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  • Elizabella

    HA! Now I have an acceptable argument against my mum when she tries to force makeup on my face! 

  • Chucktesta

    What, men don’t use toothpaste or soap?

  • Perkins

    Oh jeez.
    - You do realise toxicity refers more to the dosage rather that the compound themselves?
    - I doubt many of these are absorbed in large, dangerous amounts by the skin.
    - Why do you assume that artificial = bad? It doesn’t.
    - This infographic and it’s sources are somewhat biased.
    - Just because something can be absorbed by the skin, doesn’t mean it’s dangerous.
    - LOL @ “choose a ‘chemical-free’ product”. (Virtually) all matter is comprised of chemicals. That ‘organic’ product your using is 100% chemical, as well as everything else.

    • Jonathan Yuan

      -Substances of low toxicity absorbed regularly over a long period of time is just as dangerous as quickly ingesting the substance. Carcinogens cause cancer, a condition that develops over a long time.
      -You don’t need to absorb it in large dangerous amounts for it to be dangerous. Take food for example. Eating one big meal won’t make you obese. But eating big meals every day will.
      -Artificial substances have a shorter history of being tested and regulated. People have been eating strawberries for thousands of years, but Twinkies have only been around for at most a few decades. There are also many toxic byproducts that come with artificial substances.
      -What do you mean by “biased”? Of course each site is entitled to its own opinions; it’s also entitled to present certain facts. It doesn’t necessarily mean these facts are skewed in some way. Of course, the other side of the argument that isn’t presented is that artificial products take less energy to produce, and are cheaper to sell.
      -It’s true that “chemical” technically refers to any chemical compound, but most people think “chemical” as the laboratory-produced substances that have potential for harm. Infographics fare better if they pander to the lowest common denominator.

    • Tunatunatun

      Most of those chemicals were syntethized by humans, and that’s what people tend to call as ‘chemical products’. You’re right, they’re 100% chemical, but not 100% natural. And your and everyone’s human body is not artificial.

      Is it only me who notices that medical research finds it’s way in saying things like:

      - Vitamin C stops and prevents the flu, DRINK LOTS OF ORANGE JUICE, BUY VITAMIN C PILLS. Then,,
      - Vitamin C won’t stop, but prevents some cases, drink some pills.
      - Vitamin C is not so needed, but it’s still some good so please keep buying my pills…

      - Caffeine is an excellent stimulant and helps staying awake, drink more capuccinos.
      - Caffeine is addictive, and hurts many organs, stop it with the everyday coffee.
      - Caffeine has many advantageful properties, blah blah.

      - Too much sugar is bad, use 0-calorie sweeteners.
      - Too much 0calorie sweetener is bad, use some sugar.
      - Fructouse is a better sweetener, and healthier.
      - And so on…

      My point is, I do believe an excessive amount of artificially produced chemicals can have an effect on your body, as proven very well by drinking some beers. But I’m with you on saying this could be a little overhyped, I can see many of those ‘research shows that’ turn into the opposite in a few time.

      • Val

        lol. So i guess we should stick to snake venom, arsenic, cyanide, and lead, because those are all natural ingredients. if skin absorbs 60% of everything we apply (a totally cite-free statement BTWt) I think I will go stick my hand in a glass of vodka and get drunk. I think I should avoid taking baths now, seeing as how this should clearly make us drown due to absorbing all that water.

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  • Judith White

    Thanks for the infographics – very informative

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  • Paradigm_Shift

    “The average woman will eat nearly 4 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime”

    I doubt the average woman will even BUY that much lipstick in a lifetime. That’s far too much. Source?

    • PocketCalculator

      The number seems at least plausible. If one uses it every day for over 60 yrs, it works out to about 0.003 ounces a day, which is a pretty small amount. Another way to look at it is that if a tube contains an ounce of lipstick (a fair estimate?) four pounds is 64 tubes. This represents about a tube a year over a lifetime, which doesn’t seem like an outrageously high number to me. Of course, one would hope that the number would be backed up by some empirical data… and certainly, however high the number is does not in itself prove that lipstick use is harmful. Although it seems to me that there ought to be some testing on product that is ingested as much as lipstick is, especially if it really contains a significant amount of lead….

    • Elaine McFadden, MPH

      Would think “lipstick” includes “lip gloss” which people can apply a lot to moisten lips and make them shiny. Would think that you could easily ingest lip gloss.

  • Michelle

    Just wanted to say that organic substances also can be quite toxic. For example, lavender oil is highly irritating and is known for being allergenic.

    • Cash3p

      Lavender Essential Oil is generally thought of as being quite safe. It is one of a few essential oils that can be directly applied to the skin without first diluting with a carrier oil (sweet almond, grape seed). Some people can be allergic to lavender, just like some people are allergic to other plants. That said, you do have a point. Essential oils have wonderful healing properties, are less toxic than petro-based fragrance oil (contain pthalates), and can be good for the skin, but they should be used with care. As always, pregnant women should research and essential oil before use. It’s also good to note that some essential oils are okay to use on dogs (some make a good natural bug repellant), but may be toxic to cats…Lavender should never be used on cats.

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  • Cammy

    Someone, I can’t remember once said if you can’t eat it don’t put it on your body. I laughed at first, but then tried to follow as best as possible. I buy Pacifica eyeshadow, which I believe is better than most. I use witch hazel as an astringent, and Sappo Hill soap which is very mild. For “lotion” I use coconut oil or sweet almond oil, and use it as well as a make-up remover. I have steered away from foundation, and use badger baby sunblock for myself and my children. For a mouthwash, I swish a little coconut oil in my mouth for a few minutes and spit. I avoid fluoride toothpastes – buying Toms of Maine with a “fluoride Free” label. What’s interesting is that Target sells Toms of Maine for kids – but it does have fluoride. So I have to go to my health food store where I can find it.

  • Elaine McFadden, MPH

    You are right about the cumulative effect of toxins Jonathan! Had Rodale Press on my radio show and they explained that Round Up pesticides applied to all kinds of food crops is so toxic that every time we are exposed to even minute amounts and poison comes in contact with our cells permanent damage occurs to those cells. Glycoside is a neurotoxin so it targets every nerve cell in your body including your brain. Canadian study on pregnant women found 96% of the women had Round Up in their body. This pesticide can pass through the blood brain barrier/placenta and why it is also the #1 cause of birth defects and lowers IQ by killing brain cells. Dumbing down of our children costs our country billions in lost potential. Round Up is stronger than ever and has been concentrated so has to be applied less but strength makes even bigger potential for damage. The artificial phthalates/fragrances in products is another danger. In products like Febreze, air fresheners, perfumes, all kinds of lotions and other skincare, laundry products contain these chemical THAT DON’T BREAK DOWN IN ENVIRONMENT just like they advertise really. Go by a sewage treatment plant and you can smell them. Drugs and other chemicals that end up in the sewer system can be filtered from water, but too expensive for water treatment plants so they are left in there and we drink in tap water. We know without a doubt many artificial colors should NEVER be put in our body yet in products. When you see the words “artificial flavor” like let’s say FAKE Strawberry, it actually takes 50 chemicals to make it but not required on label. If you have a candy with five flavors you can add another 250 chemicals to ingredient list of what is in that product. Looked it up and those chemicals are like nothing I’ve ever seen. Even many essential oils are extracted using benzene (not necessarily but cheaper). Total counts for all chemicals a woman puts on her body in one day can go as high as over 700. Yes men should also be concerned as exposed by many of the products they use. Deodorant is full of them and aluminum too which should be avoided. The big unknown is what these “chemical cocktails” are doing in our body when you put them together in our systems a whole new set of reactions can happen that we have no idea what the side effects will be. Millions of different combos are possible, with the potential for any to be a “fatal mix.” What is determined to be safe level of our most toxic pesticides are for an adult male. Children are growing with vulnerable rapidly dividing cells that these chemicals can easily destroy. Children also eat more food per pound of body weight so higher exposure. Last year we dumped over a billion pounds of pesticides on our crops when ORGANIC farming has proved over and over to produce higher yields, and rich soil wastes less water as organic matter holds in place for plant to absorb. Genetically Modified Foods that contain another pesticide that explodes gut cells use oil based fertilizers and Round Up so dead soil, no beneficial insects (all dead), no worms in soil, no microorganisms that make nutrients, and water runs right through so waste large amounts. Eat organic and buy from local farmers to keep money in our communities and support a family by letting them feed you. Go to or to find a farmer in your area. My CSA (Community Sustainable Agriculture) family both have PhDs (biology & geology) and deliver weekly for $25 two dozen of the most beautiful/delicious organic eggs in five colors, organic fresh picked produce. I just plan meals around them. ANOTHER WARNING: Watch out for nano particles in sunscreens. Use organic oils like suggested in previous posts like coconut oil and also recommend Terramin (on Amazon) products that are 15 million y/o minerals from rare deposit of calcium montmorillonite that contains 57 highly IONIC minerals that can be used for healing inside and out so on skin. Brush teeth with it and then rinse w/coconut oil has reversed my receding gums, loose teeth, and bone loss. Create “mud mouth” and leave in for an hour. Take internally and heartburn stops/heals will change skin/hair/nails, on skin is like a miracle. Not too many things I recommend. This eliminates need for all kinds of products. Stops itching/pain. Have used on raw skin, cuts, rashes, burns, after 8 dental implants in mouth to stop pain/disinfect so didn’t need Vicodin. Something that works!

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  • Tammy J Rizzo

    For years, now, I’ve been cutting down on the topical products I use. These days, I bathe with hot water and use an exfoliating scrubby cloth on my skin and a scalp-massaging rubber brush on my hair – I rarely use soaps or shampoos. For deodorant, I use a salt rock, dampened and rubbed where sweat collects – this reduces the odor-causing bacteria that feeds on old sweat. I brush my teeth with baking soda or just plain water, and rarely use toothpaste or mouthwash. I don’t wear make-up, and rarely wear sun-block. And yet, with me not using so many ‘essential’ body-care products, I still don’t get any complaints about odor or oily hair or the like, and people say I have lovely skin, and think I’m a decade younger than I am, regardless of my silver hair.