By Presh Ashe
Healthy Food, Healthy Body
Over the past 10-15 years, information telling us that what we put IN our bodies matters has resurged. We see the list of “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables; we know it’s best to buy organic meat. Also, we know that we harm our bodies or our health by eating packaged foods, foods high in high fructose corn syrup, or fast food. But do we spend much time thinking about what we put ON our bodies? Doesn’t the shampoo we use to wash our hair just clean and then go down the drain? Same with our face wash, right? Not so fast.
Beauty Product Labels and Chemicals
Before leaving the house each morning, the average woman is exposed to 100+ chemicals found in our cosmetics, face wash, shampoo, and other personal skin care products. We continually put toxins and chemicals on our skin, our largest organ, each and every day. Research links these harmful ingredients to infertility, cancer and hormone disruption to name a few. Even more shocking, the United States has not passed a major federal law regulating the personal care industry since 1938, and our country has only banned 30 potentially harmful ingredients from our products (whereas the European Union has banned 1400!). We have a single page of legislation that governs this $62 billion industry! What can we do about these startling facts? Read our labels!
Beauty Products and Creams and Eczema
My family confronted these realities 2 years ago when we learned our son had a severe case of eczema all over his body. According to the site nationaleczema.org, “eczema is a general term for dermatitis, which simply means inflammation of the skin. All types of eczema cause itching and redness and some will blister, weep or peel.” When our son was just 3 months old we started noticing red dry patches in different spots on his body, which over the following few months spread across his entire body. Initially, we did what we thought was best and heeded the doctor’s orders, using steroids daily. We covered him in over-the-counter creams they recommended, yet continued to watch our son suffer. Countless recommendations from numerous doctors yielded short-lived small improvements. Symptoms dissipated for a few days just to come right back. We felt like we put a band-aid on that once removed, the blisters and irritated skin would be just as present and heartbreaking as before.
Healing the Body
Like some other conditions eczema starts in the gut, so after extensive research, we decided to heal him from the inside out. Unfortunately, topical creams would not heal him. Steroids were doing nothing. We could not trust the beauty product labels we read, and after further research the products the doctors recommended contained many harmful ingredients.
Beauty Product Label Sources
No matter if you’re dealing with a serious skin issue like eczema, or feel perfectly fine, you should check the labels and corresponding ingredients of all our products. Beauty product labels we innately trust that might say “free and clear” or “pure and natural” mislead consumers. EWG.org is a great resource (and they have a free app as well). You can look up and rate a majority of your beauty product labels there. EWG provides details on why they give products a certain rating and what if any allergens, toxins or chemicals the products contain. So, you don’t have to throw out of all your poorly rated products at one time. However, as you run low on a product, look for a replacement that receives a better rating. No matter what, just make yourself more aware of the ingredients in your products. Your health matters; your future matters; and your kids’ health matters. Know better, do better.
About the Author:
Presh Ashe lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two-year-old son. She loves all things healthy (including chocolate and red wine) and if she’s not at the playground, she is talking to friends about small changes one can make to live a healthier life. Being an ambassador with Beautycounter has opened her eyes to being an educated consumer. Beautycounter has created safer, high-performing products for the whole family by banning the use of over 1500 questionable and harmful chemicals or toxins in our products. She loves being a part of this company that is making a change. If you have questions about how to make small changes with food, products or otherwise, please contact Presh Ashe, Director Beautycounter. 615-400-7240 [email protected]and follow her on Instagram and Facebook @freshbypresh where she posts healthy tips, articles, recipes etc.