Safe skin care requires diligence and knowledge. We cannot trust either the manufacturers or the government to protect us and we are often lured by promises that sound good – but don't deliver or don't fulfill their functions safely. There are many claims about how great a particular brand is, but we can't always trust what the ads say.
"Enriched With Collagen"
Sounds good, doesn't it? After all, collagen is is responsible for skin strength and elasticity and if it declines, the result is dreaded wrinkles. So preserving and aiding the growth of collagen in the skin is one of the keys to gorgeous skin thus it sounds really great to have skin care products enriched with collagen, right?
It sounds disgusting, but almost all collagen comes from animals. Dead animals, to be more specific. There are currently twenty-five facilities in the United States that convert slaughterhouse waste into raw materials for cosmetics. But getting information about the waste is difficult at best. If you see any of these ingredients listed on a skin care product label, you won't know if they came from slaughterhouse waste or were synthetically created. Many of the manufacturers don't even know. The companies that supply raw materials to the company may not divulge that information.
Always keep in mind that whatever you apply to your skin can be absorbed into the body. Nicotine and birth control patches work on this principle. Applying beauty products may allow any ingredient to be absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream. Many beauty products are specifically engineered to penetrate the skin's barrier to deliver the chemicals and create "results."
Here's an example of how careful we need to be – an old standby - Noxzema . Noxzema has been around for 100+ years and most of us know it – many of us have used it. And honestly, it's one of the better creams – "better" in the sense that it has less chemicals than most.
There are 10 ingredients in Noxzema:
* Stearic Acid:
* Linseed Oil
* Soybean Oil
* Ammonium Hydroxide:
* Eucalyptus Oil
* Propylene Glycol
Unfortunately, four of these are quite toxic – even deadly …
1. Stearic acid: is prepared by treating animal fat with water at a high pressure and temperature & it's used in plastics, when making plaster casting and for softening rubber. In skin care products it's neutralized with triethanolamine which has been implicated in cancer, endocrine disruption and irritation of the eyes, lungs and skin!
2. Most products simply say "Fragrance" which means any combination of the cheapest 200 synthetic, chemicals/ingredients. Symptoms reported to the FDA have included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation.In fact, fragrances are the number one common cause of allergies and irritant reactions to cosmetics. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list the ingredients of a "fragrance." When you see the word "fragrance," it can have as many as 4,000 separate chemicals. Clinical observation by medical doctors has shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope with life and other behavioral changes.
3. Ammonium Hydroxide: is a known carcinogen and damages the organs of animals, and thus we must raise questions about its safety for humans.
4. Propylene Glycol: is a cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake and hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. In skin and hair products, propylene glycol works as a humectant, which is a substance that retains the moisture content of skin or cosmetic products by preventing the escape of moisture or water. The Manufacturing Safety Data Sheets used for US industry warn users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
Keep in mind that this is one of the BETTER skin care products! Truly.
So, How Do We Protect Ourselves
It's up to each one of us to educate ourselves so that we don't squander our health and money on junk and/or horrible formulas. And, of course, the best way is to make our own products because then we know EXACTLY what's in them. Safe skin care isn't going to be delivered by the Safe Skin Care Fairy! She's overworked and way too busy to take care of us. We have to take responsibility for ourselves!
A very helpful reader named Carin (thanks! :-) just bought a jar of Noxzema and she says the ingredient list has gotten much worse: Water, stearic acid, linseed oil, soybean oil, glycerin, propylene glycol, fragrance, gelatin, phenoxyethanol, ammonium hydroxide, methylparaben, camphor, menthol, DMDM hydantoin, propylparaben, calcium hydroxide, eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, disodium EDTA, sodium bicorbonate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride. That's awful! I'm sorry to hear that Noxzema has fallen so far.