Health and wellbeing is much more than what we eat and drink every day. Herbal teas and herbal remedies are a great support to a healthy diet and regime but our wellbeing also encompasses our environment, the products we apply to our bodies and the air we inhale.
All these factors have an impact on our health.
Research has shown that the average woman applies more than 500 different synthetic chemicals to her body every day – a veritable cocktail of products – from shampoos & conditioners to body lotions, make-up and perfumes.
And just as concerning is that men are now being encouraged to use products loaded with chemicals as well.
In the book Dangerous Beauty, one of the authors, Professor Peter Dingle who is a nutritional and environmental toxicologist with the Murdoch University, said he believes that society has gone too far in its use of chemicals for cosmetic and skin care.
“Our skin isn’t this rubber outer layer of our body,” he says.
“It’s a living, breathing, integral part of our health and wellbeing and if you start to play with it, then you ends up with problems.”
Prof. Dingle said it was often hard to prove the disruptive effect of chemical cosmetics.
He said because humans put multiple chemicals on their skin every day, it was hard to prove what beauty product was responsible for various health issues.
He says while regulatory authorities closely monitored cosmetics, they didn’t know the cumulative effect.
“How can they regulate if they don’t know how people are using them?” he says.
Many of the chemicals in cosmetics – eye shadow, fake tan, foundation, hair spray, blusher, body lotion, perfume, nail varnish, deodorant, shampoos & conditioners – have documented side-effects.
From skin irritations, possible eye damage, infertility, hormonal disruptions, allergies, disruptions to immune system, possible kidney and liver damage, and (most concerning) links to cancer.
It is not just what these chemicals are doing to the skin, but what they may be doing to organs, such as the kidneys and liver and also whether they are accumulating in soft tissue because the body’s inability to process and eliminate them.
Overseas studies are now investigating the impact these chemicals may have on male infertility, suggesting that a drop in male fertility may be linked to pregnant women using cosmetics that have higher levels of environmental estrogen. But that is a story for another day.
Reducing the number of chemicals in your bathroom cupboard can be simple and affordable.
Warburton Wellbeing in Warburton makes a great range of skin care and hair care products.
Dusk by Adele make a range of simple and beautiful skin care products as well as lipsticks that you can be guaranteed won’t have ingredients linked to cancer.
In health food stores you will find make-up ranges that make your health a priority as well as beauty.
For the enterprising and money saver, make your own skin care and hair care products and make herbal teas an ingredient. That way you know you are using products that your body understands and appreciates.