Personal care

Are There Heavy Metals in Your Lip Gloss?

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What to Do When Your Beauty Routine Is Making You Sick

When it’s time to go out, or you just want to look pretty, it’s easy to reach for your favorite lip gloss. But what if it’s actually making you sick through toxin exposure? 

It seems unfair that an innocent-sounding object like lip gloss or lipstick could actually be harming us! Unfortunately, the truth is these cosmetics are not regulated and most of them contain heavy metals and chemicals that wreak havoc on our health.

Did you know experts estimate the average woman eats 10 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime? (1) Read on to learn how to protect yourself and your family with chemical-free makeup.

Heavy Metals in Cosmetics?

If you haven’t heard much about heavy metals, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Isn’t metal natural? Yes, but when we talk about “heavy metals,” we’re referring to tiny, toxic pieces of metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and many others. Our processes of mining and manufacturing often stir them up and expose us to them in unnatural ways and amounts.

These heavy metals, which can easily be absorbed into our bodies, are hard to get rid of, so when we’re exposed they build up in our bodies and cause many health problems. (More on this in a bit.)

If heavy metals are such a problem, why do we find lead and the others in so many cosmetics?

Obviously, most companies are not adding heavy metals just for the sake of adding heavy metals! Instead, heavy metals often sneak into products by way of the materials used for adding the coloring. The coloring pigments are typically based on either petroleum or minerals, and both of these could include heavy metals. (2)

The Dangers of Heavy Metals in Beauty Products

Having heavy metals in our bodies is linked to many adverse effects on our health. Heavy metals can cause many problems, including: contributing to the development of autoimmune disorders, slowing cellular energy, burdening detoxification channels, causing hormonal imbalances, and affecting behavior and learning in children. (3)

When we use lip gloss or lipstick with lead and other heavy metals, it’s easy to ingest them while our skin also is absorbing the toxins. Once we’re exposed, it’s difficult for our bodies to clear these toxins, which can lead to build up and ever-increasing associated health issues. (4)

  • Lead. Most of us have heard about lead from the way it was removed from house paint and gasoline for its health hazards. However, lead still lingers in our lives today in other places. Surprisingly, lead-free lipstick can be a hard thing to find. Lipstick without lead is important, as lead is linked to many things including developmental/reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, kidney toxicity, and cancer.  (5) (6
  • Cadmium. While cadmium hasn’t had the coverage that lead has, it is still concerning that it is one of the heavy metals found in beauty products. Cadmium is believed to be carcinogenic and cause hormonal imbalances, as well as cause kidney issues. (7) (8)
  • Arsenic. This is another troubling heavy metal that may be lurking in our cosmetics. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, is linked to hormonal issues and infertility, and is a toxicant to many of our bodily systems. (9)
  • Aluminum. Again, aluminum is not something we want to be exposed to. It is linked to brain toxicity, as well as respiratory issues. (10)
  • Mercury. Earning a bad score of 9 from the EWG, Mercury is linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, respiratory issues, and environmental toxicity as well. (11)

Obviously, we want to avoid filling our bodies with these toxic heavy metals! But finding safe lipstick or lip gloss can be so confusing. Are we doomed to never wear make-up again? Fortunately, there are ways to wear non toxic make-up and reduce our exposure to these chemicals, which we’ll talk about soon.

More Problems for Teenage Girls

In addition to all the problems discussed above, teen girls who are exposed to heavy metals face extra issues. When a girl hits puberty, her body is still trying to figure out how to set up her reproductive processes, causing her to be extra sensitive to any disruptions. As we noticed above, heavy metals are closely associated with issues in endocrine and reproductive health. 

When teen girls absorb and ingest heavy metals by using lip gloss or lipstick, this can have lasting implications on their lifelong health. This is when their bodies are learning to function, so disturbances during this time leave their bodies with no picture of what is correct. Additionally, heavy metals easily build up in our bodies throughout our lives, meaning that more exposure at an early age means more heavy metals to deal with later in life. (12)

Is Everybody Doing It?

The search for lead-free lipstick and other safe cosmetics can be daunting. It’s easy to assume that unsafe products wouldn’t be sold; however, the truth is the FDA doesn’t regulate most of the ingredients of cosmetics. In fact, they report: “Cosmetic products and ingredients, and their labeling, do not require FDA approval before they go on the market. There’s one exception: color additives (other than coal-tar hair dyes).” (13)

Since there aren’t strict regulations, it’s important for us as consumers to shop smart. Unfortunately, when tested, almost all cosmetics turn up with heavy metal content, and companies generally don’t engage in the often-expensive process of good 3rd-party testing. (14) (15

So how do you protect yourself and your family?

How to Find Non-toxic Lipstick and Lip Gloss

While there will be very trace amounts of heavy metals in the coloring of any cosmetic, there are steps we can take to greatly reduce our exposure and risk of health issues.

Safer Usage Tips

When using any lipstick, be sure to keep it away from babies and small children, as they are at a higher risk for complications.

If you eat while wearing lipstick, you unfortunately ingest more! To reduce exposure, make sure you wash off your lipstick before you got to bed.

However, the most important tip is to find a quality product, which you can read about below. (16

MY FAVORITE NON-TOXIC LIP PRODUCTS

Beautycounter is the only company I know that engages in third party testing and sets their standards at or below the strictest international guidance for keeping their products safe. (17

Beautycounter offers a perfect, non-toxic lip gloss, which is my daily favorite, as well as great lipsticks.

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I like the sheer lipstick as I don’t like heavy color and it’s so moist and lightweight. But they offer more intense color too that you can layer with a gloss. Browse all their lip products here.

The great news is Beautycounter is currently running a HUGE site-wide sale of 20% off everything! This is the best sale I’ve seen, so this is a perfect time to try out their products or stock up on your favorites. 

Simply enter the code “LOVE” at checkout now through Aug. 13th to receive 20% off your next order! Shop here.

Finding a Non-Toxic Deodorant That Works

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Choose Your Best Natural Deodorant Without Sacrificing Your Social Life!  

When the weather gets warm, it’s a great time to enjoy the sun, have picnics, lounge on the beach…. and put toxins in our armpits? Truth is, most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants are a recipe for toxin build-up and hormonal imbalance. 

Unfortunately, some natural deodorants are a recipe for scaring away friends and may still contain harmful ingredients. Read on to learn how to use healthy deodorant and keep on good terms with your friends, too!

What Happens When We Sweat?

When most of us think of sweating, we believe it mainly cools down our bodies so we don’t overheat. While it’s true our bodies do produce sweat to help us stay cool, that is not its only function.

Our bodies actually produce two types of sweat: we sweat when we’re hot, but we also sweat when we’re nervous. 

  • The eccrine sweat glands are found all over our skin and are responsible for temperature control. They mainly release water and salt, and the liquid typically evaporates quickly to help us cool off. 
  • The apocrine sweat glands are found in the armpits (as well as some other places), and they secrete a fatty fluid as a response to stress. The bacteria living on our skin love to feed on the fatty secretions; unfortunately, this typically results in a bad smell.

Besides cooling us down, sweating is a great way for our bodies to detox and expel harmful toxins. However, detoxing through sweat is often associated with an odor. Since we don’t like smelling bad, it’s easy to turn to antiperspirants to control the issue. 

Using antiperspirants may appear to solve the odor problem, but blocking our bodies’ abilities to expel harmful substances can lead to ever-increasing toxicity, which, in turn, can blossom into a host of chronic health issues.

In addition to helping us detox and cool down, sweating also burns calories, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins, and helps circulation. Definitely not something we want to skip!

What’s in Your Deodorant?

It’s so easy to grab our favorite deodorant and slather it on our skin. But is it safe? 

Did you know most conventional deodorants contain harmful ingredients that have been linked to hormone imbalances, cancer, neurotoxicity and impaired detoxification? 

Since our skin absorbs much of what we put on it, it’s important to read the labels on our personal care products, including deodorant. 

Take a look at some of the ingredients found in many deodorants and antiperspirants:

  • Aluminum/potassium alum - An active ingredient often used to plug the sweat glands, aluminum is suspected of causing hormonal imbalances by mimicking estrogen in the body, and is often connected to breast cancer. But that’s not all. It is also connected to neurotoxicity and respiratory complaints. (1, 2, 3)   
  • Parabens - Parabens typically function as preservatives, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. While that is helpful, parabens have also been linked to hormonal imbalances, as they can mimic estrogen and confuse the body.
  • Phthalates -  Phthalates are used to keep a product flexible. However, again they can mimic estrogen and add to the toxic load on our bodies. (4)
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate - This ingredient is added as an emulsifier, but, same as with the previous products, is a suspected carcinogen and also hinders the body’s detoxification efforts.   (5)
  • Fragrance/parfum - The benefits of adding fragrances to deodorant should be obvious! Unfortunately, the problems outweigh the benefits when we consider that many harmful chemicals can be included under the listing of fragrance or parfum in product ingredient lists, resulting in hormone imbalance and toxicity.

It’s Not Easy...

With such an array of toxicity around us, it can be perplexing to sort it all out! 

Fortunately, healthy deodorant options do exist. 

Unfortunately, many people experience difficulties when trying to switch to non-toxic deodorant. With great hopes they buy an expensive natural deodorant…. but within days they develop painful rashes and skin irritation. Or maybe the product doesn’t even work at odor control! 

When we try natural deodorant and encourage detoxing through sweating, this can invite the stored toxins to the surface, resulting in rashes and a worse odor than ever. It’s tough. Many people get discouraged and give up when the problem gets worse. And that’s understandable. Who wants to spend their days smelling bad, all alone, and with a rash in their armpits? But do we really want to put harmful chemicals into our bodies?

There must be a better way!

Your Best Natural Deodorant Solutions

Our bodies are loaded down with toxins every day. One way to reduce both the smell and the rashes is to address these toxins and help usher them out of our bodies.

Try an Armpit Detox

Strange as an “armpit detox” may sound, this is a fairly easy step with a good track record for helping people transition to natural deodorant.

This is a similar idea to clay face masks, except we put the mask in the armpits instead. Bentonite clay is famous for increasing blood flow to the area where it’s applied and drawing toxins out of the body, so it’s a great choice. 

The armpit detox is simple: using only non-metal utensils and bowls, mix 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay with 1 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar, spread a thin layer in your armpits, and rinse off after 15 minutes. (It may feel warm and tingly, which means the clay is working, but if it starts to hurt, please wash it off immediately.)

This can be repeated daily to help with a transition to natural deodorant, and after that it can be used whenever needed. (https://www.naturallivingideas.com/armpit-cleanse/)

Test Your Toxic Load

If you’re struggling to switch to natural deodorant, chances are your system is overburdened. It’s time to identify and properly eliminate those toxins!  

Many of our clients come to us burdened with heavy metals, mold toxicity, and other chemical toxins. Listen to our recent podcast with founder Bridgit Danner and lead coach Ann Melin to learn more about our approach to testing for different toxins.  

Are you wondering if toxins testing could help you? Schedule a free consultation to explore your options!    

My Favorite Natural Deodorant That Works

I love the NOW Long-Lasting Deodorant Stick because it offers amazing value and unparalleled protection you can really count on. 

It was scientifically formulated, combining natural odor-fighting ingredients: 

  • coconut oil
  • zinc oxide  
  • lavender oil
  • rosemary leaf oil
  • And more!

Click here to view my favorite non-toxic deodorant and see my video review. 

You can take 15% off anything in our personal care category now through August with the the code ‘summer15.’ 

Thanks and happy summer!

Bridgit

High Energy Morning Detox Guide

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