How to Detox Your Beauty Routine

Chemicals and toxins are not just in your food – they are also widely used in your favorite personal care products such as makeup, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner! I switched all of my personal care products when I became sick and I was told by my Integrative M.D.’s how these toxic ingredients were endocrine disruptors, leading to cancer, autoimmune diseases and other illnesses. I was amazed that EVERY product that I had contained toxic ingredients. Even my beautiful, expensive makeup that I thought was so ‘perfect’! I was shocked because I thought the high-quality products in fancy stores were made from quality ingredients- but I was fooled- by advertising.

Our skin absorbs 60% of any topical product we use and more than 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in our personal care items. Many of these ingredients are hazardous to our health but they are used in everything from makeup to facial moisturizer and nail polish remover! It’s amazing that the average woman wears nearly 515 chemicals a day and will eat nearly 4 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, so make sure your lipstick does NOT contain lead or any chemicals.

Now, don’t stress out. Just take yourself over to Vitacost.com or to your nearest health food store or Whole Foods Market to find a toxin-free product. But, you must be careful because even though a product claims to be organic or natural or just because it’s being sold in a healthy store does NOT mean that it is truly toxin free. Some of the products sold in these stores still contain Parabens and Phthalates just like any conventional brand. This is such a shame but it’s why I’m here to help educate you about which ingredients are safe and which are not.

Clean Living 

I made some important lifestyle changes in order to stay healthy. I closely examined the everyday products I used and found that many harbored harmful metals and chemicals that can adversely impact overall health. Here are several beauty products that I “detoxified” from my life.

Makeup and Personal Care Products

Chemicals like parabens are added to personal care products to keep bacteria and mold from growing in the packaging. These additives are considered endocrine disruptors, which can lead to hormone-related cancers in adults and early onset of puberty in girls. Parabens can be found in many household items, including cosmetics, lotions, soaps, toothpaste, shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, fragrances and soaps. Read labels carefully and choose products with a short list of all-natural ingredients.

Sheets and Towels

Certain fabrics may be laced with toxic chemicals. I removed all the towels and sheets from my home and replaced them with items made with organic, all-natural fibers.

Shower Curtains

Vinyl shower curtains are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which can release chemical fumes that linger in your home for months and can impact your health. I now use a water-resistant cotton shower liner made with organic fabric.

Here is a list of the major toxins that are known to cause disease and have been proven to be toxic to our bodies:

  • PCB’s (Highly toxic chemicals banned in the 1970′s but 24 million are unaccounted for. Currently, farm raised salmon contain PCB’s)
  • Dioxins (Used in chlorinated cleaners and may end up in animals with high fat content such as fish and shellfish)
  • Heavy Metals (Mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum and cadmium accumulate in the soft tissues of our bodies and are found in nasal sprays, shampoo and antiperspirant deodorant)
  • Asbestos (Used to insulate older buildings- cancer causing material)
  • Parabens (Found in most personal care products, baby lotions and cosmetics. These are endocrine system disrupters, hormonal balance disrupters may lead to infertility and other hormone problems)
  • Phthalates (Found in cosmetics, hair spray, mousse, room sprays, colognes and perfumes)
  • Insecticides and Pesticides (Found in conventionally grown produce and foods)
  • VOC’s (Found in perfumes, shampoo, household cleaners, furniture polishes, air freshener, nail polish remover, hair relaxers, adhesives, foams, plastics, toiletries, aftershave lotions)
  • Chlorine (Found in tap water, shower water, pools, household cleaners)
  • Toluene (Found in cosmetics and nail polish)
  • Synthetic Fragrance (Found in soap, lotion, shampoo, deodorant, conditioner and perfume is linked to hormone disruption)

Here are Amie’s Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty Products:

There are not any completely pure nail polishes (unless you go for water-based, which are odd) so focus on choosing nail polish that is the safest, relatively speaking- look for the term ’3-free’, which means that the formula is free of the 3 big nail polish chemicals- formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. Make sure you choose a 3-free nail polish. Here is a brand that has great colors and are 3-free.

If you are wondering if your beauty products are toxic, check out Skin Deep, which is a website dedicated to showing you what sunscreen, lotions, makeup, etc. are toxic and which are safe.

 It is essential to work with your Integrative M.D. and Integrative Dermatologist because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. It is also important to read the labels of these items and to call the company if you have any questions before using any new products. This information is given for informational purposes only.