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Archive for March, 2011

These days, most of us check the ingredients lists on pre-packaged food before we buy; who knows what harmful additives the manufacturers might  have included.

Perhaps we should be doing the same with our toiletries and cosmetics.

Most of know about the dangers of bacteria living on old mascara wands, but many people believe that we are at risk of a range of conditions, from eczema to cancer, due to the chemicals present in cosmetics, toiletries and make-up we use.

One of the main concerns is the use of parabens. These are preservatives used in many, and most, products such as moisturisers, deodorants, body creams, etc. Parabens mimic the oestrogen hormone, and have been detected in breast cancer tissue, and in a 2004 UK study, they were found in 18 out of 20 breast tumours.

It is known that long-term exposure to high levels of oestrogen is linked with a hightened risk of breast cancer. Researchers say they suspect that using deodorants containing parabens could have something to do with the development of the disease, but a definate link hasn’t yet been established.

Let’s take a look in your toiletries cabinet…

Triclosa, used in soaps, body washes, etc. kill bacteria, but can also react with water to form chloroform gas. If inhaled in large quantities this can cause depression, liver problems and cancer. A staple ingredient of most nail varnishes are phthalates, chemicals that can cause severe birth defects. Shampoos typically contain propylene glycol, and a build-up of this in the body can cause liver problems.

So far, its all very alarming. But don’t think you can avoid the chemical onslaught simply by washing them away. Typically, women use around twelve beauty products and toiletries in a day… cleanser, toner, moisturiser, soap/shower gel/exfoliating scrub, body lotion, foundation, mascara, eye shadow, lip stick, blusher, etc, etc… This can expose you to up to 175 different chemicals. It has been estimated that women can absorb around 2kg of chemicals through their skin each year!

A report from scientists at the institute of Child Health at University College London found that using body scrubs and strong soaps on the skin could be behind a recent rise in eczema, asthma, hay fever and rhinitis, by stripping natural oils from the skin.

Personally, I wouldn’t use a product containing parabens and other chemicals. While they may provide quick benefits now (such as moisturising, deodorising, or whatever it is), the long term effects are just too much of a risk. And anyway, there are plenty of natural products, which don’t contain parabens, that can do just as good a job! So why risk it?

At Freyaluna, we don’t use any harsh chemicals or preservatives. Instead, we use ingredients such as essential oils and vitamin oils, which also have wonderful skincare benefits. Find a full list of our products on our website, where you can also sign-up to receive my Top 10 Tips for Great Skin.

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