Carcinogens on your skin?

There is a lot of hype and bias about the safety of cosmetics and skin care products.  I try to muddle through but it’s very murky waters my friend.

Environmental group web sites blast the skin care industry and often, in my opinion, seem to have a lot more scare tactics in their reports than full disclosure.  The skin care industry blasts back.  Both sides have some legitimate claims.

Paraben (a preservative) safety is hotly debated yet no casual link has been made between them and breast cancer. Wikipedia seems to have an unbiased report about findings and disputes regarding parabens.  Basically there should be more testing and research.  Does long term use of products with parabens lead to cancer or alter estrogenic activity?  No one knows 100% either way.

I think… better safe than sorry.  It’s not hard to find paraben-free products.  I’ve started buying paraben-free when I can, but honestly am not altering my families lifestyle because of it.

A few things that seem to be no brainers:

Petroleum jelly. Yuck.  While often said to be a dangerous byproduct of that stuff we drill for, sources show it’s actually not.  In “olden days” it was used for healing purposes.  But that was before we got our hands on better, organic products.  Personally I can’t stand the stuff.  Maybe it actually holds moisture in my skin.  I’d rather use something like pure shea butter that comes almost straight from the earth, not a product that spends so much time in a facility that has had to heat and refine it. (p.s. I did learn today that it should NOT go in the nose!  bad bad)

Fragrances in skin care.  Ouch.  Often causes irritation.  Usually also says on the packaging to keep out of eyes.  Many fragrances contain phalates which are said to disrupt hormone levels. Yikes.  While my opinion is that certain sites with their scare-tactic videos leave out so many important truths, there is the better-safe-than-sorry rule I’m going with on fragrances.   I like this informative post from KC’s own DERMAdoctor regarding fragrances in skin care products.  Bottom line…many fragrances cause irritation, allergies and other problems.  Skip it when you can.

Educate yourself by visiting both sides of the fence on these issues.  On one hand we hope that anything that could endanger the lives of us or our children would be banned.  However, they still sell cigarettes.  Just sayin’.

Any item discussed in this, or any, Haute Weekly article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, check with your doctor, not a well-meaning but not-medically-certified blogger. 😉

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