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Skin Care Dangers

Putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, when you ingest something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break down the material and flush it out of your body.

When you put these chemicals on your skin, it is absorbed straight into your blood stream without filtering of any kind, so there's no protection against the toxins and other chemicals you are absorbing. These chemicals are going directly into your organs .

It's no wonder that they have been linked to deadly side effects like cancer. Parabens may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216, have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.

by: Dr. Mercola

Vitamin D, the Sun, and Cancer Provention

For decades, researchers have puzzled over why rich northern countries have cancer rates many times higher than those in developing countries and many have laid the blame on dangerous pollutants spewed out by industry.

But research into vitamin D has shown: that cancers and other disorders in rich countries aren't caused mainly by pollutants but by a vitamin deficiency known to be less acute or even non existent in poor nations.

The main way humans achieve healthy levels of vitamin D is not through diet but through sun exposure. (Eliseo Fernandez/Reuters) Only 10 or 15 minutes a day in the sun — are needed to make high amounts of the vitamin.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large — twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking — it almost looks like a typographical error.

Anyone practising sun avoidance has traded the benefit of a reduced risk of skin cancer — which is easy to detect and treat and seldom fatal — for an increased risk of the scary, high-body-count cancers, such as breast, prostate and colon, that appear linked to vitamin D shortages.

"Fifteen hundred Americans die every year from [skin cancers]. Fifteen hundred Americans die every day from serious cancers."

The amounts of vitamin D received from food are minuscule compared to what is needed for cancer prevention. As it is, the 400 IU dosage included in most multivitamins is too low to be an effective cancer fighter.

Vitamin D, unlike other vitamins, is turned into a hormone, making it far more biologically active.

Excerpts from: Saturday's Globe and Mail - April 28, 2007

MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT

Parabens

Researchers from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry of Brunel University in the UK conducted a study that found that the alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (that is, methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, and butylparaben) are weakly estrogenic. In other words, these preservatives have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body. They found butylparaben to be the most estrogenic. The study found that parabens can cause these adverse (oestrogenic) effects when injected under the skin of laboratory animals.

The researchers believe that parabens that might be absorbed through the skin of pregnant women may act like an alien female hormone, affecting the development of the fetus, especially in regard to male fetuses' future fertility. Professor John Sumpter, one of the researchers, wrote an article in The Independent where he expressed concerns that parabens may play a role in explaining why sperm counts have been falling in men and breast cancer in women is on the rise. However, the professor noted that the clinical results were based on animal studies only, and that human trials have not been done.

Before You Wash and Rinse, Check The Label Studies Raise Concerns About How Parabens Affect Human Hormones

By Dan Shapley

The concern about man-made chemicals that mimic the body's hormones is growing ever wider. Socalled endocrine disruptors are common, and are of a growing concern because they are active in such minute quantities just like natural hormones.

A story in today's Chicago Tribune details the rash of studies about parabens a common class of chemicals found in skin care products, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants and other personalcare products. These preservatives are used to keep bacteria and other nasty things at bay while products sit on the shelves.

Paraben is also found in human blood and urine, and has even been detected in breast tumors. Some forms of breast cancer have been linked to endocrine disruptors, though the specific culprit or more likely conspiracy of culprits has not been identified.
The good news is that there are alternatives on the market that use natural alternatives. To find out if your favorite products are free of parabens, look for these words in ingredient lists: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben or benzylparaben.

Sodium Laureth Sulfates Sodium Lauryl Sulfates

Commonly used in most soap, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are foaming agents, known as surfactants.

The use of sodium laureth sulfate in childrens products is particularly worrying. It is known that, whether it gets in the eyes or not, skin application DOES lead to measurable concentrations in the eyes of children. This is known to affect eye development, and the damage caused in this manner is irreversible. If you have children DO NOT USE products containing sodium laureth sulfate or SLS - they will thank you for it one day.

According to the American College of Toxicology, "tests show permanent eye damage in young animals from skin contact in non-eye areas".

In other words, because SLS is absorbed through the skin, it can cause PERMANENT eye damage WITHOUT ever directly coming into contact with your eyes. As a result, you would expect that children’s products would be SLS-free. Unfortunately not, most children’s shampoos contain just as much SLS as those for adults.

Sodium laureth sulfate is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of the main effects of SLS is to mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen. This has many health implications and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where estrogen levels are known to be involved.

Why is a dangerous chemical like SLS used in our soaps and shampoos?

The answer is simple - it is cheap.

Products commonly found to contains SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate are: Shampoos, Bubble Baths, Body wash, Soap, Face Cleansers, Moisturizers, Shaving Cream, Sun Cream, Tooth paste

Do not believe that just because a product is labeled as "natural" it is free from SLS or sodium laureth sulfate. Most common brands of "Natural" or "Herbal" shampoos and cleansers still use these harmful chemicals as their main active ingredient - check your labels!

Shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA. Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30%, which the ACT report called "highly irritating and dangerous".

The Journal of the American College of Toxicology report states that "Other studies have indicated that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain from skin contact. This poses question of it being a serious potential health threat to its use in shampoos, cleansers, and tooth pastes."

Carcinogens Found in "Organic" Personal Care Products

A new study commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) found that many leading "natural" and "organic" brand shampoos, body washes, and lotions contain the carcinogenic contaminant 1,4-Dioxane.

1,4-Dioxane is considered a chemical "known to the State of California to cause cancer.” It is a byproduct of the cancer-causing petrochemical Ethylene Oxide, which is used as part of a short-cut process called Ethoxylation, which makes harsh ingredients milder.

1,4-Dioxane is also suspected of being a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant and respiratory toxicant, among others, according to the California EPA. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.

Some of the leading organic and natural brands found to contain 1,4-Dioxane include:

• JASON Pure Natural & Organics
• Giovanni Organic Cosmetics
• Kiss My Face
• Nature’s Gate Organics

To avoid 1,4-dioxane, OCA recommends reading ingredient labels and avoiding products with indications of ethoxylation, which include: "myreth," "oleth," "laureth," "ceteareth," any other "eth," "PEG," "polyethylene," "polyethylene glycol," "polyoxyethylene," or "oxynol," in ingredient names.

Sources:
Organic Consumers Association March 14, 2008


Phthalate Toxicity

Phthalates are a group of synthetic plastics which are used to soften or “plasticize” hard plastics. Phthalates are often added to cosmetics to provide flexibility, impart an oily “moisturizing” film, and help dissolve and fix other ingredients. In addition, phthalates serve as solvents in fragrances and as denaturants in alcohols.

Phthalates often used in cosmetics have been banned in the European Union. However, in the USA, these phthalates are still being widely used and are commonly hidden on ingredient labels under the term “fragrance.” Pregnant women, babies and pubescent young adults are especially at risk. Phthalates display a variety of toxic effects in animal studies following chronic exposure or even after short-term exposures in particularly vulnerable organisms. These effects include damage to the liver, kidney, heart, and lungs as well as adverse effects on reproduction, development, and blood clotting.

Reproductive and developmental effects
In general, the monoester metabolite of the parent phthalate compound is thought to be responsible for adverse reproductive and developmental effects of phthalates. In animal testing, impacts include decreased fertility in females, fetal defects, reduced survival of offspring, birth defects, altered hormone levels, and uterine damage. Phthalates that display one or more of these effects include BBP 39 40 41 44 64 109 121, DBP40 92 131, DEP 52 92, DHP 92, DIDP 75 155, DINP 64 114 150,

MBP38 130, MDP 43, and MEHP 97 129. In males, phthalates cause prostate damage, femalelike areolas/nipples, and reproductive malformations in infants, including altered hormone levels, testicular atrophy, reduced sperm production and motility and undescended testes.

NOTE:
To ensure you are not using products with Phthalate toxins, stay away from all products that have “fragrance” listed in the ingredient list. Use only skin care products made with essential oils for a natural aroma.

Common chemical may cause defects in baby boys By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

For the first time, scientists have shown that pregnant mothers exposed to high but common levels of a widely used ingredient in cosmetics, fragrances, plastics and paints can have baby boys with smaller genitals and incomplete testicular descent.

The paper, published Friday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that the more a mother was exposed to the chemicals, called phthalates (THAL-ates), the greater the chance her boy's reproductive development would be harmed. Similar changes have led to decreased semen quality and fertility in rodents.

"We'll follow our children to see what the consequences are," says lead researcher Shanna Swan, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine.The changes described in the federally financed study were seen at phthalate levels found in one-quarter of the female population in the USA.

The study tested levels of four kinds of phthalates in the urine of pregnant women. Researchers later examined 134 of the baby boys 2 months to 30 months old who were born to those women.

Previous work had shown that prenatal phthalate exposure in rodents can critically affect male hormones, resulting in impaired testicular descent and smaller genital size. The Swan study is the first to look at effects in humans.

While none of the boys showed clear malformation or disease, in the 25% of mothers with the highest levels of phthalate exposure, the odds were 10 times higher that their sons would have a shorter than expected distance between the anus and the base of the penis. This so-called AGD measurement is a sensitive indicator of impacts on their reproductive system.

A statement from the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association said the "use of phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products is supported by an extensive body of scientific research and data that confirms safety."

But, Swan says, no one had ever studied phthalate exposure in infant boys. "It's way premature to have concern," says Marian Stanley, who manages the Phthalate Esters Panel of the American Chemistry Council in Arlington, Va. "More study is needed."
Andrea Dunaif, chief of endocrinology at Northwestern University, called the findings "strong evidence in humans that this endocrine-disrupting chemical is associated with changes in boys."

The changes are subtle, but male infertility rates appear to be rising, she said, and it's hard to know if the problem is environmental or just diagnosed more often. "The public health implications are enormous."

The Benefits of Skin Brushing

To begin the daily practice of brushing your skin, you will need a body brush that has natural bristles. Skin brushing is best done right before a bath or a shower.

Many detox programs suggest or use skin brushing as a part of their program. Skin brushing helps to stimulate blood and lymph flow and helps to eliminate toxins from the body.

The benefits of brushing your skin are:

* Removes dead skin cells
* Rejuvenates and helps to regenerate new skin cells
* Stimulates blood and helps lymph drainage
* Helps to eliminate toxins from the body and skin
* Helps combat cellulite
* Creates a smooth, vibrant and healthy skin

I recommend the following technique:

Remove all of your clothing and sit in a comfortable position. Begin by brushing the sole of one of your feet and brush upwards. Move further along towards your ankle and lower leg. Then do the same on the other foot, ankle and leg.

Now stand up and begin to brush your upper legs and your buttocks. Move the brush in an upward motion (towards your heart). Now brush your back, if you cannot reach all of your back you can use a towel by rubbing your back with the towel (make sure that the towel is dry).

Now brush your arms and hands in an upward motion. Then begin to rub your stomach very gently in a circular motion (preferably in a clockwise direction) and do the same with your breast area. Now brush your neck and upper chest in a more downward motion, towards the heart. Gently brush your face (including your ears). You are now ready to take a shower or bath.