Runner’s Zen: Beautiful, Clean Chemicals

cosmeticsSince we’ve been on the topic of different chemicals lately, I thought I’d direct you to a great website that I’ve known about for a long time, but don’t have the guts to visit very often. This website might attract more women than men, however men to think hard about what they use daily that would fall into a category that can be found at The Cosmetics Database.

This website has over 78,000 skin, beauty and hygiene products in it’s database and it tells you exactly what’s in the products that we use daily that you probably never even think twice about. To give you an example, I decided that I’d go through some of my daily “beauty regime” with you all and show you exactly what I’m guilty of putting on my body, which ultimately gets absorbed INTO my body.

The first thing I do in the shower is wash my hair. I use L’oreal shampoo. Now the Database may not have your exact brand, but there are a lot of options. I’m going to say I use L’oreal Vive Pro Colour Vive Shampoo, for color treated hair that’s normal. This rates a 7 on the toxicity scale they have, which puts it in the “highly hazardous” category.  In the shampoo are chemicals that can cause organ system toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption. They use chemicals such as Limonene, Methylparaben, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amylcinnamaldehyde… you get it.

I moisturize my skin with 7537100550The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Butter. This is rated a 5 on their scale which puts it at a moderate hazard. Some of the chemicals found in my moisturizing cream are Propylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Peg-100 Stearate and Lanolin Alcohol. These chemicals can contribute to organ system toxicity, cellular level changes, endocrine disruption and allergies.

The last of my products that I will use as an example is my mascara. Maybelline Great Lash Big Mascara in Very Black. This is rated a 5, which again is moderate toxicity. Some of the chemicals that I’m putting on my eyes every day are Butylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT, Chromium Oxide Greens, Ultramarines, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide and Triethanolamine. These chemicals can contribute to endocrine disruptions, biochemical changes, changes at a cellular level, developmental/reproductive toxicity, cancer and organ system toxicity.

When researching a product using the Cosmetics Database, not only does it tell you the overall toxicity of the product, but it breaks down each additive in the product and tells you how toxic each one is, as well as what potential side effects there are to using a product with the listed chemical in it.

When it comes to our detergent-wtf-pwns-23389bodies and toxins, we need to realize that what we think we are putting on the outside of our bodies, is actually getting absorbed by our skin. These types of chemicals are called contactants. They come from a majority of our hygiene products and beauty products, but they can also be things such as disinfectant on the counter, or dish soap, or laundry detergent. Skin rashes and irritation are the most common side effects from contactants.

Try to use organic, all natural products whenever possible. This is something I need to work on myself, and this article is a great reason to start. Have you ever used the Cosmetics Database before? Do you ever think about what you use and how it affects your body? Would you give up a product you love knowing the potential side effects it could have on your body? I’m interested to know what you think, please leave me a comment with your feedback!

Happy Lifting!

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2 comments for “Runner’s Zen: Beautiful, Clean Chemicals

  1. January 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    This post inspired me to get food grade laundry detergent. It was one of those things that I never really considered until I heard the term ‘contactants’. Great post Sarah!

    • January 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Hey Matt! I know – it’s something not a lot of people think about…. myself included! I actually gave up using fabric softener a long time ago because I found it made me itchy. Let me know where you find the detergent and how you like it! 🙂

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