Did you know that on a typical day, American women use an average of 12 personal care products that contain approximately 168 different chemicals, and men use an average of six personal care products that contain 85 different chemicals? Now for some of you, this may be new information and you’re shocked (I know I was), while for others, you may be asking, “What’s the big deal? It’s not like you’re eating your lotion and shampoo?!” But, you kinda are. Cosmetic chemicals enter the body through your skin, inhalation, ingestion, and internal use, and present similar risks as food chemicals. Whatever we put on our bodies, goes into our bodies. You may now be wondering, “How in the world are companies allowed to put harmful chemicals into products and then sell them to us?!” I had the same question, and after some digging many moons ago, discovered that the FDA does very little to regulate the cosmetic industry. Just to give you an idea, 1938 was the last time that Congress got involved in the cosmetic industry regulation, and out of the 829 page Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, only two pages addressed cosmetic regulation. On those two pages, very little authority is given to govern and regulate risky chemicals. This means that we, as consumers, must educate ourselves and choose wisely.
I’m going to share the most alarming chemicals that we need to avoid. This is not an all-encompassing list, and I encourage you to take a deep dive into the world of common toxins found in our products. Because I also like solutions, I’m going to share my personal favorite cosmetic products so that you can easily replace and use your skincare products with confidence and peace of mind.
Avoid these chemicals in your cosmetics:
- Parabens (and any variation of them…if it has the word “paraben”, avoid it!)—disrupt hormones and cause damage to the reproductive system, also linked to cancers.
- Formaldehyde (and any form of it…paraformaldehyde, methylene glycol, quaternium 15, etc.)—this is a known cancer-causing chemical
- Phthalates—hormone and reproductive system damage
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)—hormone disruptive
- Fragrance—this may seem harmless, but harmful chemicals can be hidden under this label; avoid it completely to avoid carcinogens and hormone disruptors.
- Soy in any form
So what can we use?
Here are my top 5 favorite cosmetic products from Young Living, completely free from harmful chemicals and supportive of healthy body function through pure essential oils and ingredients!
- Bloom—Cleanser, Brightening Essence, and Lotion. This collection is your skincare one-stop shop. Bloom cleanser is mild enough for everyday use to gently cleanse your face. The Brightening Essence does exactly what you’d imagine from the name—it nourishes the skin, infusing moisture and creating a protective barrier that literally brightens your skin! The Bloom Lotion is a light moisturizer perfect for daily use to hydrate your skin. These 3 products can replace all of your facial cleansers and lotions.
- Copaiba Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner— A little goes a long way with these, and they do a great job at cleansing the hair without stripping it of its natural oils. You only need a dime-sized amount, so it lasts a while.
- Savvy Minerals Makeup—I recommend starting with a base of loose foundation powder, blush, and an eye shadow that looks appealing. Grab a mascara and misting spray (for your makeup brush with the loose powder foundation), as well. This makeup goes on smoothly and stays on all day.
- Essential Beauty Serum—This has been a long-time favorite of mine and many others! I like to place the whole bottle of this into a 2 oz glass dropper bottle and add Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copaiba (10 drops each), and when I’m feeling really fancy, 5 drops of Rose. I then add my favorite carrier oil until the bottle is full. This is great to hydrate your skin before makeup and/or before bed.
Favorite essential oil blends in lieu of perfume (fragrance)
- Joy – sweet, floral, uplifting
- Magnify Your Purpose – musky, spicy, grounding
- Mister – woodsy, strong in a good way, smooth
- Stress Away – think “island vacation,” relaxing yet upbeat
- Valor – woodsy, hint of sweetness, a great cologne or perfume!