Let me get this straight: being out in the sun is bad for my skin. Putting on moisturizer is good for it. Okay, great, I think I got it. It's been beaten into my brain since I was born, so it's now a no-brainer: to keep that stinkin' sun off my skin, I should apply this nourishing moisturizer with all kinds of good stuff in it. Alright, here I go... rubbing it in... rubbing it in... smells great... good for me... it's going to keep me looking young and chipper.
One problem, though. That moisturizer they're throwing at me contains parabens. Researchers have found traces of parabens in tissue taken from women with breast cancer. While there is no direct evidence (yet) that parabens cause cancer, scientists have called for the use of parabens to be researched. I have a problem with the fact that no research has been done on this chemical. Why do cosmetics companies need to put parabens in their stuff? Oh, I see. It's a great preservative. Extends the shelf-life. And, since no good research has been performed on it, one can deduce that it is harmless and therefore belongs in most of our cosmetic products. The cosmetics industry insists that parabens are safe. Well, if they insist, then it must be okay.
Since I trust that the cosmetics company's main goal is to keep me looking young and sweet, I guess I'll slather some more of this good stuff on my skin to keep the hot 'n nasty sun off of it. The propylene glycol will do a great job nourishing my skin - it'll keep it nice and moist, since my skin doesn't know how to do that naturally with its own oils. Wait. Propylene glycol? Isn't that anti-freeze? Well, since the cosmetics industry wants me to look younger, I guess I need anti-freeze in my moisturizer to keep my skin silky-smooth and to stave off wrinkles and cancer that can happen from the horrible despicable sun.
I think I'll ignore this quote from the Breast Cancer Fund website and keep slathering more of this good stuff on me: "Breast carcinogens have no place in cosmetics and personal care products. Yet despite growing concern from consumers, the U.S. government does not systematically assess the safety of personal care products, and major U.S. companies continue to market cosmetics with known and suspected carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxins."
Hmmph... something smells funny. I think it's the lotion on my face. Maybe next time I'll just use a hat.
Call me crazy, but I believe that these chemical-laden products are far more harmful to our bodies than the sun. And call me double-crazy, but I believe cosmetics companies' main goal is to make a profit.
I stopped using most commercial products on my body when I was pregnant, because I was concerned about my skin absorbing so many chemicals and sending them to the little one inside of me. I used straight soybean oil as a moisturizer on my belly to prevent stretch marks. That was it. After the birth, I felt no need to go back to the chemicals (that includes deoderant. Yes, deoderant. And yes, sometimes I smell European because of it). It's been three years now since I opened my eyes to this issue. I don't believe the quality of my skin has decreased. In fact, I think it may have increased. My natural oils are doing a darn good job protecting me from most of my normal sun exposure. If I know that I will be out in the sun for prolonged periods, I like to use a hat and a small amount of titanium dioxide-based or zinc oxide-based sunscreen. These two naturally-occurring minerals act as a physical barrier on the skin, rather than being absorbed into the skin. Other than during periods of prolonged exposure to the sun, I have found no other time that it has been necessary to use a commercial moisturizer on my body or face for the last three years.
Suggested websites to do your own research:
An excellent series from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (thanks to my hubby for finding this): http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/34405049.html
Choosing safe cosmetics: http://www.pureprevention.org/act_safecosmetics.php
Creating a healthy home: http://www.pureprevention.org/act_healthyhome.php
Eating smart: http://www.pureprevention.org/act_eatsmart.php