Boy did I mess this up over the years. It seems like for the last 15 years I have been hyper focused on what I have been putting in my body. Between my digestion issues, my weight fluctuation and my gluten intolerance I feel like I have been hyper focused on nutrition and taking care of my good ole insides but OOOPS, I did not realize was I was missing a huge component to the whole chemical, non-processed, healthy lifestyle I was working so hard to achieve. You have heard “you are what you eat” but have you also ever thought about “you absorb whatever you apply”?

I wish I could remember the day or even the article that made the light bulb go off in my head but, whatever it was, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Your skin is like a sponge. Everything you put on your skin gets quickly absorbed into your system. Do you have any idea how many personal hygiene products we, as consumers, apply to our bodies each day? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington DC-based advocacy organization, the average American uses approximately 10-15 personal care products with a total of 126 different ingredients daily. Ok wait for it, here comes the scary part. The federal government does not regulate the cosmetic industry. Say WHAT??!!!??!!!!??!!!  How scary is this folks?

I am sure you have heard the buzz words when it comes to buying natural, organic beauty products but do you know the names of the actual ingredients you are actually looking to avoid? Honestly I did research on a lot of these ingredients and it scared the pants off me, so I stopped. I figured I had read enough just looking into the first three that I said I will AVOID all of them.

According to The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and The Environmental Working Group, the following is a list of the top offenders in beauty products and the one’s you want to avoid:

* DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea.
* Fragrance and dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or ‘-paraben’
* ‘PEG’ and ‘-eth’
* Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate
* Triclosan and triclocarban
* Triethanolamine (TEA)
* Mercury, often listed as thimerosal
* Placenta
* Lead acetate
* Petrochemicals, (appearing on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin)
* Phthalates
* Hydroquinone
* Formaldehyde

Scary right? The other thing I wanted to mention besides all of these chemical ingredients is for all of my gluten free friends.

Because of recent labeling laws, shopping for gluten free food is fairly easy because it is so clearly labeled. Unfortunately we do not have the same luck when it comes to purchasing beauty products. They are working hard to try and get beauty products included in the labeling law but, for now, it’s up to us.  Because the labeling is not as clear on beauty products, you really need to know what you are looking to avoid. The following is a list of ingredients that you should steer clear of when buying these products if you are gluten intolerant. Now this being said,  I realize this is a controversial topic.  Not everyone believes in the whole gluten reaction due to beauty products. For me I know what I feel like when I ingest gluten, I know how ingredients are absorbed into my skin once applied so duh, yes I avoid them and do not take any chances.

• Triticum vulgare (wheat)
• Hordeum vulgare (barley)
• Secale cereale (rye)
• Avena sativa (oats)
• Wheat germ oil
• Hydrolyzed wheat protein
• Stearyl dimonium hydroxypropy (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
• Laurdimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein)
• Colloidal oatmeal
• Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (may contain wheat)
• Dextrin palmitate (starch, possibly gluten-based)
• Vitamin E (frequently derived from wheat)
• Malt extract (usually barley)

I hope this information has helped you. Bottom line… read labels!  With beauty products, try and go as natural as possible, avoid the above and try and pick products with as few as ingredients as possible.

Coming soon will be some reviews on my favorite beauty products.

 For additional reading on BPA in products check out this recent story. 

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