Have you switched to a paraben-free and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner? Parabens are used to preserve beauty products (to keep them on the shelf longer), but they mimic the female hormone estrogen, which can wreak havoc on your reproductive system and can affect fertility. Sulfates, aside from being very harsh on your skin, can form carcinogenic nitrates when combined with many ingredients found in beauty products. The good news is there are many natural and non-toxic options on the market and it’s easy to switch to equally functional products and to reduce toxins in your daily routine.  I have always used paraben-free and sulfate-free products for my kids, but it took me longer to make the switch for myself and my husband. I really enjoyed my salon-grade hair products! I have been testing various non-toxic brands, and thus far, my current favorite (for adults) is Acure Organics. For the kids, my go-to is California Baby Shampoo and Body Wash

For kids, there are many wonderful options, but you have to read the labels or check The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skindeep Database to determine which products are truly safe and toxic-free (they rate each product and how safe they are -check all of your beauty products in this comprehensive database). Even products that claim they are “All Natural” often have harmful chemicals lurking in the long list of ingredients and often score very high on the “low hazard” list from EWG. “Skin Deep pairs ingredients in more than 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases, making it the largest integrated data resource of its kind. Why did a small nonprofit take on such a big project? Because the FDA doesn’t require companies to test their own products for safety.” 1

“Cosmetic ingredients do not remain on the surface of the skin. They are designed to penetrate, and they do. Scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including phthalates in urine, preservatives called parabens in breast tumor tissue and persistent fragrance components in human fat.” 2

This is a relatively easy switch to make. I know it is hard to break up with your favorite tried and true products, but these little daily changes will have a cumulative positive effect on your health and the health of your family.

Notes:

  1. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
  2. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2011/04/12/why-this-matters/