Health Vitamins & Nutrition Centre, Langley BC
Skin Deep Part III of III
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, "there are at least 12 ingredients in beauty products [that] aren't that pretty". Not only are these ingredients harmful to us and our bodies, they are toxic to our environment too!

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is found in soaps, shampoos, and basically anything that lathers up into a nice foamy bubbly product. SLS breaks up dirt molecules on our skin and that is why it lathers. Most of us tend to think that bubbles equal good hygiene because that is how we were raised and almost every advertisement about a cleaning agent usually has the beautiful bubbles we have grown to love. SLS is also a skin irritant so if you are struggling with dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) then check the levels of SLS in your products or discontinue their use altogether.

Parabens are a common component not only in skin care, but in our food as well, where they are added in as a preservative. These extend the 'shelf life' of a product because they essentially kill bacteria and fungus - imagine what this is doing in and out of your body; parabens have even been linked to certain kinds of cancers! The most well known paraben is called Methylparaben and it is thought to be a cause of breast cancer in women.

Ever wonder when you see a colour in an ingredient list why there is usually a set of numbers after it? This is an identifying number in what is known as the "Colour Index" and can vary from country to country. According to the Colour Index International the identifying numbers for natural dyes is 75000-77999. Some colours are made using heavy metals and there is a question as to whether we can get metal poisoning by using these!

Have a look at your ingredients to see what kind of dyes you might be ingesting and slathering all over your body.

Fragrances can be irritating to our bodies and are horrible for our ecosystems. Even items marked as 'unscented' can have fragrance in them so be sure to always check your ingredients!

Botox is becoming more and more accepted and used in our day and age. Many men and women are flocking to their dermatologists and local spas to discuss this treatment. Botox was initially used to treat muscle spasms (it paralyzes our muscles) and some people noticed that their wrinkles would go away for a period of time (about 4 months). Although it is said to be painless, your wrinkles go away, and it is a fairly quick procedure, the cons might outweigh the pros.

BBC News reported that botulinum toxin, a.k.a. Botox, is the most poisonous substance known to man! Then why is it used countless times a day all over the world for various medical procedures?

Some individuals need Botox-like injections if they suffer from hyperhydrosis or muscle spasms, but I encourage them to speak with their doctors about alternative treatments.

Nail polish adds flare and fun to our paws, but at what cost? Not only does oxygen have a difficult time crossing the nail polish to get to our nail beds, the polish is filled with chemicals, metals and toxins. Some of the chemicals can cause lung problems, damage the nervous system, and can potentially harm unborn babies.

If you are like me and still like to have a mani/pedi every now and then, opt for water based nail polish and bring your own with you if you go to a salon. Remember that eventually you will want to remove the polish and try to find a remover that isn't chock full of chemicals, because the removers are usually more toxic than the nail polish!

There are many beauty products and even more myths about them so when you find the product that works for you research, research, research! If you need help or have questions that you just can't seem to find the answer to come talk to us and we will help you!

There are many websites out there that will help you learn about what dangerous chemicals lie deep in your refreshing body wash or minty toothpaste. My favorite, although it isn't as current as I would like, is

We hoped you enjoyed our three part series on beauty and we would love to hear back from you about your thoughts on the subject.

Edited by Kat Thomas
References:, "Dirty Dozen Cosmetic Chemicals To Avoid", Colour Index International
BBC News Magazine Online "The Drugs Derived From Deadly Poisons"

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