionable ingredients often make their way into their formulas. These ingredients may seem harmless in the short-term, but their chemical components are stored in the fatty tissues of the body where they accumulate and magnify over time.
Cosmetics and personal care products are marketed based on the quality and content of their formulas. Many products claim to be filled with expensive vitamins, oils, and perfumes. Others claim to utilize an all-natural formula. But how can you be sure that the products you buy actually contain the ingredients they claim to have? Read the label, right? But unless you happen to be a scientist or chemist, the ingredient list on most cosmetics and personal care products will look like a long list of mind-numbing, tongue-twisting names.
This is where natural and organic skin care products should stand out. If a product claims to be all natural, its ingredients should be easily recognizable as natural components. Also, the ingredients should be listed in descending order with the most prominent factors listed first. Scrutinize the first several listings in the product to be sure that they are the natural ingredients you are looking for. If a skin care product contains an ingredient that you are unsure about, write down it's name and do a little research. A quick online search should reveal it's true nature. As a consumer, you need to be on the look out for chemicals and toxic ingredients that can be harmful to your skin and your body. You would not even think about eating a food that contained chemicals or cancer causing agents. Don't let these toxins enter your system through your beauty product either!
For more information on natural skin care and make-up go to http://www.skin-care-support.org.
About The Author
Dr. Group, the founder/CEO and clinical director for the Global Healing Center, heads a research and development team producing advanced, new, natural health protocols and products. To learn more visit http://www.ghchealth.com.
This article was posted on March 15, 2005
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