You've heard the saying "you are what you eat." It is true...truly. It's also true that your body absorbs what you put on your body. So, one can claim "you are what you wear." Here is a brief list of some commonly known toxic chemicals and/or known carcinogens that are frequently used in personal care products. Now, I'm not a scientist and most likely you are not either, but don't be overwhelmed. See this list as keywords that should ring a warning bell if you see them while reading the ingredient labels on the products you buy (you do read them, right?!):
- Phthalates - think personal care products
- Bisphenol A (BPA) - think baby bottles, plastic water bottles and containers, sippy cups, canned food (always rinse before cooking...this helps rinse away chemicals and unwanted sodium)
- "Fragrance" - think perfume and any scented body products
- Triclosan - think handsoap
- Parabens - think personal care products
- Formaldehyde - think personal care products
- Petroleum based chemicals
- Volatile organic compounds
- Pesticides - think crop dusting your veggies to kill little buggers
- Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) - think the lining of a microwavable popcorn bag
- Lead - think lipstick...yes, lipstick. Read this Feb. 2012 article entitled "Hundreds of Lipsticks Contaminated with Lead".
Environmental Working Group is a great resource for finding specific info. on specific products. For example, if you use Brand X Sensitive Skin Foaming Face Wash, you can type that into their search box, and find out if it has any red flag chemicals, as well as find out the safety rating EWG assigns to it. I used this before buying sunscreen this summer...I started by researching their Skin Deep sunscreen database.
My theory is we do not necessarily know our genetic make-up. We may be pre-disposed to various conditions based on our genes. Much of that is out of our control. We can control, however, the environmental exposures that can increase our risk of disease. Watch what you eat, be aware of the products you use, increase your health.