Beep, Beep, whaaa, whaa! Wake up! Morning arrives too early and the struggle is real to get out of bed. Pull the covers up and hit snooze one more time. Wipe the sleep away from those weary eyes, hit the shower, scrub off, and get ready. You look good, feel good, smell good, but the products you use are killing you. It is time to pull back the curtains and see what’s in your personal care products.

Why do we go through this morning routine of grooming and primping every day, anyway?

Why, to be beautiful / handsome of course. But, what does that really mean? And, is it worth the cost? (The cost not only of time and effort, but also the unseen cost of our health.)

Beautification means different things to different people. Let’s say, for example, that like most Americans I know, your daily routine includes showering, washing your hair and face, shaving, styling your hair, putting on deodorant and probably some kind of body fragrance (body spray, perfume or cologne). To do this, you probably use a combination of shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, shaving cream, lotion, sunscreen, cosmetics, perfume, or oil on your body.  

So, what do you do with these products? You rub, massage, slather, scrub, exfoliate, apply, smear, and spread them all across your body’s largest organ – your naked, exposed skin. Not to mention that in the process of scrubbing and exfoliating, you have, no doubt, broken down some of that organ’s natural defenses against environmental harm – and then you smear gunk onto these most sensitive and susceptible areas.

But why not? Everybody does it. Right?

For sure! Mom and Dad used these products. Grandma and Grandpa used them before them. There is nothing wrong with Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa is there (I’m talking to you and not your therapist). You trust these people – after all, they played a big part in making you who you are.

While I’m in no way besmirching the character of your ancestors, I’ll bet they didn’t know any better. But by reading, this you do know better. (It’s too late to hit the “Back” button on your browser. You’re in too deep now.)

Since you’re up on educating yourself about the health issues you face each day, let me ask you a question: Did you know that the average person is exposed to over 100 chemicals before leaving the house each day?

I’ll bet you didn’t.

Now you want to ask me a question. Let’s see if I can read your minds. Hmm… *channeling the forces of the Universe*… You want to ask me, “Where do all these chemical come from?”

(I know, I’m pretty good at this mind reading stuff, but don’t tell my husband.)

Would you believe that all of these chemicals are hiding in plain sight – right there in your bathroom? They are in the very products that you trust to keep you looking (and, let’s face it, feeling) your best.  

These products betray you. Turn them over and read the labels.   What do you see?

  • DEA and TEA
  • Parabens
  • BHT
  • Talc
  • Petrolatum
  • Polyethylene Glycol
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Linalools
  • Camphor
  • Triclosan
  • Formaldehyde
  • FD&C colors and dyes
  • Fragrance
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Woah! What are these things?! Nevermind how to pronounce them!

I’ll admit to being relieved that I don’t have to pronounce them – this is a blog after all. However, they don’t seem like things that I want to be smearing all over myself. Or, do I?

Let’s examine what’s in shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, and sunscreen. These same chemicals show up over and over again in the ingredients. This is not an exhaustive list, mind you, it’s just the repeat performers in the personal care products you and I use everyday.

For the sake of simplicity, let’s break these things down into two groups:

Group A: shampoo, conditioner, soap or body wash, dish detergent, laundry detergent and fabric softener. Each is a cleaner, and it has a dirty secret. To analyze each separately is a bore because they have the same main ingredients.

Group B: cosmetics, sunscreen, lip balm, perfume or cologne, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Guess what? The same chemicals are present here too. We could analyze them independently, but we would put you to sleep in the process.

Chemicals in your personal care products affect your health.

Health effects:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Eye or skin irritants
  • Cancer
  • Disruption of the endocrine system

You get to pick your poison, cancer, which body systems you want to lose first, or to simply be irritated by the “irritants”, because personal care products do all of these things.

Here’s your challenge: read the ingredient labels on all of the products you use everyday. Next, read the series and learn how these chemicals act in the body, or educate yourself. Decide with the ingredients — and with what you put in your cart — how will this impact your health.

This is the view as you go down the personal care aisle at the grocery store. What will you put in your cart?

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I’m not leaving you hanging.

Check here for the ingredients:

What’s in your shampoo (conditioner, soap, cleaner)?

What’s in your toothpaste (mouthwash)?

What’s in your deodorant (lotion, perfume, cologne)?

What’s in your lip balm (cosmetics)?

What’s in your sunscreen?

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