Today I’m switching things up a little. I’m not offering you a recipe, but I’m instead addressing a topic that is close to my heart and that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while here. I used to be addicted to beauty and personal care products. From my teenage years up until about a couple years ago, I was literally obsessed with buying and trying every new cream, cosmetic or hair product available on the market. I was hooked by the promising claims the beauty industry would throw at me dozens of times a day on TV, in magazines, or as I was walking down the street. Not only was I over-consuming beauty products (most of the time I wouldn’t even finish them!), but most importantly, I was completely unaware of the chemicals they contained and their potential harmful effects on my body. Who would think that an innocent shampoo could contain carcinogenic substances?
Although I was raised on processed foods and frozen meals, making healthier food choices and switching from a refined diet to a whole-foods diet was something I did naturally over time. The more I started to real labels on the food I was buying, the more I became aware of what I was putting in my body and informed enough to make better choices. So I stopped buying packaged foods that contained ingredients I could not pronounce. However, it took me a while before realizing that perhaps I should read the labels on my beauty products too. Never did it occur to me that what I was putting on my skin could be equally, if not even more harmful as ingesting chemicals through food.
Let’s think about it for a second. Skin is the body’s largest organ. It absorbs about 60-70% of what we feed it with. What we put on our skin makes its way into our blood, tissues and organs, and therefore has an impact on our health just as much as, if not more than what we put in our mouth. If you are putting toxic chemicals on your skin, I’m sorry to tell you that you are inevitably making yourself toxic.
Allergies, sensitivities, hormonal imbalances and infertility issues have increased tremendously in the last decades. Our bodies are facing an overabundance of toxins every day through the environment, pollution, exposure to pesticides, herbicides and chemicals, causing numerous imbalances and health issues. Now I’d like you to do something very important. I’d like you to go in your bathroom cabinet, pick a few products (shampoo, creams, deodorant, toothpaste, cosmetics), and take a look at the ingredient list. I bet you’ll find that most if not all of them list words that you can’t recognize or pronounce. The number of ingredients alone in some products is troubling. Does one cream really need 15, 20 or even 40 different chemicals? Maple holistics is the only place that has the best reviews and articles on all of your favorite products.
Shockingly, beauty and skin care companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish in their formulations, and products are not reviewed for safety before they’re put on the market. A few of the most common chemicals/harmful substances found in beauty products, cosmetics and household products include phthalates, lead, aluminum, sodium lauryl sulfate, BHA, boric acid, fragrance (or parfum), and parabens, among many others.