If we are what we eat, then we are even more what we put onto our skin. The surface of our body makes up our largest organ and it is fully receptive to everything that touches it. All ingredients applied to the surface of the skin are immediately taken into the bloodstream of the body without defense. So it is extremely important to approach this layer with care and caution. The problem is, those who would ‘guard our best interests’ have less strict regulations for what can go into body care products than what goes into food. From this we are left vulnerable and on our own to determine whether that list of petrochemicals displayed on the side of the lotion is okay for application. Since we are never warned otherwise, we generally assume these things to be safe and go along slathering on the lotion, shower gel and using feminine products which contain toxic chemicals. Are you welcoming toxins in through your skin?
What is considered a toxin? Where do we get that word? According to the online dictionary, a toxin is: “A poisonous substance, especially a protein, that is produced by living cells or organisms and is capable of causing disease when introduced into the body tissues but is often also capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies or antitoxins.” In the case of the toxins being referred to within body care products, they are those being produced by the living organisms known as humans. Are we capable of creating antibodies against toxic substances that were created in laboratories? There are many levels at which this could be answered.
On the one level, we perceive reality from a very physical, cause and effect position. Toxins, which are anything non-beneficial to the body, which may- instead of promoting health- promote dis-ease – effect our body negatively when we consume them. On another level of reality, according to quantum physics, anything we take into the body can be countered by the mind, thereby NOT producing a negative effect, even if it ‘proven’ in a trial study with thousands of others to do so. On the other end of the spectrum, we may be able to transform ‘harmful’ substances into beneficial ones by the power of our intention. This would be considered an advanced perspective. Few in the world hold this view point currently.
On the level that many to most people are living, it is important to consider the products and ingredients that are being placed on the skin on a regular basis. Because, before you can start advancing your perspective as to the effect each thing has on you, you must first become aware that such a power within you exists. This generally cannot happen while lathering harsh materials on your skin made to remove grease from the floors of auto-body shops and inserting chlorine-bleached tampons into your most sensitive areas on a monthly basis.
In order to transcend the toxins, we must first rise above them physically, and then it matters not what we use – so long as we do so in consciousness. To the first level of perception regarding this concept we will now speak.
RealFarmacy on-line recently published an amazing article highlighting the toxins found in most feminine hygiene products including chlorine bleach. The article addressed how when natural, organic pads and tampons are lit on fire, they burn clean and easy with very little smoke. However, when pads and tampons of national brands such as Always, Kotex, Stay-free and the like are burned, they release a black smoke and smell awful – cluing us into the ‘unrevealed’ ingredients which their manufacturers don’t have to list due to the products being labeled as ‘medical supplies.’
Considering the proximity to sensitive areas of the body these products are placed, the ingredients in them ought to be of some concern to those who truly believe in cause and effect. The inclusion of “dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives” are all culprits in the black smoke effect found when burning most feminine products. Some have reported that the equivalent of 4 plastic bags is contained in each sanitary napkin.
As far as other products go, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, face creams and antiperspirants contain a myriad of questionable products which ought to be highlighted for ones own awareness. Namely, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfates are two of the main chemicals in question found in so many products today. Propylene glycol is a main ingredient in antifreeze derived from petroleum. Many, including the Food and Drug Administration, recognize this substance as safe in small quantities. I guess it is up to you to determine if you are ingesting a small enough amount in your daily use of all the products which contain it. It is also up to you to decide if petroleum based products are beneficial to be applying topically to your body when there are obvious natural options available which only benefit the skin.
Sodium lauryl sulfates is a surfactant that causes bubbles. This is the much loved foam you get when brushing your teeth and washing your hair, but did you also know that this same ingredient is used in floor cleaners and has been known to cause cancer? The companies who use it know this and will admit to it when calling them, but all agree that nothing else makes the bubbles quite like this popular ingredient. Are bubbles really that important? Do they really show that something is being cleaned? I guess that is what most people believe and desire.
Many national agencies have reported Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as a safe ingredient to be used even in food products. Again, I guess it is up to you how many known toxins you want to be putting directly into your blood stream on a daily basis.
Just so you know how easy it is to not use chemicals, here are a few ideas as replacements to your ordinary toxic body care products.
- Baking soda as a shampoo, raw apple cider vinegar as an occasional hair rinse
- coconut oil as a body lotion, face cream, deodorant and tooth/gum disinfectant
- organic cotton tampons and pads or the use of a Diva Cup and Glad Rags
- Chemical-free products by: Burt’s Bees, Aubrey Organics and Earthpaste toothpaste
- Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap – pure and simple – use as laundry soap, body soap, shampoo, dish soap and more
- Essential oils instead of toxic air fresheners and ‘Glade Plug-ins’
- Natural essential oil and herb based ointments for first-aide including simple lavender oil as a disinfectant
There are so many simple and inexpensive alternatives to chemicals. When you go without the chemicals you become more sensitive to what they are actually doing to your body. Once you are free and clear of them in your life, you will never want to go back. If you are met with the times when you have no other option – like sleeping over at the in-laws where they only have Tide laundry detergent and you need to wash your one pair of jeans – you’ll be able to handle it, no problem.
As life becomes cleared out of toxic chemicals, the body is able to build up to be stronger and more capable of dealing with them on an occasional basis. It is after this time when the perspective can shift that that of transcending the toxins all together. Before then, when you are still living in the land of cause and effect, it might be a good idea to observe if you are welcoming toxins in through your skin? A good meter for judging is to make sure you know what all the ingredients on the ingredient list are. If you don’t know what something is, you can’t even pronounce it and it looks like a chemical name rather than a plant, it might be best to avoid putting it through your skin. At least until you know how to rise above it.
Written by: Stasia Bliss