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The Hidden Dangers of Skincare

woman-smiling-in-mirror-sq-300Dr. Tiffany Garcia, chiropractor and acupuncture practitioner in our Newark office, educates patients about healthy living. She is passionate about helping people understand the importance of choosing non-toxic products and shares her personal favorites as a guide.

Whether we’re seeking to hydrate dry skin, age gracefully or enhance our appearance with makeup, there is no shortage of skincare and cosmetic products to help us do so. However, since the skin is the largest organ, it’s important to be mindful of what it may be absorbing. Unfortunately, so many products contain harmful chemicals, and those wreak havoc on our immune system and overall health.

Shampoo, body wash, perfume, lotion and more. These are some of the common products we use every day. But have you considered the toxins contained in each? According to the Environmental Working Group, women use an average of 12 products daily, containing a whopping 168 different chemicals! While men use fewer products, they still put 85 chemicals on their bodies.

The Skin-Liver Connection

Traditionally, we associate the liver with processing what we eat and drink. However, the skin also substantially contributes to our bodily systems’ burden. The liver, the body’s master detoxifier, processes every substance we come into contact with, which includes what we put on our skin. Regular use of skincare products containing harmful ingredients exacerbates the liver’s burden, affecting our overall wellness negatively.

The Unregulated Skincare Market

A concerning reality is that the cosmetic industry isn’t as regulated as we’d like to think. Shockingly, many skincare products out on the market contain toxic ingredients. A recent report revealed that benzene, a recognized Class 1 carcinogen, was found in several over-the-counter skincare products. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The extensive use of toxic ingredients extends to even high-end brands, with many lipsticks found to contain lead.

Consider the impact of chemicals in fragrances. “A lot of these fragrances are not even disclosing on the label what’s included in them; it can be over 3000 ingredients that companies use that they are not required to disclose. So if you’re putting fragrance on your skin and your body is absorbing it, it’s going right into your bloodstream, and you’re also inhaling it as well; it’s a dangerous slippery slope,” said Dr. Garcia.

Labels Can Mislead

When you think of clean beauty, words like natural, organic, sulfate-free, vegan, etc., might come to mind. But these labels don’t necessarily mean non-toxic. It’s crucial to do your research instead of falling for the illusion of “clean” products. Unfortunately, “clean” has been reduced to a marketing catchphrase, often misleading consumers.

More Than Just Commercial Products

It’s not just commercial products that bear the brunt of this issue. Even health influencers continue to promote their favorite skincare routines, oblivious to the toxic dump they recommend. This misinformation further accentuates the problem, making it vital for people to become more informed about the products they use.

Rating Products for Safety

Wondering if your makeup or skincare product is safe? Dr. Garcia recommends the following apps to help rate your products: YUKA, Switch Natural, and Think Dirty.

Dr. Garcia’s Recommendations for Making the Switch

“The transition to cleaner skincare products might be overwhelming initially, but it’s necessary for our health and wellness. The good news is that there are cleaner, non-toxic, and effective options out there,” said Dr. Garcia. She has some simple recommendations:

1. Download the Switch Natural app
2. Pick 1 product at a time
3. Research, trial and then enjoy your new products!

By gradually moving toward a cleaner regimen, your health will thank you!


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