Ever wondered what the big deal is about using more natural shampoo or soap or even makeup? Maybe it makes sense why we’d want to be careful with the things that actually go in our mouths (ie. food or toothpaste), but why do products that simply go on our skin make a difference?

Have you ever received a topical prescription from a doctor, such as an anti-fungal or anti-bacterial cream? Or used a topical pain reliever for a mouth sore (or for your baby’s teething)? What about a birth control patch that slowly releases hormones?

Why do these products work so well when applied to our skin, rather than taken orally?

The reason is that our skin readily absorbs chemicals and other substances deeper into our body– through our skin layers, into muscles and fat, and ultimately into our bloodstream. That pretty shade of Champagne eye shadow does not just float around on the outer layer of your skin until you wipe it away before bed that evening. No, it penetrates deeper and deeper into your body throughout the day.

Today you can find me writing at Simple Organic, on the topic of Identifying and Avoiding Toxins in Beauty and Personal Care Products.

I explore why we need to be concerned about the products we use, the regulation of product ingredients, the impact of small amounts of toxic chemicals, and more.

I also went to great lengths to list all of the most common and dangerous ingredients that should be avoided, in items like shampoo and conditioner, soap and body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, hair styling products (hairspray, mousse, gel), nail polish, makeup, skin cleansing and lotion, and perfumes. Grab your own personal care products, pull up a chair and read through the ingredient lists carefully (comparing them to the lists I’ve made) to help you determine the safety of what you’re already using.

Don’t worry, after you’ve groaned and gasped at the toxins in the products you use and love, I give some suggestions and links to help you choose something better!

How important is it to you to choose non-toxic personal care and beauty products? What are some of your favorites?

Image by joerg73