Are Your Personal Care Products Making Your Symptoms Worse?

Are Your Personal Care Products Making Your Symptoms Worse?

Prior to dealing with Lyme disease I never thought much about my personal care products.

As my journey progressed I learned that Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system, or known to disrupt the endocrine (hormonal) system.

woman having facial mask at beauty salon

These are bad for everyone, especially when dealing with Lyme disease and an above average toxic burden. Using the wrong personal care product can cause you to have more Lyme symptoms.

The scary thing is, no premarket safety testing is required for the industrial chemicals that go into our personal care products. This is from the Cosmetics Safety Q&A on the FDA’s website, “…With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.”

Are you sure you want to trust the manufacturers of these products to look out for you? It was only recently that Johnson & Johnson removed formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane from their baby shampoo

Start looking at your skin as a mouth. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and whatever you put on your skin is absorbed into your body in a matter of minutes. According to the CDC more than 13 million workers in the US are potentially exposed to chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. What about the everyday consumer applying their daily regimen of products?

Most of us wash our hair (though me not so much), wash with soap, brush our teeth, and apply deodorant daily with products containing several toxic ingredients which include:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – found in shampoo, soap, and toothpaste and SLS causes these products to get all foamy. SLS is a surfactant (industrial strength detergent) that causes skin irritation and destroys the skin’s good oils causing it to dry out
  • Parabens – found in shampoo, conditioner, deodorants, antiperspirants, sunscreen, and makeup. These are preservatives that mimic estrogen. When absorbed through the skin parabens bind to the body’s estrogen-receptors, where they can encourage breast cancer cell growth. A 2004 study detected parabens in breast tumors
  • Propylene Glycol – found in shampoo, cosmetic moisturizes, and used as a carrier for fragrance oils. This has been linked to contact dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities
  • Triclosan – found in antibacterial soap (recently banned by the FDA), toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. It impairs muscle function and skeletal muscle contractility, may affect thyroid function, and may affect hormone regulation. It is also registered as a pesticide
  • Fragrance – found in shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, perfume, cologne, and hand cream to name a few. It is a known human immune system toxicant or allergen, has been shown to cause dermatitis, respiratory distress, and has potential effects on the reproductive system

This is a small sample of the chemicals found in personal care products. Basically if you wouldn’t eat it then don’t put it on your skin because it ends up in your body all the same.

Since cutting these products out of my life it’s amazing how sensitive I’ve become to them. Products that I used to use now make me stuffy, cause my eyes to water, and sometime gag.

You can either make your own products using things like coconut oil and essential oils or use the Skin Deep database on the Environment Working Group website for making safer buying decisions. I personally use products from Kiss My Face and Dr. Bronners and use essential oils instead of cologne.

Do you have some favorite personal care products that are chemical free? Let everyone know what you use!