Skin Deep: Educate Yourself About What You Are Putting On Your Body
You don’t drink chemicals that would harm you, do you? You don’t eat chemicals that you don’t recognize, do you? And you don’t put products on your skin and hair that contain chemicals that are dangerous, do you? If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of the above questions, it’s time you reconsidered what you’re doing to yourself. And perhaps to your spouse’s body, your children’s bodies, and to any guests’, family’s and friends’ bodies.
Consider this: Our skin is the single largest organ of our bodies. A high percentage of what we put on it – some estimate the percentage as high as 60% -- goes directly into our systems.
My wife brought it home to me a few years ago when I insisted on putting a better brand of gasoline in our car rather than simply the cheapest kind. “You go to the trouble to read about octane levels, cleaner emissions, employment practices, and environmental impacts when you choose a gasoline for your car,” she said. “Why don’t you go to the same effort to protect your body as you do to protect your car?”
I didn’t have an answer then, but I do now. Because now I do go to the same trouble to find out just what it is that I’m putting into and on my body. You should too. When I started looking at the ingredients in what I ate and what I put on my body – I was astounded. And not pleasantly so.
When I first started looking at ingredient names I couldn’t spell or pronounce, much less understand, it took a lot of work to look them all up. Now you can check what you put on your body much more easily – by simply visiting the website “Skin Deep”. At Skin Deep, you can type in your product name and simply hit return – all the ingredients are listed for you with their respective rating as to risk. The search feature is easy to use, costs you nothing, and could save your and your family’s good health.
Skin Deep is a personal care product safety guide with in-depth information on 14,841 products (1,032 brands of lotion, lip balm, deodorant, sunscreen and other popular products) and the 7,093 ingredients that they contain. With its core of 37 toxicity and regulatory databases, Skin Deep provides safety ratings and brand-by-brand comparisons that can help consumers choose safer products. Skin Deep was conceived and developed by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. focused on safeguarding public health and the environment.
Perform your own personal chemical inventory. Go to your bathroom and read all the ingredients on all your bottles and jars of lotions, moisturizers, balms, body washes, shampoos and conditioners. Make a list of any – and there will be many – ingredients you don’t recognize and understand. Then go to the Skin Deep website and look them up. Find out just what kind of gauntlet you are unconsciously running every morning when you get ready to go to work.
To check your products for questionable ingredients, go to the Skin Deep website product search page: http://www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php. If you have further questions, go to http://www.vashonorganics.com for more information or to ask questions.
About the Author: Steve Reed is Senior Partner at Vashon Organics, an online distributor of organic and natural personal care products. He is also the author of PEBBLING THE WALK; SURVIVING CANCER CAREGIVING, a book for caregivers. Reed’s experience includes technical writing, healthcare writing, non-fiction, novels, and journalism.