What is YOUR Skin Absorbing? The EWG “Skin Deep” Toxicity Guide
Would you sip on a glass of iodopropynyl butylcarbamate? How about sprinkling some propylparaben on a salad?
Toxins you put on your skin can be absorbed and sent into your bloodstream just like toxins in your food. Your skin could be absorbing both of these chemicals with a popular name-brand moisturizer from the drugstore.
Wouldn’t you want to know if these chemicals are harmless or whether they cause cancer? Well you can, and it’s super easy!
EWG’s “Skin Deep” Online Index
If you want the inside scoop on virtually any cosmetic, skin care, or hair care product you use, check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG) “Skin Deep” web index. Every year since 2014, the EWG has updated their index of more than 70,000 cosmetic products and 9,000 ingredients. You can simply search the brand name and type of cosmetic and immediately access a complete breakdown of every ingredient and its risk to your health. The best part is it’s easy to understand without a degree in chemistry.
On the EWG site, every single ingredient is listed and ranked for 4 factors: cancer risk, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immune toxicity, and whether the ingredient is restricted or prohibited in the US, Europe, Canada or Japan. The EWG ranks each ingredient and the overall product itself on a hazard score of 1-10 (10 being the worst or most harmful and 1 being the least harmful) and gives you the reasons why.
In addition to the online search index, the EWG offers a free guide to choosing safer cosmetic products.
The EWG site also has helpful information for avoiding toxins in your household cleaners, in the food you buy at the grocery store, and other tips to reduce your toxic exposure in daily life. Why is this important to you?
Reducing “Toxic Load” Helps Your Skin
By reducing the toxins absorbed by your skin, or absorbed from foods or household cleaning products, you reduce the overall toxic load on your liver and kidneys – the major internal detoxifying organ systems in your body. A lighter toxic load frees them up to do a better job in keeping you healthy and in balance.
A healthier liver and healthier kidneys also means less toxins reach your skin – your body’s third most important detoxifying organ. Less toxins are excreted through your perspiration. The less toxins reaching your skin, the better – especially for those with acne, psoriasis, TSW and eczema.
Reducing your toxic load also frees up your immune system so that it can function properly, defending you against viral and bacterial infections, including those that affect your skin. A calm and balanced immune system also makes allergy symptoms more manageable or disappear altogether in some cases.
If you are a parent, the EWG guide is a great resource for kids’ products. Kids’ skin is even more absorbent than adults. Since their body weight is lower, toxins can build up more quickly, and since toxins are often stored in fat tissue over time, you can help protect your kids’ future health by keeping their exposure low during their childhood years.
Also, if you are pregnant, you’ll want to avoid toxic cosmetic products to keep your baby healthy. If your seeking to become pregnant, remember that toxins in cosmetics can also include endocrine disruptors that can affect your fertility.
Total Health Equals Skin Health
Choosing less toxic cosmetics and beauty products has so many far-reaching benefits: It not only protects your skin from the outside, it protects your overall health by reducing toxic load and keeping your internal organs functioning at their best.
At Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions, we believe that skin health starts from the inside out, that’s why we care about not only what goes on your skin but what your body takes in from the products you use. Be kind to your health with safer cosmetics and skin care products and do the research on what you use now at “Skin Deep!”
About the Author
Dr. Olivia Hsu Friedman, DACM, LAc, Dipl.OM, is the owner of Amethyst Holistic Skin Solutions and treats eczema, TSW, psoriasis, and acne patients throughout the US in person and via video conferencing using only herbal medicine. Olivia earned a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine as well as a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine Dermatology. Outside of the office, Olivia serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Acupuncturists, the Advisory Board of LearnSkin and the faculty of the Chicago Integrative Eczema Support Group sponsored by the National Eczema Association.