Is Your Skin Care Killing You?

Marisol Moran

The organic trend is here to stay, and it has even taken over the daily skin care routine of many people. This new push comes as no surprise with this trend's emphasis on what is being put into the body. However, what does come as a surprise is the fact that many lotions, cosmetic, and skin care products contain chemicals that are linked to cancer, which includes men's products as well.

As reported by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), skin care products are comprised of ingredients that are either known or suspected of being carcinogenic, toxic to the reproductive system, or even disruptive to the endocrine system, which produces and regulates the body's hormones. As the EWG further stipulates, some of these dangerous ingredients include "coal tar and formaldehyde, both human carcinogens, and lead acetate, a developmental toxin."

Worsening the condition and image of skin care for Americans is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not strictly regulate the ingredients that go into the myriad of daily used products like shampoo, soap, lotion, and cosmetics.

"With the exception of color additives and a few prohibited ingredients, a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that color additives used in cosmetics must be tested for safety and be listed by FDA for their intended uses."

The skin is the largest organ of the body and naturally absorbs what is applied topically. Given that, many products, like lotions, are designed to be more effectively absorbed by the skin, and application could prove problematic when products are comprised of harmful chemicals.

Per Live Strong, many products are made with penetration-enhancing chemicals that push the harmful toxins that they contain quicker and deeper into the skin and blood stream. In that, scientists have even found these same skin care ingredients in human tissue.

"Scientists have found many common cosmetic ingredients in human tissues, including phthalates in urine, preservatives called parabens in breast tumor tissue and persistent fragrance components in human fat."

The aforementioned findings give light to the sudden popularity of the organic and all-natural skin care trend. However, these products are still not easily accessible to all. Many, like melanoma and thyroid cancer survivor Hillary Peterson and actress Jessica Alba, have created their own organic beauty lines to meet the needs of this burgeoning market.

Although the majority of skin care products, especially the all-natural and organic kind, are directly marketed to women, men have healthy skin care options as well. Organic skin care lines such as RSVP and Marin Goods Co. are directly advertised and designed for men. In that, everyone has the opportunity to organically revamp his or her daily skin care routine in an effort to live long, healthy lives.

[Featured image courtesy of Pip/Flicker]