I recently came across an engaging article on msn.com called Beauty and the Beasts. It opens with a few examples of the toxic beauty practices of yesteryear and how those women, in that particular time period, actually thought their beauty regimen was safe. Of course today we know better than to smooth lead-based foundation on our faces. But it still puts into perspective how little scientists can prove that what we use today is actually safe. One hundred years from now, the people of the future might look back and say "Can you believe they actually put parabens on their skin! What were they thinking?"
When I read that the average American woman uses 12 hygiene products daily, it seemed a bit over the top. Then I started counting. shampoo, conditioner, body soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste. Six products and I haven't even gotten to the stuff we use on our faces (soaps, creams, makeup). And according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) 12 products equals more than 150 ingredients that's absorbed into our skin, inhaled into our noses or licked off our lips (just think about all of that lip balm or lipstick we digest!)
Even if it's proven that some of these chemicals won't cause cancer or worse, they still get washed down our drains every day to later wreak havoc on our helpless planet. If one woman uses 12 products every day, just think of all of the toxins that are swirling down the sinks of the millions of men and women in the world. The MSN article later lists four ingredients to "keep an eye on". I say, banish them from your bathroom altogether. They are: parabens, phthalates, coal tar and toluene (read more about them ). Look out for them when you're scanning the ingredients of your beauty products. Then you can breathe easier knowing that you've saved your skin (and the earth) from a few extra chemicals.