If I look back to my late teens and early 20’s, I had so little awareness around health and nutrition. Since that time, as each year has gone by, I’ve become more educated around the many harmful ingredients we are exposed to on a daily basis…and that education has led me to appreciate Young Living’s products and philosophy even more.
Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise is not just a slogan or a by-line; it sits at the very core of their company, and it underpins every oil and oil-infused product that they produce. Do you still have chemical-laden or synthetic skin care, personal care, cleaning products or air fresheners/perfumes lying around your home? Now is a great time to do an overhaul, and kick those chemicals to the curb, replacing them with Young Living’s clean and green range. Let me explain why that’s such a great idea….
The Beauty Industry – is it killing you?
The appreciation of beauty and skin care expands over thousands of years. From Queen Cleopatra to Marilyn Monroe, each siren has her own special regimes designed to help her radiate with natural (and sometimes unnatural) beauty. With our age-old passion to uncover the fountain of youth and all its secrets, it’s no wonder that the beauty industry has blossomed into a billion dollar industry.
For example, with only 25 million men, women and children residing in Australia, a Holr Magazine 2019 article reports that we still managed to spend a staggering $22 billion on beauty¹.
Compare this to $11.9 billion on prescription medications in 2017/2018², and you can see that the beauty industry is indeed giving the pharmaceutical industry a run for its money.
But unfortunately, the majority of personal care and skin care products on the market today contain a whole host of harmful ingredients. They may temporarily make our skin look more plump and radiant, but many of these ingredients contribute to the very problem they are trying to solve….the ageing of our skin.
According to a survey conducted in 2016 by Nourished Life³, the average woman puts over 300 chemicals on her skin each day. Let’s face it, it’s easy to use 5 products even before you walk out the door. That will be things like your soap or shower gel, your shampoo and conditioner, your deodorant, toothpaste, moisturiser, hairspray, nail polish, perfume and sunscreen….not to mention your makeup and specialised skin care products, your dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, synthetic air fresheners and sprays, antibacterial sponges and chopping boards, and your various cleaning solutions.
You get the picture. In today’s world, it’s difficult to avoid the chemicals. And if these products are standard, non-natural brands, you’ve just absorbed a whole medicine chest worth of potentially harmful chemicals and toxins.
We’re so focussed on the destination (cleanliness and beauty) that we turn a blind eye to the details along the way. In this same Nourished Life survey³, it was found that 69% of women have little or no knowledge about the ingredients in the products they use, and 39% are unaware of the potential side effects associated with their daily use of chemicals.
Is it only skin deep?
But we’re not ingesting these products. What’s the big deal with putting them on our skin? Surely that can’t be that bad.
Unfortunately, it is. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and it’s immensely permeable. These products penetrate the skin and make their way through our fine capillary system into the other tissues and organs of the body. Yes, our liver and kidneys do eliminate some of these chemicals. But we simply weren’t designed to be exposed to this many synthetic and toxic compounds, so they accumulate in our body and pave the way for disease.
Did you know that Methyl Paraben (a common preservative found in most skin care products) was found in 18 out of 20 breast tumours⁴?
And why do you think the American Colgate® label reads “If more than a pea sized amount is swallowed, contact your poisons control center immediately”?
It’s because these products do make their way into our cells and tissues.
In a 2005 study⁵, 287 different types of industrial chemicals were found in the umbilical cord blood of infants born in the US. Of these 287 chemicals:
- 180 are known carcinogens
- 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and
- 208 of them cause birth defects or abnormal development
This chemical exposure actually mutates and reprograms our children’s DNA, so the effects are passed down for generations.
But absorption through the skin and through our mouth are not the only ways that these everyday chemicals enter our body….
Companies know that smells evoke positive emotions within us, so aromas and perfumes have become an important part of our modern world. Most household products and cosmetics are scented – from dishwashing liquid, to toilet and room deodorisers, to facial products.
And because synthetic scents are much cheaper to produce than using nature’s aromas, big companies turn to chemicals to recreate nature’s smells. A single synthetic fragrance can contain hundreds, if not thousands, of toxic chemicals.
One of the most common groups of chemicals found in synthetic aromas are phthalates (pronounced “thal-ates”). These are powerful hormone disrupters, tricking our body into increasing or decreasing hormone production. This is part of the reason why girls are entering puberty at such an early age⁶ ⁷ ⁸.
- In 1860, the average age for girls reaching puberty was 16.6 years
- In 2010, it was 10.5 years
Men exposed to phthalates are secreting less testosterone⁹. This is serious, because testosterone is so important for male fertility! And phthalate exposure in the womb and early childhood has now been linked with lower IQ levels, and is one of many potential triggers for ADHD¹⁰ ¹¹.
Where do all these chemicals end up?
Over the last 50 years, between 70,000 to 100,000 different chemicals have been introduced to our world, with 1500 new chemicals added each year. Even though we can consciously minimise our exposure, it’s impossible to completely avoid being exposed to these chemicals.
And of course they end up in our own body…but we’re part of a much larger ecosystem on our Planet, so sadly it doesn’t stop there. In fact, the biggest environmental threat at present is not coming from the big companies, and it’s not from global warming (even though those are significant issues).
The biggest danger is coming from us….the everyday person….because of all the chemicals and toxins we are using on our bodies on a daily basis in our personal care and cleaning products, and also from pharmaceutical medications.
These chemicals wash off our bodies and down our sinks and toilets, and from there make their way into our rivers and oceans. It’s no wonder researchers¹² are now finding:
- frogs with 6 or 8 legs,
- male frogs with ovaries,
- female frogs with male genitalia
And of course it’s not just affecting our environment – it’s affecting our own bodies as well.
If you can’t eat it, don’t wear it!
When a substance progressively builds up in our body because the rate of intake exceeds our ability to eliminate or detoxify the substance from our body, this is known as bioaccumulation, or “body burden”.
Even if our body is strong and healthy and can withstand some of the effects of these chemicals, over time these chemicals still build up in our system to a point where they overload our livers, disrupt our hormones, undermine our health and contribute to obesity.
This accumulated burden of chemicals is one of the major factors taking us along the pathway to body toxicity and disease.
To have our body run optimally, we need to take care of it. That means understanding the risks, and making informed and conscious choices….and fortunately we do have choices.
When I first began learning from D. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, I clearly remember his motto – “If you can’t eat it, don’t wear it”.
He was always teaching us about the importance of avoiding as many of these chemicals as we possibly could. That’s why the Young Living products are free of all known harmful ingredients, including:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- A harsh detergent and engine degreaser
- Denatures the proteins of eye tissues, impairing development permanently
- Causes the skin to flake and separate, and creates substantial roughness of the skin
- Can damage the cell’s DNA, and has been used in studies to induce mutations in bacteria
- An anti-freeze solution
- Breaks down the skin’s protein and cellular structure
- Implicated in contact dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities
- Parabens are artificial preservatives used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould
- 75-90% of personal care and skincare products on the market contain parabens, because they’re a cheap way to extend shelf life
They are hormone disrupters which mimic estrogen, contributing to sterility in men, hormone imbalance in women, and early onset puberty in childrenOne study found that methyl paraben triples the rate of wrinkling in the skin. This means that the very product that’s meant to make your skin look younger contains ingredients that actually age your skin!
- Linked to Alzheimer’s
The Solution – Go Green!
It’s so important to read your labels. Even if a product is labelled as organic and you’ve bought it from a trusted health food store, it doesn’t mean the majority of ingredients in it are organic. It can still have some nasty chemicals in there.
Products labelled “organic” or “natural” can still contain petrochemicals, and those certified as organic can contain as little as 10% organic ingredients by weight or volume¹³.
That’s why it’s so important to find a truly Green skincare company, which Young Living is.
Unlike most other personal care, skincare and cleaning products on the market, Young Living’s products don’t include harmful chemicals. Their range is cruelty free, and contains:
- NO parabens
- NO phthalates
- NO propylene glycol
- NO sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate
- NO mineral oil
- NO PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid)
- NO petrolatum
- NO paraffin
- NO diethanolamine (DEA)
- NO talc
- NO nano particles
- NO gluten
Young Living is a full disclosure company. All their ingredients are listed on the label, with nothing hidden from view. That’s why millions of people around the world are doing the “Ditch & Switch” and falling in love with Young Living’s range of essential oils and oil-infused products.
And best of all, the Young Living products all contain the uplifting aromas and frequency of their therapeutic-grade essential oils, to add a whole other dimension of love and blessing to the products you use on your skin, in your food, and around your home.
- Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours, by P.D. Darbre, A. Aljarrah, W. R. Miller, N.G. Coldham, M.J. Sauer, and G. S. Pope, Journal of Applied Toxicology. Jan-Feb 2004;24(1):5-13.
- Could exposure to phthalates speed up or delay pubertal onset and development? A 1.5-year follow-up of a school-based population, by Y. Zhang, Y. Cao, H. Shi, X. Jiang, Y. Zhao, X. Fang and C. Xie, Environment International. 2015 Oct; 83:41-9. Doi:10. 1016/j. envint.2016.06.005. Epub 2015 Jun 12.
- Effects of Environmental Endocrine Disruptors on Pubertal Development, by Samim Ozen and Şükran Darcan, Journal of Clinical Research into Pediatry and Endocrinology. 2011 Mar; 3(1): 1–6. Published online 2011 Feb 23. doi: 10.4274/jcrpe.v3i1.01
- Phthalates might interfere with testicular function by reducing testosterone and insulin-like factor 3 levels, by W.H. Chang, S.S. Li, M.H. Wu, H.A. Pan and C.C. Lee, Human Reproduction. 2015 Sep 18, pii: dev225 [Epub ahead of print]
- Phthalate exposure and children’s neurodevelopment: A systematic review by M. Ejaredar, E.C. Nyanza, K. Ten Eycke and D. Dewey. Environmental Research. 2015 Jun 19;142:51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.06.014. [Epub ahead of print]
- Association between phthalates and externalizing behaviors and corticol thickness in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, by S. Park, J.M. Lee, J.W. Kim, J.H. Cheong, H.J. Yun, Y.C. Hong, Y. Kim, D.H. Han, H.J. Yoo, M.S. Shin, S.C. Cho, B.N. Kim. Psychological Medicine. 2015 Jun; 45(8):1601-12. doi:10.1017/S0033291714002694. Epub 2014 Nov 12.
- From documentary “Poisoned Waters” (by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Hedrick Smith)
- Certech 2008; Source: EWG
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