Whilst there are many companies who now make organic products free from toxic chemicals that can harm our health, the biggest one who hasn’t is L’Oreal. They are promoting their products through Ovarian Cancer Awareness. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has identified a number of common carcinogens linked to cancer, many of which are found in L’Oreal’s cosmetics, anti-aging products and even baby shampoos.
Nowadays, we know that our skin, all 10 square feet of it, is not a barrier but a carrier due to the great permeability of our skin. According to Dr Samuel S. Epstein, former professor of environmental health and chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition in USA, carcinogens in cosmetics pose greater risks for cancer than food contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals. The reason being that chemicals taken in orally are absorbed by the intestines and are then taken to the liver to be detoxified whereas chemicals absorbed through the skin go straight into our circulation and organs bypassing the liver. This after all, is why hormone patches work!
Surely, you’re saying to yourself, no one is putting carcinogenic ingredients into cosmetic and skincare products?
There are about 40 substances known as “frank” carcinogens and slightly fewer “hidden” carcinogens. “Frank” defines them as being listed on product labels albeit with complex chemical names that nobody understands, whilst “hidden” means they are not listed but they “hide” in other ingredients. An example according to Dr Epstein would be Lanolin, derived from sheep’s wool and used on babies, nipples of nursing mums and is commonly contaminated by DDT-like carcinogenic pesticides. An example of “frank” carcinogens would be DEA –Diethanolamine and coal tar dyes – Green 5, Yellow 6.
It’s time to check the labels of your best under eye cream, your favourite anti aging night cream and all your anti ageing skincare products.