Toxic Beauty: What I Learned About Migraines Today

Would you willingly take a small dose of neurotoxin every single day?

Unfortunately, you probably are already, without even knowing it. Toxins are abundant in the beauty products you may be using daily.

The chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products include skin irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, and carcinogens. The personal care industry is poorly regulated in the U.S., and safety testing of these products is left up to the individual companies.

Although the toxins in personal care products come in very small amounts, they are often applied directly to the skin, where they can be absorbed into your bloodstream within a few minutes.

Toxic Beauty Products

Cosmetics, deodorants, skin- and hair- care products contain heavy metals, petroleum derivatives, known carcinogens, and undisclosed “trade-secret” formulas. For example:

  • Triclosan: a known endocrine disruptor found in deodorant, toothpaste, and antibacterial soaps.
  • Toluene: a neurotoxin used in hair coloring, nail polish and nail polish remover.
  • Resourcinol: can effect thyroid function and cause respiratory problems. It is found in hair dyes, shampoo, and skin care products.
  • Paraben: mimics estrogen inside the body and is used as a preservative in lotions, cleansers, hair care products, and even some foods.
  • Fragrance: a generic term used to describe an array of potentially toxic chemicals that do not have to be disclosed by the manufacturer.

The European Union is starting to regulate many of these chemicals. However, in the United States, there is almost no regulatory oversight of the personal care industry. Since these products are neither food nor drugs, the FDA is simply not that concerned about how they are made.

If you want to learn more about the toxic chemicals used in personal care products, visit the Safe Cosmetics website. There is also an app called Think Dirty that you can install on your mobile device to discover the toxic ingredients in specific products and find safer alternatives.

What I Learned About Migraines Today

Many of these chemicals are endocrine disruptors that specifically impact estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. Some are powerful neurotoxins.

This is truly frightening. Migraineurs simply do not need to be exposed to neurotoxins on a daily basis (not that anyone does, really).

So many women attribute their migraines to estrogen fluctuations throughout their monthly cycle. These same women may be applying estrogen-disrupting chemicals to their skin several times each day without even knowing it.

What do you think? Would you be willing to give up your favorite personal care products if it meant fewer migraines?

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