Are Toxic Phthalates Lurking On Your Skin?
By Jill Anenberg Lawrence, NLC
We all know the feeling. It’s been a long day so you treat yourself to a vanilla scented bubble bath.
Your face feels a little dry and a cooling cucumber mask is just what the doctor ordered.
The hell with it, let’s open the purple body scrub that smells like grapes and slather it all over.
Do not disturb Mama, this girl needs a restful detox soaking in her … wait for it… a phthalates filled toxin bath?!
While you’re lying in the tub have you ever turned over your bubble bath and read the ingredients label? If you did, you’d jump your naked self right out of that chemical filled water!
Or have you wondered, “What in the world makes my shampoo smell so good?” Well it’s nothing from mother nature that’s for sure. You can thank (or smack) scientists in a lab for creating fragrances that contain hundreds of chemicals that are crazy toxic to our health.
So those vanilla, cucumber and grape products that were supposed to feed your soul actually feed your cancer cells, hormones and more.
The word that defines this class of chemicals is as hard to pronounce as it is for our bodies to digest. Ok say it with me, phthalates. Yup I felt like a jackass the first time I attempted to pronounce this word too. Let me break it down phonetically: Thal – Late.
Here’s the definition from my buddies over at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. They are used in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic clothes (raincoats), and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes).”
Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it’s absorbing every single thing we put on it. Just as you wouldn’t go out with someone who you know is going to break your heart, why put lotions on your body that you know are going to make your skin cells cry?
4 Reasons to Avoid Phthalates
- The National Toxicology Program lists phthalates as, “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
- DEHP (a class of phthalates) causes liver cancer in lab animals and the Environmental Protection Agency considers it a probable carcinogen.
- The National Toxicology Program concludes high levels of DINP (another class of phthalates) may adversely affect human reproduction or development.
- Other human and animal studies have found links to birth defects, decreased sperm counts and damaged sperm, increased risk of developing behavioral problems, premature birth, and respiratory difficulties in children with bronchial obstruction (such as asthma).
How to Ditch Phthalates From Your Beauty Routine
Alright, so how do we prevent smothering phthalates all over our beautiful bodies? Check out every product’s backside.
If there’s any ingredient with the following words: fragrance, fragrance blend, parfum or any version of the word paraben, put that sucker back on the shelf.
The scary thing is you’ll rarely see this chemical straight up listed as a phthalate; it usually comes in the form of a fragrance.
Companies don’t have to list what the “fragrance” is comprised of claiming it’s a trade secret. The other secret is that their secret can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. When a scent stays with you for a long time, think, that’s phthalates sinking their teeth in like a snake injecting you with poisonous venom.
Another upside, they’re almost always Cruelty Free. My two rescue dogs just licked my face for not testing on them.
Before you soak, dip, scrub and get intimate with any product, have a date with The Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org, and they’ll rate your product on a scale of 1-10 for toxicity and define exactly what’s in it.
From here on out, any fragrance means no first base with me!
About Jill: Jill Anenberg Lawrence is a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach, and is certified through Nutritious Life and The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill also whips butts into shape as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer releasing humorous exercise videos on YouTube with silly cameos of her two rescue dogs. Raised by very health conscious parents, a health food store outing being a reward, a healthy lifestyle has always been second nature and a topic she’s consistently asked about. Health and fitness are Jill’s second passion after laughing so hard her abs get a workout. After many years performing stand-up making people laugh, she’s transitioned that love of entertaining to her true passion, educating others on health and wellness while keeping it fun & edgy!