Thursday, December 9, 2010

Super Info

Because I am interested in natural health, I subscribe to Dr. Mercola's Natural Health Newsletter. And what do you think I read about today? Natural Skin Care!! In fact, he's got a whole Healthy Skin mini site and has posted some great stuff.

If you're anything like me, you may be interested in signing up for his newsletter yourself. There's more info coming into my inbox than I can keep up with, but there are plenty of gems in the mix that I find truly informative. You also have to take the information in without feeling you have to go and order all of his products. Although, I hear his products are very good.

Today's newsletter was about skin care ingredients to avoid. I always recommend that my clients check the labels of the products they're currently using for parabens or fragrance (two big offenders) - but there are even more things to watch out for. Here's what Mercola says to avoid:

Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry; used in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products.
Studies implicate their connection with cancer because their hormone-disrupting qualities mimic estrogen and could disrupt your body’s endocrine system.

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum
These petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. They’re implicated as a suspected cause of cancer. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity. When you think about black oil pumped from deep underground, ask yourself why you’d want to put that kind of stuff on your skin…

Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES):
Found in over 90% of personal care products! They break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin with premature aging. And because they easily penetrate your skin, they can allow other chemicals easy access. SLS combined with other chemicals may become a "nitrosamine" – a potent carcinogen.

Acrylamide: Found in many facial creams. Linked to mammary tumors.

Propylene glycol: Common cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils. May cause dermatitis and skin irritation. May inhibit skin cell growth. Linked to kidney and liver problems.

Phenol carbolic acid: Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and even death from respiratory failure.

Dioxane: Hidden in ingredients such as PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Very common in personal care products. These chemicals are often contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane that’s easily absorbed through the skin. Its carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965, and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages are considered extremely vulnerable, making it, in my opinion, a really bad idea to use these things on your face.

Toluene: May be very poisonous! Made from petroleum and coal tar… found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage…May affect a developing fetus.

Remember the skin is an organ. What you put on it affects you as much as what you put in your body. So opt for natural and organic products - and check the ingredients before you buy!

Don't know what products to use? Come in and visit me at Petite Spa where we carry three product lines that are great for your skin. I can take a look at your skin and give you my recommendations. Better yet, schedule a facial and get your holiday glow on!


  1. Um, okay, that's WAY too many things for me to remember. That's why I have you :) I was actually just going to ask you what hand lotion you use. I've used Lubriderm ever since I was a kid since that's what my mom always used, but I think it's filled with all kinds of bad stuff, even the fragrance free one. Do you have one you like that's not too thick so I can transfer it to a nicer dispenser? Thanks :)

  2. well, i've always used alba botanica. unfortunately, the HUGE bottle i have contains fragrance (bad!) - but the alba botanica very emollient body lotion in unscented is a 2, according to the ewg - not bad, actually. i like the consistency and you can get it at any health food store.
    now.... what should i do with the 20 oz of toxic lotion i have left??

  3. This is such great info! I've been meaning to change my beauty routine but it seemed like an overwhelming project. Thanks for pointing out some of the things to avoid. Good to know there are products I can pick up while getting groceries. Not such a difficult change to make after all!

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