The average woman in America spends $300,000 on makeup in her lifetime and 55 minutes each day getting ready. For many of us, beauty is a form of self-care, personal expression, and an exercise in femininity. A luxurious skin mask helps us unwind at the end of a stressful day, and the perfect pout boosts confidence for a first date.
Beauty is our haven and secret power all in one. But is it betraying us? Shocking findings from environmental watchdog EWG.org show that beauty might be even more costly than we realize. We’ve unwittingly entered an era of toxic beauty.
“Since 2009, 595 cosmetics manufacturers have reported using 88 chemicals linked to cancer, congenital disabilities, or reproductive harm in over 73,000 products.”
Many of these chemicals, such as parabens, phthalates, and triclosan, are proven endocrine disruptors that wreak havoc on thyroid health. These endocrine disruptors are especially detrimental to those with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease responsible for an estimated 90% of hypothyroidism cases.
Hashimoto’s sufferers are at a higher risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) due to the effect of hypothyroidism on fat metabolism and liver function. In other words, they have an impaired ability to remove toxins from their bodies due to decreased liver function. (Note: If you’re struggling with Hashimoto’s, I strongly recommend my partner Dr. Isabella Wentz for taking back control of your health – click image below for more info.)
This impaired ability leads to a congested liver, which struggles to detox everyday foods, not to mention the toxic chemicals absorbed by your skin from unhealthy beauty products. Our skin is our largest organ with five million fast-absorbing pores. It takes just 26 seconds for toxic chemicals in our skincare to enter our bloodstream.
Ultimately, this inefficient detox process means the toxic chemicals stay in your body, sabotaging your health for years to come. And this isn’t the only struggle for those with compromised thyroid health.
The liver and thyroid connection goes much deeper than that. You see, the thyroid gland produces primarily thyroxine (T4), which is relatively inactive in the human body. T4 must travel through the bloodstream to the liver, where it converts from T4 into triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is the active version of the thyroid hormone we need to function normally.
Therefore, any problems with a poorly functioning liver will create a trickle-down effect that hinders the conversion of T4 to T3. This breakdown can exacerbate any existing thyroid problems. If you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and struggle with excess weight or high blood sugar, your liver function is likely compromised.
So, what are your chances of being affected by toxic beauty?
The average person uses nine personal care products a day, and each product contains about 14 ingredients. When you do the math, you’re looking at a combined exposure to approximately 126 ingredients daily. The likelihood of being exposed to not only phthalates, but asbestos, formaldehyde, and others are very high unless you’re actively restricting your exposure to these toxins.
Sure the odds are against you, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
There are mountains of highly technical scientific studies all with mile-long words, but don’t get intimidated! You don’t have to become an expert overnight. Instead, focus on learning about and identifying the notorious “Toxic Twenty.” These are the high profile chemicals most commonly found. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with these, you’ll be able to recognize them on an ingredient list quickly.
Take the First Step
It’s easy to read these statistics and want to have a full-blown panic attack knowing there are 73,000 of these products in our marketplace. You might even feel compelled to ditch every single cosmetic you can find. I get it! While I’m a fan of the “all-or-nothing approach,” it’s typically not very realistic – or even necessary.
Instead, grab all your favorites and analyze them on the Skin Deep database. From there, you will see the EWG rating of 1 to 10 (best to worst) of all the ingredients and their associated medical concerns. These ratings take into consideration their cancer risk potential, immunotoxicity, and even their effects on the reproductive system. If a product is chock-full of ingredients that are ranking seven or above, ditch it fast. However, if it’s mostly 2’s and 3’s with a few 6’s, it might be worth finishing and merely replacing it when the time comes.
Find New, Healthier Favorites
Few things are harder than change. You may have gone through 10 different moisturizers before you found your reigning five-year favorite. But if that favorite is high in toxic ingredients, it’s time to find a healthier alternative.
Fortunately, as consumer awareness of toxins in our beauty industry has risen, so has the amount of healthy, responsibly produced alternatives on the market. One such brand is StungBeauty.Co, a toxin-free skincare line that I launched after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis nearly five years ago.
I spent years biohacking my way back to health and educating myself on clean beauty. It was then that I was inspired to create a line that is not only vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA, but phthalate-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, and talc-free.
StungBeauty.Co has one mission – to provide discerning women with luxury skincare free from the harmful ingredients that plague our modern day cosmetics. Our products are full of nourishing antioxidants, stress-relieving adaptogens, and natural collagen boosters that promise to keep your skin healthy and glowy no matter your age.