5 Dangerous Personal Care Products You Use Everyday and What to Use Instead

Most personal care products contain hard-to-pronounce synthetic chemicals and fragrances, many of which are toxic and can be harmful to your personal health – or even increase your risk of cancer.
Just think about how many products you use in your daily routine – deodorant, toothpaste, perfume, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, hair spray and product, lotion and 20 types of makeup products from primer to eyeliner and lipstick.
Now, turn over those products and check out the label – are you concerned with what these products are and how they may impact your health and wellbeing? Well, you should be. But don’t worry, you can choose non-toxic, natural and organic options that are just as effective (or better) as their chemical-filled counterparts.

While the most surefire way to protect and limit your exposure to these potentially cancer-causing chemicals is to change every product (from your eyeliner down to your tampons) to natural and organic, here are a few products that you should swap today to get you started on your path to an all-natural lifestyle:
Ever since you were a teenager (or younger), you have probably been using deodorant on a daily basis to prevent excess sweating and unnecessary body odor. Sweating is a natural bodily process that rids the body of toxins, but antiperspirants clog your pores and suppress your body’s natural urge to eliminate toxins – including the aluminum that keeps you from perspiring in the first place. Yet it is this very aluminum that is said to increase your risk of breast cancer!!

There are hundreds of brands of natural, organic and antiperspirant-free deodorants that mask odors, but do not prevent you from perspiring. Try out sample sizes and see which brands and formulas work best for your body chemistry. Pit pastes, such as that from Primal Pit Paste, are especially easy to use, goes on silky smooth, and keeps you feeling fresh and clean all day.
If you do make the switch, your body will take a few weeks to adjust and eliminate years of trapped toxins; yes, you may sweat and have some odors, but with extra perfume and careful timing (not in the middle of summer), you can make this transition go very smoothly.
Your skin is your largest organ in your body and it is essentially a large sponge that absorbs everything that it meets. Your drugstore lotions and moisturizers may contain aluminum (see antiperspirant above), alcohol (drying agent), other hard-to-pronounce chemicals, as well as synthetic fragrances and color additives. Lotions are the easiest products to make the switch to natural and organic. Try something as simple as organic coconut oil, cocoa butter or jojoba oil.
The same goes for sunscreen, which you slather all over your skin whenever you are outdoors. While your parents may have encouraged you to lather on the SPF since you were a child, that same sunscreen may be causing more harm than good. Your sunscreen probably has one or several ingredients – Oxybenzone, Retinyl Palmitate, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octocrylene and many others – that can disrupt normal hormone operation and be toxic to reproductive systems.
And, whatever product you choose, do not use an aerosol spray that harms the ozone layer and causes you to inhale those nasty chemicals. A great option for you to switch to is a mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, such as The Honest Company SPF 30 Sunscreen. There are hundreds of companies out there that offer these safer formulas, and you can use trial and error to find the right brand for you.
A note of caution: read reviews first before you buy, as many mineral-based sunscreens come out of the tube very white and may not blend well, leaving you with a Casper-like complexion.
Nail Polish
While we all know the importance of great mani/pedi any time of year, your polish most likely contains three to five (or more) toxins that are known carcinogens. A huge wave of brands have come out in recent years that boast to be three free – formaldehyde (aka embalming fluid), toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – while other brands have taken it a step further to be five free – the above three plus formaldehyde resin and camphor.
Some brands are better than others in terms of staying power and color choices, but once you start looking, you will be surprised at how reasonably priced and varied your color options are. Scotch Naturals offers an excellent line that is 3-free, but also made without ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone and heavy metals, and best of all it has no smell at all!

That lovely lather that indicates you hair has received a thorough cleansing is a actually a sign that your shampoo has sulfates and DEA, which strips your hair of natural, necessary oils and may cause cancer. When you make the switch to a sulfate-free shampoo, you will no longer have that rich lather, but your hair will still feel clean and be manageable.
If you want to take it a step further to eliminate even more chemicals from your shampoo, check out YouAligned.com’s article on the No Shampoo Method.

Tips to get you started

Here is a handy list of 12 chemicals to avoid, or the “Dirty Dozen,” which are commonly found in 80 percent of your personal care products:
1. BHA and BHT – These are preservatives in moisturizers and makeup that may disrupt hormones, cause cancer and be harmful to fish and wildlife.

2. Artificial Colors – These include coal tar dyes, phenylendiamine and CI Colors (i.e. Blue No. 1), which have the potential to cause cancer and be full of heavy metals that are toxic to your brain’s development and functioning.

3. DEA (MEA and TEA) – This lathering chemical may cause cancer and be harmful to fish and wildlife.

4. Dibutyl Phthalate – This plasticizer in nail polishes is suspected to be an endocrine disruptor, may negatively affect your reproductive system, and be harmful to fish and wildlife.

5. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives – These sneaky cancer-causing chemicals can go by many names, but avoid products with the word urea anywhere in the ingredients list, as well as DMDM hydantoin, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. A good rule of thumb is to steer clear of words with “eth” in it.

6. Parabens – This preservative can disrupt your endocrine system and may interfere with male reproductive abilities. Guys, take note!

7. Fragrance or Parfum – Many companies get away with using the vague word “fragrance” to disguise what they are putting in your products out of claims of being a proprietary formula. These unknown ingredients can trigger allergic reactions and asthma and are linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. If you don’t know what’s in your product, you should steer clear.

8. PEG Compounds – This chemical is found in cream-based (lotion) products and may cause cancer.

9. Petrolatum – This petroleum-based product is used in hair and lip products to add shine and moisture and may cause cancer.

10. Siloxanes – This chemical is used to soften, smooth and moisturize and is a suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant.

11. Sodium Laureth Sulfate –The key word here is sulfate, and this chemical is used as a foaming agent (along with DEA), both of which may cause cancer.

12. Triclosan – This antibacterial agent (found in toothpaste and soaps) is a suspected endocrine disruption and may decrease your body’s resistance to bacteria and infection.
Your body is your temple and you only get one in your lifetime, so do your best to cherish and nourish it every chance you get. Do your research and know what you are putting on and in your body. To be sure that you are using the very best products to preserve your personal health, it is best to look for products that have all organic-certified, natural ingredients that you know, can identify (cocoa, coconut oil, beeswax, essential oils, etc.) and can pronounce. In good health, from YouAligned.

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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YouAligned. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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