Did you know that, depending on where you live, the chemicals in your home don’t have to be tested before they’re put on the market? The EU’s banned chemical list has steadily climbed above 1,100, but the down under has yet to catch up. Australia has a list of 40,000 chemicals available to the public database, but few are regulated. Even the 11 chemicals listed explicitly for cosmetics “pose a risk to human health.” That said, their only regulation is that they’re used in cosmetics only.
It’s not that they don’t try, but Nicnas isn’t set up correctly. Between self-assessments, confidential chemical lists, and ridiculously low penalties, it’s not preventing much. In Australia alone, 9,000 chemicals are introduced per year, under exemptions for notification and assessments. You’re the person doing the assessing.
They don’t just sit there. Lotions, creams, makeups, hair products; they all get under your skin, quite literally. They enter the bloodstream. The EWG did a study in 2004, looking for 400 chemicals in umbilical cords. As they were newly born, there wasn’t any exposure to chemicals and toxins from the outside world, yet somehow more than 70% of the chemicals were found. The scariest part is that 75% of the chemicals found are neurotoxins, and 72% are known to cause birth defects.
Wouldn’t it make sense to use natural ingredients instead? When you absorb natural ingredients into your skin, you aren’t absorbing toxins. This means your body can clear out the toxins already in it; you end up feeling better and being healthier.
You may like your current personal care items, and may simply throw out anything in your bathroom cabinet that’s got a toxic ingredient listed. The problem, however is that roughly 20% of all chemicals are kept off of the label, and not every chemical even shows up on Nicnas’s public AICS. To get to the confidential list, established to protect patents and secret formulas, you have to be looking at importing or exporting the unlisted chemical.
When you only have a few natural chemicals, there isn’t a need to keep chemicals a secret, and, since you can actually read them, you know what’s going on your skin. You can immediately tell if you’ll have an allergic reaction, and you don’t have to worry about the chemical effects on your body. You don’t need to obsess over if something is an endocrine disruptor, which causes sterility in women, or a carcinogen, which has been linked to cancer. As a matter of fact, since most plants are alkaline forming, and cancer can’t grow in an alkaline environment, a natural skincare regiment is a safer choice when aiming to take measures that guard you against the big C.
Natural ingredients have been shown to treat inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and UV skin damage. (Often added to chemical products microscopically so they can advertise as having vitamins, but how we do buy into this false advertising!) Aim to reach for products where you can make sense of most of the ingredients list. There is no worry when your aloe moisturiser or raspberry juice lip dye absorb into your body; it’s good for you outside and in.