Why Go Natural?

Natural Skincare - Non Toxic Beauty

In the world of hidden agendas and profit driven marketing, it's natural to be suspicious of yet another "fad". The trend towards non-toxic living is certainly increasing, but why all the hype? If you're not sold yet, may we humbly put forward our earnest thoughts sprinkled with some research and stats and see if we can't clarify the issue? Excellent. 

If you haven't hopped on the natural bandwagon yet, we invite you to take a trip to your bathroom and check out the ingredients of your current facial moisturizer, your shampoo, and your deodorant, as examples. 

In the most popular drug-store brand products, you'll likely find parabens, fragrance, phtalates, cyclopentasiloxane, methylisothiazolinone, triclosan, salicylic acid, benzyl salicylate, octinoxate, phenols and many more. These are all man-made chemicals that have varying degrees on impact on our physiological processes. Some are more noticeable, some results are attributed to other causes, and some are compounded by various other factors. 

The danger is the volume with which we slather ourselves with these products. Our environment is becoming increasingly filled with chemical substances and while the human body has detoxification pathways, they are becoming more and more overburdened by the environmental load of toxins they are exposed to. From pesticides in our foods, to pollutants in the air, to the chemicals in our shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, and face creams. Our bodies are constantly taking on the toxic load and the accumulation of chemicals is bound to have an impact. Some of the most concerningt impacts include affecting gene expression, neurotoxicity, cancer, and endocrine disruption. Chemicals have even been implicated in the rising rates of autism (5) and various other chronic diseases.

That's not to say if you use these products your body will fall apart and your life will be over. But it does give reason to pause and consider are the risks worth it?

Below we took a few and listed what the research says about their potential risks. 

Fragrance: Included for obvious functions. It is a known human immune system toxicant (1, 8 - 12), can lead to organ system toxicity (non-reproductive; 6) and ecotoxicology (2). It is also a hormone disruptor and potential carcinogen (13). 

Parabens: Are included as a preservative. There are several kinds, ranging in severity of risk. At present, five of these synthetic substances are banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union, but not in Canada (8-12, 20-22, 25). Some of the known risks of parabens include immunotoxicity (2, 14), endocrine disruption (1, 5-7, 19, 23, 24), developmental/reproductive toxicity (17, 26), and interfering with gene expression (18). 

Phthalates: Are solvents often included in cosmetics. The published research says some risks include organ system toxicity (2-5), endocrine disruption (6-9), and a wildlife and environmental toxin (10). 

Cyclopentasiloxane: Is a silicone that acts as a conditioner, delivery agent, lubricant and solvent. Its risks are not minor. They include organ system toxicity (non-reproductive) (4), bioaccumulation in wildlife (3, 11), cancer (2, 10), neurotoxicity (6), endocrine disruption (7, 9, 10), and ecotoxicology (4,11). 

There are of course, hundreds of other chemicals in there that we have not listed, but there are many online resources you can use to look up the research and risks for each one. One of our favourites is the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database. You can search by product or by ingredient and even create your own product report if the product you use is not in the system already. 

Why does this matter if we're not eating it? Our skin, being the largest organ in our body, acts as a protective barrier for our organs. With the environmental toxin overload that is now our daily reality, the skin can often get overwhelmed, particularly when we are putting these products directly on our skin. Our skin will absorb the products - that why the nicotine patch and birth control patch work!

Further, many products include chemicals that increase the absorption rate and permeability of the skin - further adding to the amount of substances being absorbed. Products such as salicylic acid are not safe for use during pregnancy because of the rate of absorption through the skin. These not only have an effect of you, but if you are pregnant, also on your child (1, 4).

You may say who cares - what does endocrine diruption, or neurotixicity even mean? I feel fine! 

We're not saying using this products will kill you. Of course not. In fact, you DO likely feel relatively fine. But let us ask you a few questions. Have you ever struggled with weight (8)? Fertility (26)? Painful periods (3)? Have you ever felt like your moods aren't in your control? Get headaches? Digestive challenges? These may be the result of an accumulation of environmental burdens, including your cosmetic and skincare products. 

We do not in any way aim to be fearmongers, but we do hope to educate folks on the risks with cosmetics so that lack of awareness is not what dictates our health and regulatory policy! We also help this knowledge helps you make intentional choices to improve your health and risks and better your life!

With all of the evidence and potential risks, is it worth switching to natural products? YES! Now that there are more and more natural products available, consider making the switch on even a few products. Try our Fruit and Flower Facial Oil and Oil Cleanser- with reasonable prices and evidence - based ingredients there's no reason not to!

Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!

 

RESOURCES:

Fragrance:

1) Anne Birgitte Simonsen, Mette Deleuran, Jeanne Duus Johansen & Mette Sommerlund. 2011. Contact allergy and allergic contact dermatitis in children - a review of current data. Contact dermatitis 65(5), 254-65.
2) EU Ecolabel. Detergents Ingredients Database
3) EU Ecolabel. Detergents Ingredients Database
4) J Elberling, A. Lerbaek, K. O. Kyvik & J. Hjelmborg. 2009. A twin study of 5) perfume-related respiratory symptoms. International journal of hygiene and environmental health 212(6), 670-8.
5) J Elberling, P. S. Skov, H. Mosbech, H. Holst, A. Dirksen & J. D. Johansen. 2007. Increased release of histamine in patients with respiratory symptoms related to perfume. Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology 37(11), 1676-80.
6) Kumar P, Caradonna-Graham VM, Gupta S, Cai X, Rao PN, Thompson J. Inhalation challenge effects of perfume scent strips in patients with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1995 Nov;75(5):429-33.
7) NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
8) SC Rastogi, S Heydorn, JD Johansen & DA Basketter. 2001. Fragrance chemicals in domestic and occupational products. Contact dermatitis 45(4), 221-5.
 9) SCCNFP (The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers). 1999. Opinion concerning fragrance allergy in consumers. A review of the problem. Analysis of the need for appropriate consumer information and identification of consumer allergens. SCCNFP/0017/98 Final. December 1999.
10) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. OPINION on Fragrance allergens in cosmetic products. June 2012
11)Tatyana Hamilton & Gillian C. de Gannes. 2011. Allergic contact dermatitis to preservatives and fragrances in cosmetics. Skin therapy letter 16(4), 1-4.
12) The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers. 2002. POSITION STATEMENT CONCERNING FRAGRANCE CHEMICALS IN DETERGENTS AND OTHER HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS. SCCNFP/0588/02, final.

13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28478814

14) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28683407

Parabens:

1) Byford JR, Shaw LE, Drew MG, Pope GS, Sauer MJ, Darbre PD. Oestrogenic activity of parabens in MCF7 human breast cancer cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2002 Jan;80(1):49-60.
2) CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
3) CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
4) Calafat AM, Ye X, Wong LY, Bishop AM, Needham LL. 2010. Urinary concentrations of four parabens in the U.S. population: NHANES 2005-2006. Environ Health Perspect 118(5): 679-85.
5) Darbre PD, Aljarrah A, Miller WR, Coldham NG, Sauer MJ, Pope GS. 2004. Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours. J Appl Toxicol 24(1): 5-13.
6) Darbre PD, Byford JR, Shaw LE, Horton RA, Pope GS, Sauer MJ. 2002. Oestrogenic activity of isobutylparaben in vitro and in vivo. J Appl Toxicol 22(4): 219-26.
7) Darbre PD, Byford JR, Shaw LE, Horton RA, Pope GS, Sauer MJ. 2002. Oestrogenic activity of isobutylparaben in vitro and in vivo. J Appl Toxicol 22(4): 219-26.
8) EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
9) EC (European Commission of the European Union). 1999-2006. Enterprise Directorate-General Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics. The rules governing cosmetic products in the European Union, Volume 1, "Cosmetics legislation."
10) EU (European Union)- Community Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commission on endocrine disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998. SEC (2007) 1635.
11) EU (European Union)- Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters 2007. Commision on endocrin disruption requested by the European Parliament in 1998.
12) European Commission. 2013. Cosing, the European Commission database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Accessed on March 1, 2013 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/ .
13) FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
14) Harvell, J., M. Bason and H. Maibach. Contact Urticaria and its Mechanisms. Food Chemistry and Toxicology 32(2): 103-112. 1994. (Table 2: Substances identified as capable of causing contact urticaria).
15) IFRA (International Fragrance Assocication). 2010. IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List based on 2008 Use Survey. Accessed online 01/04/2010: http://www.ifraorg.org/Home/News/Latest-News/page.aspx/66?xf_itemId=43&xf_selectionDatapartId=25
16) NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
17) Oishi S., 2002. "Effects of butyl paraben on the male reproductive system in mice," Arch Toxicol. 2002 Jul;76(7):423-9.
18) Pugazhendhi D, Sadler AJ, Darbre PD, 2007. "Comparison of the global gene expression profiles produced by methylparaben, n-butylparaben and 17beta-oestradiol in MCF7 human breast cancer cells," J Appl Toxicol. 2007 Jan-Feb;27(1):67-77.
19) Routledge EJ, Parker J, Odum J, Ashby J, Sumpter JP, 1998. "Some alkyl hydroxy benzoate preservatives (parabens) are estrogenic.," Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 1998 Nov;153(1):12-9.
20) SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PRODUCTS SCCP Extended Opinion on the Safety Evaluation of Parabens Adopted by the SCCP by written procedure on 28 January 2005
21) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) OPINION ON Parabens, COLIPA n P82. December 2010. http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_041.pdf
22) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety SCCS). 2011. Clarification on Opinion SCCS/1348/10 in the light of the Danish clause of safeguard banning the use of parabens in cosmetic products intended for children under three years of age. October 2011. http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_069.pdf
23) Vo TT, Jeung EB. 2009. An evaluation of estrogenic activity of parabens using uterine calbindin-d9k gene in an immature rat model. Toxicol Sci 112(1): 68-77.
24) Vo TT, Yoo YM, Choi KC, Jeung EB. 2010. Potential estrogenic effect(s) of parabens at the prepubertal stage of a postnatal female rat model. Reprod Toxicol 29(3): 306-16.

 26) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2651948225) https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-parabens/

 

Phthalates:

1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11267702

2) EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
3) EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1987 & 2005. Office of Pesticide Programs. Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients in Pesticide Products - Categorized List of Inert (other) Pesticide Ingredients.
4) EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.

 5)NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.

6) Parveen M, Inoue A, Ise R, Tanji M, Kiyama R. 2008. Evaluation of estrogenic activity of phthalate esters by gene expression profiling using a focused microarray (EstrArray). Environ Toxicol Chem. 27(6): 1416-25.
7) Swan SH. 2008. Environmental phthalate exposure in relation to reproductive outcomes and other health endpoints in humans. Environ Res 108(2): 177-84.

8) Harris CA, Henttu P, Parker MG, Sumpter JP. 1997. The Estrogenic Activity of Phthalate Esters In Vitro. Environmental Health Perspectives 105(8): 802-811.
9) Hong EJ, Ji YK, Choi KC, Manabe N, Jeung EB. 2005. Conflict of estrogenic activity by various phthalates between in vitro and in vivo models related to the expression of Calbindin-D9k. J Reprod Dev. 51(2): 253-63.

10)EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule. 

 

Cyclopentasiloxane:

1) CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
2) Dow Corning Corporation. 2005. Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane: A 24-month combined chronic toxicity and oncogenicity whole body vapor inhalation study in Fischer-344 rats. Dow Corning Report No. 2005-1000-54953. 4062.
3) EC (Environment Canada). 1994. Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET). ARET substance list of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals.
4) EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
5) IFRA (International Fragrance Assocication). 2010. IFRA Fragrance Ingredient List based on 2008 Use Survey. Accessed online 01/04/2010: http://www.ifraorg.org/Home/News/Latest-News/page.aspx/66?xf_itemId=43&xf_selectionDatapartId=25
6) Jean PA, McCracken KA, Arthurton JA, Plotzke KP. 2005b. Investigation of octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) as dopamine D2- receptor agonists. Toxicologist 84(S-1):370.
7) McKim JM Jr, Choudhuri S, Wilga PC, Madan A, Burns-Naas LA, Gallavan RH, Mast RW, Naas DJ, Parkinson A, Meeks RG. 1999. Induction of hepatic xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes in female Fischer-344 rats following repeated inhalation exposure to decamethylcyclopenta- siloxane. Toxicol Sci. 50(1):10-19.
8) NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
9) Siddiqui WH, Stump DG, Reynolds VL, Plotzke KP, Holson JF, Meeks RG. 2007. A two- generation reproductive toxicity study of decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) in rats exposed by whole-body vapor inhalation. Reprod Toxicol. 23(2):216-25.

 10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26111607

11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28438492

 General Resources:

1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31142815

2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30692588

3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29281099

4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28948814

5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27984170?log$=activity

 

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