What Chemicals are in Your Makeup?

chemicals

Before you apply your makeup or use that personal care item, ask yourself what what chemicals are in what you are using on your face and how safe are they?

You are doing so much to safeguard your health …eating well and getting regular exercise, but are you unknowingly adding chemicals to your body through your makeup and personal care items?

According to the Environmental Work Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization that uses public information to protect public health and the environment, the US government has no authority to require companies to test personal care products for safety before they reach the store shelf.

EWG’s research documents that 22 percent of all personal care products may contain the cancer-causing contaminant 1,4-Dioxane, and more than half of all sunscreens contain oxybenzone, a potential hormone disruptor. Other studies raise serious concerns about makeup such as lead in lipsticks and chemicals in fragrance and artificial preservatives in personal care products.

Fragrance, in particular, has become a source of concern due to the unlisted ingredients behind the scents. A study of 17 popular fragrances by the Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, advocacy groups focused on exposing products they deem hazardous to health, found 14 undisclosed chemicals, on average. Among them were phthalates, which are used to soften plastic and have been linked to various ailments.

The following groups of chemicals are currently being studied for links to breast cancer:

  • Parabens – chemicals commonly used as preservatives in many cosmetic products, including makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and gels.
  • Phthalates – used to hold color and reduce brittleness in nail polish and hair spray. They’re also found in many personal care items.

Before you use your current makeup again, or buy a new makeup, visit the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep site and  check your makeup and personal care items scores.  EWG lists a product’s hazard score based on the chemicals links to cancer, allergies, and other issues.

 

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Check Out Your Sunscreen

sunscreenThe Environmental Work Group, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of public information to protect public health and the environment wants to know, “Does your sunscreen actually protect your family?”

In a recent post I received, the EWG reported that only a quarter of the more than 800 beach and sports sunscreens analyzed by them for their 2012 Sunscreen Guide meet EWG standards for effectiveness and safety. They view this as progress though as it is an improvement over previous years.

A quarter of this year’s sunscreen products still contain vitamin A ingredients that accelerate the growth of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin, according to recent government studies. Also, 56 of the products EWG reviewed had no active ingredients that protect against the sun’s damaging UVA rays.

The industry continues to load store shelves with sunscreens that claim misleading, sky-high SPF ratings that may protect against sunburn-causing UVB rays but leave skin vulnerable to UVA.

Be sure, be careful, be ready for fun in the sun by clicking here for EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide, http://tinyurl.com/btw5quh.

 

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The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 of Produce

organic produceEvery healthy diet endorses eating lots of fresh produce. But, even fresh produce carries a health risk…pesticides.The answer…buy organic, if you can, as produce grown organically is grown without synthetic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

The Environmental Work Group ( EWG), a nonprofit organization that uses the power of public information to protect public health and the environment put together a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, which identifies those fruits and vegetables that carry the highest risk of pesticides and those that are considered less of a pesticide risk.

What follows is their list of the “Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 of Produce.” EWG suggests that you buy organic for produce appearing on the Dirty Dozen list as these fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen of Produce:

1. Apples

2. Celery

3. Strawberries

4. Peaches

5. Spinach

6. Nectarines ( imported)

7. Grapes

8. Bell Peppers

9. Potatoes

10. Blueberries

11. Lettuce

12. Kale/Collard Greens

The Clean 15 of Produce:

1. Onions

2. Sweet Corn

3. Pineapple

4. Avocado

5. Asparagus

6. Sweet Peas

7. Mangoes

8. Eggplant

9. Cantaloupe (domestic)

10. Kiwi

11. Cabbage

12. Watermelon

13. Sweet Potatoes

14. Grapefruit

15. Mushrooms

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