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The Hidden Dangers in Women's Cosmetics

Posted Sep 22 2009 8:17pm

For most of us women, the use of makeup and cosmetics are an essential part of our daily routines. We wake up in the morning, get all dolled up with all manner of products, and make our way out into the world. What so few of us fail to realize is that the vast majority of the cosmetics bought and sold in America each year contain dangerous, hazardous chemicals that have the potential to negatively impact your health and well being.

The chemicals found in most common cosmetics can cause allergies, rashes and skin irritation. In some cases, they have been known to cause more serious health issues such as hormonal disruption, immune system dysfunction, and decreased organ function. Additionally, many of the products which claim to be "natural" or "organic" are far from being such. They may contain a few natural ingredients, but most of them still contain the dangerous chemical compounds noted above. The following is a summary of the most common chemical irritants found in everyday cosmetics products:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is commonly found in shampoo, toothpaste, and facial cleansers. It is known to cause a number of side effects affecting the brain, the reproductive system, and the endocrine system. It is also know to cause skin irritation and rashes.

Aluminum is present in countless consumer products, and is considered highly toxic when ingested. It is commonly found in various cosmetics, particularly in deodorants and anti-perspirants. It is believed that aluminum builds up in the body (particularly in the brain), and is suspected of playing a role in Alzheimer's disease and a number of dangerous neurological conditions.

Formaldehyde is toxic chemical preservative used in many hair and skin care products. It is a known carcinogen, and has been shown to cause cancer and all manner of health complications. Common formaldehyde preservatives found in makeup include imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and sodium hydroxylmethylglycinate.

Phthalates are commonly found in nail polish and other cosmetics, and have been linked to hormone disruption and immune system dysfunction. They have also been known to cause cancer, and have been banned from countless consumer products for this reason. For some strange reason, they are still allowed for use in women's cosmetics.

It's important for women to understand that there are a number of healthy, natural alternatives to these dangerous, mass produced cosmetics. There are companies out that care more about your health and well being. Please stop to consider how many of these dangerous products you are using day after day, year after year, and the effects they may be having on your health and the health of those around you. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to make educated consumer choices. To learn more, please go to Google and search for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

Emily Gladwell is committed to helping others make healthy, educated consumer choices. Some of her favorite organic health care products include dr. bronner's lavender bar soap, dr. hauschka bronzing powder, and weleda calendula shampoo and body wash.

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