To achieve optimal health and create sustainable wellness, it’s imperative that you become aware of not only what you are putting in and around your body, but also, what you put on it.

Between shampoos, toothpaste, face creams, deodorant,cosmetics and so on, most people are voluntarily dousing themselves daily with multiple chemicals, carcinogens and mutagens, adding to their toxic loads and setting the stage for illness and disease. Seems like kind of a crazy habit, doesn’t it?

The problem is that many cosmetics and personal care products contain undisclosed toxic chemicals that are dangerous to your health and are known to contribute to a variety of problems such as cancer, nerve damage, and infertility. And as your skin is an extremely permeable membrane, these toxins enter your body very easily, so the fewer you use the better, particularly with products that remain on the skin for long periods of time, such as facial makeup.

The longer you are exposed to chemicals, the greater the opportunity for your body to absorb them.

My advice?

Keep cosmetic self-pollution to a minimum by taking the following steps

  • When choosing makeup, select unscented, fragrance free products that contain few or no petrochemical derivatives.
  • Avoid products that contain diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA).
  • Avoid products with the preservatives imidazolidinyl urea and quarternium 15.
  • Look for nail polish products that are “3-free” meaning they do not contain the “toxic trio” of toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Look for skin care lines that are formulated with fewer dangerous ingredients, such as Dr. Hauschka, Aubrey Organics, Ren, Sumbody, Amala, Tata Harper, Tammy Fender and Weleda. To research the toxicity of a specific product before you buy, check out the Environmental Working Group’s massive cosmetics database.
  • To cut exposure, use make-up sparingly, and only on the days you think you “need” it and not at all on the weekends. When you get home from work, take your makeup off right away – don’t wait till bedtime.
  • Trade in your high-end perfumes and colognes for plant-based essential oils.
  • Opt for natural hair colorings like henna and other plant-based formulas.
  • Carry a copy of the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics, to help you make the best cosmetics choices possible. Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Safe Cosmetics
  • And for more, see this list of chemicals to avoid in your personal care products taken from my book REVIVE: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again