The Body Burden

Most people I know have tried dieting at some point in life, successfully or otherwise.  We’re constantly made aware of what we’re putting into our bodies, what’s in our food, and how, when, and what we should eat for optimum health.


But what about what we put onto our bodies? What if you knew that the in and on are often the same? Certain chemicals that we apply to our skin can enter our bloodstreams and build up, placing a huge burden on our bodies.


The average British woman applies 515 chemicals to her body every day from cosmetics such as haircare, skincare and make up.  This sounds a lot, but the amount of products in a household soon adds up.  Just think of your body wash, handwash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant… the list goes on.


When we buy products in the supermarkets, pharmacies, and so on, in order to keep them “fresh” for customers to use, they’re packed full of preservatives.  These preservatives are often carcinogenic, hormone disrupting, or skin irritants.  On top of this, many products will contain “fragrance”, which tends to be a catch all term for company “secret formulas” which can contain all manner of harmful chemicals.


So how do we know what’s really in our products?  Ingredients are listed in technical terms (exclusively in most cases).  But a quick glance can give you some idea by the amount of poly-syllabic words on the list.  However, there’s an amazing independent app called Think Dirty.  This app will tell you what’s in your products, and gives them a rating. 0-3 is good, and rated green.  4-7 will have something controversial, and is worth looking into, and these are amber.  Finally scores of 8-10, red,  are definitely worth changing, and are likely rated as such due to possible carcinogens.  You can then click into each product to see why they’ve rated the way they have, and what the effects might be.  You have to be a bit brave to use the app, but the importance of it is soon made clear.


The EWG (Environmental Working Group) found that 80% of personal care products contain ingredients that contain hazardous impurities such as proven carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.  Terrifyingly, in their 2008 study on US teenage girls, they found an average of 16 hormone altering chemicals in their bodies.


However, it’s not all doom and gloom.  The good news is that our bodies can become detoxified over time.  A study done by UC Berkeley found 100 girls that tested positive for 4 of the most toxic chemicals- phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone.  The girls were then given natural products to use for just 3 days, and when tested again, the levels of these chemicals had reduced on average by a third.  So this body burden is reversible, but we have to know about it to do something about it!


By realising the burden we are placing on our bodies, we can start to think about the products that we use and make positive changes to our daily routines.  In turn our health will improve, as will the impact on our environment.  So next time you go to buy a top up of your favourite product, please check the label, check the Think Dirty App, and be sure of what you’re putting into your body.


Tropic uses natural, vegan ingredients to nourish and protect your skin.  We don’t use any of those horrible toxic chemicals, and they’re just not needed in order to achieve fabulous results with our skincare, makeup, or other ranges!



Guest Blogger Ellie Hiam – Discover more here:

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