So what does it mean when we say Probioskin is Chemical Free skin care? Why do we keep mentioning this when we talk about our skin care? And why are chemicals even important, or relevant to something which we are putting on our skin?
Skin Care Industry developments
The French Revolution, the industrial revolution, the technology revolution, the biochemical revolution. The world grows and changes at an amazing pace. Never before has it been so true that our planet is a global community, a global village. An idea in Sydney, Australia becomes real in Mumbai, India. A design in Barcelona, Spain becomes a fashion in Philadelphia USA. An article in a local paper in Budapest, Hungary becomes conversation in Ontario, Canada. All happening within 24 hours or less, through social media, phones, email, Skype, travel etc. Development and growth of the skin care industry
Being a part of the skin care industry for twenty seven years, I have seen amazing developments in the growth we have taken with scientific developments, cosmetics, personal care items, make up, deodorants, lotions and potions for face and body. None, more revolutionary than the development of Vitamin A and Alpha Hydroxy Acids, for skin care products. These were in comparison a bit like “man’s first step on the moon” in the skin care world, for results oriented products. The skin care industry hasn’t stopped, with the development of state of the art cellular and molecular techniques. All in the name of everlasting, flawless, youthful skin. We have at our fingertips an amazing selection of cosmetics and personal care products. A virtual sea of bottles and jars filled with everything you can imagine from pure Rose essential oil to snail slime – oh yeah we did say snail slime!
Do you read the label of your skin care?
We also have an alarming amount of cosmetic ingredients that are powerful, but sadly in a way that is not in support of good health or beauty. Pages of chemicals, numbers and words which many of us, do not even question. What they do or why they are there? We trust, that the pretty bottle with the nice smelling pink, blue or white lotion inside, is going to do what the label promises, without thinking for a minute that what is inside could impact on our menstrual cycle by mimicking our own hormones when we apply it to our skin then absorbs into our bloodstream and through our bodies.
Raising awareness of Chemicals in skin care
Our biggest thanks go to groups like The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (SAFE), Environmental Working Group (EWG), The Endocrine Society etc, for maintaining a vigilance and public awareness on the ingredients that are available and being used in cosmetics and personal care. For our health’s sake, there is a vital need for transparency and education with ingredients in foods, cosmetics and personal care items. An “eyes wide open” approach.
As an example, recent activity by The Endocrine Society is bringing to the attention of the French Government, “new statements, outlining key issues relating to identifying EDCs (Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals), and protecting humans and wildlife from their adverse effects”. This statement defines EDCs in terms of being “an exogenous chemical, or mixture of chemicals that interfere with any aspect of hormone action.” Their intent is to create a momentum towards defining their adverse effects and also with raising awareness and accountability in their use in everyday products. Particularly, targeting government bodies with awareness of this knowledge.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
This is important, as there are so many adverse effects with these Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and yet so much controversy as to what “adverse effects” actually means. There is a lot of wide-open space with what is OK to be used in cosmetics and personal care items. That there is an active and esteemed group focusing on one area such as EDCs, shows the very real issue, that is the exposure to these toxic chemicals in our everyday use. Parabens, siloxanes, phthalates and BHA have come under fire in connection with EDCs. These are hormone-disrupting chemicals, found in a wide variety of everyday use items skin care and make up cosmetics, body care, lotions, shampoos.
Parabens are commonly used and are cheap and effective preservatives. Commonly protected as an additive, in that their use is listed as “no scientific basis for concern’ apart from knowing that they are EDCs! Obviously Parabens and the like were appropriate to use in skin care, to both extend the volume of the product, extend the shelf life while raising profit margins as most of the toxic chemicals are very cheap to produce, while making a product consistent in appearance, fragrance and texture. While the advantages of these considerations can be argued as an asset, it is a very real issue that people are being bombarded with a cocktail of chemicals, that have more than the one intended purpose when used, ingested, or applied equals many side effects that are detrimental to physical, mental and emotional health.
Phthalates are a large family of plasticizers used in nail varnishes, perfumes, UV filters, medications etc. Research is showing a link between phthalates and diabetes. Even small amounts of phthalates in our bodies – yes it can be measured in our urine – can double our risk of developing diabetes.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHAs) are used in food, petroleum, cosmetic and hair products to stop fats and oils going rancid. BHAs are a classic example of OK for some, definitely not OK for many others with digestive and nutrient absorption, side effects, vital body system dysfunction reactions etc. There are several studies illustrating pros and cons of BHAs. Yet, at the end of the day, it is it’s unaccountability of action, within the general population through it’s end use and overexposure, that is a very real issue for humans and animals health.
Hormone distribution of Parabens Phthalates and Butylated Hydroxyanisole
There are many more chemicals used in topical-application products. With these three additives being linked to hormone disruption, commonly and widely found in cosmetics and personal care items, it is a vital indication for the need for clearer delineation of and accountability of action, of all of these chemicals being used and as either in individual, or combination effect, in real use environments. What started out as moving forward in health and hygiene and away from food poisoning or using rancid creams on ones face, has magnified and radiated out to exploitation of markets through cheap and questionable additives.
Who should be held accountable for questionable ingredients?
Slowly more and more governments, and the public are becoming aware of the need to restrict the use of Estrogen mimicking substances in personal care items such as shampoo, skin care lotions and deodorants. But, as you can see, when you pick up and read the labels of many, many cosmetics, by the list of ingredients, colours, numbers etc, that not nearly enough is being done to regulate toxic or questionable ingredients. Groups such as SAFE, EWG are urging us to hear them, support them and to develop our awareness around “happy” versus “not happy” ingredients and additives.
Be aware of high exposure to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals!
Many early studies on EDCs and other toxic ingredients have been based on the application of, or exposure to, single chemicals. However, on any one-day, we are being exposed to a cocktail of chemicals, from when we get ready in the morning and walk out the door, to when we come home again in the evening.
Just think of what we do in the bathroom in the morning – antiperspirant, hair clays, gels, layers of make up, mouth washes, fabric softeners for our underwear etc! It is this cocktail of chemicals that is ringing even louder alarm bells as to the exposure our bodies – our immune system – has on a daily basis. Evidence points to danger of the higher levels of toxicity and hormone disruption that occurs when these chemicals we are exposed to, are combined in our bodies. What does this mean for us in real terms?
Chemicals found in cosmetics such as parabens, phthalates, UV filters etc. all add to our daily exposure of endocrine disrupting compounds and we are putting them directly onto our skin to be absorbed into our bloodstream! What does this mean for us in real terms? Well just a few amongst many considerations – increased instances of testicular cancer, reduced semen quality, lymph tissue irregularity and diseases, breast tissue cysts and growths, disruption of menstrual cycles, malformation of reproductive organs of offspring (male and female babies of humans other animals) – when mothers were exposed to a combination of endocrine disrupters – disrupters at concentrations below levels considered safe for individual substances being linked to these health issues. To say that this is a bit scary, is an understatement!
Over 700 Toxic Chemicals every day!
EWG have given reports that on a normal day any one person can be exposed to a minimum of 700 toxic chemicals. “Toxic” as in having some dysfunctional or disruptive effect on personal physical mental health and immune system, either immediately or accumulative, with repeat exposure. That is a lot for one being to absorb, translate and eliminate, on any one day, let alone regularly every week, month, and year! No wonder our skin can be so expressive with break out, acne, pigmentation or “age spots”, dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis. We can see our skin struggling – it is curious to think what our liver, spleen, kidneys, bowel … looks like!
A 2009 seminar of the Endocrine Society in Denmark concluded “… current concept for risk assessment of chemicals in personal care and cosmetic items, is insufficient to protect against possibility of combination effects … serious consideration of chemical risk assessment is needed. We hope this problem will be addressed and dealt with in the present times rather than later, … in the interests of human health and the environment.” Probioskin hope so too!
What are Probioskin.com doing to stop chemical exposure
In the meantime, speaking for ourselves, Probioskin are hugely motivated with our skin care to maintain a “NO GO” profile with ingredients toxic or detrimental to either human or wildlife. This includes sustainable and ethical sourcing of ingredients, where possible fair trade and always non GMO, No palm oil sustainable or not, and animal cruelty free.
With a passion for Alchemy and respect for Natures impeccable intelligence, we see no reason to corrupt our vegan formulas made with bioactive ingredients that are incredible gifts of Nature, with toxic chemicals. Our formulations are in harmony with the people they are created to benefit and beautifully balanced, to love and nurture skin, not infect it!
Our belief is, we must address our internal biology with our external environment to have the balance we require to thrive, grow, live and be happy. For true beauty we must nourish and nurture what we put in, and what we put on, our bodies.
“The whole universe is bound by the law of causation. There cannot be anything, in fact – either internal or in the external world – that does not have a cause and every cause must produce an effect.” Swami Vivekananda
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