Personal care products have become a $50-billion industry in the United States. You are seduced on a daily basis by the intoxicating aromas, flashy packaging, and enticing promises of everlasting youth these products offer.
But what is the real cost of applying these products to your body?
If I were to tell you that your personal care products could be putting you at risk for hair and skin damage, immunological problems, damage to your eyes, and possibly even cancer, would you pay a little more attention to their ingredients?
The growing awareness of chemicals in the foods you eat has led many of you to begin reading labels. If you are doing this as part of your regular shopping routine, I commend you, and you will likely live longer for it. But what about the products you are smearing all over yourself?
Eye makeup can be absorbed by your highly sensitive mucous membranes.
Hair sprays, perfumes and powders can be inhaled, irritating your lungs.
Lipstick is licked off and swallowed.
Sunscreen and lotions are absorbed through your skin.
Shampoo can run into your eyes or your baby's eyes.
Laundry detergent, in small amounts, comes in contact with your skin via your clothes.
In 2004, a six-month study was done about personal care product use.1 More than 10,000 body care product ingredients were evaluated, involving 2,300 participants.
One of the findings was that the average adult uses nine personal care products each day, containing 126 different chemicals. The study also found that more than 250,000 women, and one out of every 100 men, use an average of 15 products daily.
Are these products as safe as the labels would have you to believe? With the sheer multitude of chemicals out there, it would be impossible to cover them all in one report. But I have covered most of the significant players, and you can find those articles using the search engine at the top of this page.
This report will focus on a compound called sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS/SLES), a very common chemical used throughout the cosmetic industry. A great deal of misinformation, myth, and rumor surround SLS/SLES, and I would like to discuss what is really known about this chemical and its potential risk to you.