It is SO important to be aware of not only what you’re putting in your body, but what you’re putting ON your body. We absorb everything we put on our skin. A few harmful ingredients found in many skin care, sunscreen and home cleaning products include aluminum, “fragrance”, parabens, phthalates, and oxybenzone.

ALUMINUM is a common ingredient in antiperspirants since it stops the body from sweating. Sweating is a natural body process to regulate temperature and toxins can be released when we sweat, so long term suppression of this process may not be the best for our health. There have been some studies linking aluminum to breast cancer cells in vitro, but at this point, there is not a proven link between aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer on studies done with humans. If you’re concerned about your toxic load and want to reduce chemicals that we are constantly exposed to, natural deodorants may be a better option, as they don’t stop the sweating process, but help keep smells at bay and may also absorb sweat. Aluminum is also an endocrine disrupter, which means it can mimic estrogen and affect hormone levels – another reason to try to minimize exposure.

FRAGRANCE is a VERY common word on many labels. Did you know that manufacturers don’t have to list the actual ‘fragrance’ ingredients on their products?! Harmful ingredients can be omitted from many labels. That’s a scary fact. A common ingredient in fragrance is phthalates.

PHTHALATES are chemicals that make plastic softer and more flexible and are in many skin care products. Studies show that exposure to phthalates can actually cause hormone changes! Other studies showed various forms of phthalates can cause cancer as well as developmental changes.They also caused damage to reproductive systems in animals. It’s important to note that these studies were done on animals and not humans, but we should still be aware of the potential dangers of constant and cumulative exposure to these chemicals from a variety of products over a span of many years. Certain forms of phthalates are banned from plastic toys for children – so why is it ok for adults to have phthalates in our skin care products?

PARABEN is another preservative found in fragrance ingredients in skincare and sunscreen products. There have been studies of breast tumors that actually show a build-up of methyl para-bens in breast tissue. Paraben is also known as an endocrine disruptor, which means it can affect our hormones and over time can even result in various hormone imbalances. An interesting fact: Denmark banned Propylparaben and Butylparaben in cosmetic products for children up to the age of three!

OXYBENZONE is an active ingredient found in sunscreen for UV protection. It is also a common allergen, and studies show that it acts as a weak estrogen and has anti-androgenic effects. Androgens are male hormones such as testosterone and DHT or dihydrotestosterone. In 2016, the CDC collected data from adolescent boys in the United States measuring their exposure to Oxybenzone. The results showed that boys with higher Oxybenzone measurements had a significantly lower total testosterone level.

My Advice?

It can be SO overwhelming shopping for skin care and sunscreen products!

~ I recommend becoming familiar with reading labels. This is SO empowering because you’ll know what you’re putting in and on your body and it feels amazing knowing that you’re treating your body like the temple it is.

~ If you have questions – ask for help! That’s what in store skin care experts are there for. Still unsure? Check out the EWG Healthy Living App and the Think Dirty App for skin care, sunscreen and home cleaning products ratings. The lower the rating, the cleaner the product!

~ If you can’t recognize an ingredient and have trouble pronouncing it – it’s probably not the best or cleanest ingredient. This goes for skin products AND food.

~ Try to limit sun exposure and wear sunscreen EVERY DAY!

If you’re someone who has spent a lot of time in the sun and are noticing sun damage and wrinkles because of high sun exposure – I can help! Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is an amazing and non-invasive treatment to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten the complexion and help treat various skin conditions. The treatment uses the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and involves the insertion of fine hair-like needles into various acupuncture points in the face and body.

A few benefits include:

~ Stimulation of collagen production to decrease fine lines & wrinkles

~ Increase circulation to nourish, improve skin tone, uniformity & texture of face ~Reduce the appearance of dark circles & puffiness of eyes ~Relax facial muscles to decrease the appearance of stress in the face

~Rejuvenates the face & body to promote overall health & well being!

~ BONUS! It is relaxing, NOT painful

Scinicariello, F & Buser, MC. (2016) Serum Testosterone Concentrations and Urinary Bisphenol A, Benzophenone-3, Triclosan, and Paraben Levels in Male and Female Children and Adoles-cents: NHANES 2011-2012. Environ Health Perspect. Dec; 124(12) : 1898-190

Krause et al. (2012) Sunscreens: are they beneficial for health? An overview of endocrine dis-rupting properties of UV-filters. Int J Androl. June ; 35 (3) : 424-36.

Ghazipura M, McGowan R, Arslan A & Hossain T. (2017) Exposure to benzophenone-3 and re-productive toxicity: A systematic review of human and animal studies. Reprod Toxicol. Oct; 73:175-183

The Trouble With Ingredients In Sunscreen: Environmental Working Group. Retrieved on June 12, 2019.

What you actually need to know about deodorant and breast cancer. Retrieved on June 13, 2019.