More than 10,000 ingredients are used in personal care products. The United States cosmetic industry is valued at more than $50 billion and remains virtually unregulated. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and its partnering organization, the Environmental Working Group:
One in five personal care products contain chemicals linked to cancer, 80 percent contain ingredients that commonly contain hazardous impurities, and 56 percent contain penetration enhancers that help deliver ingredients deeper into the skin.
To find out what's in the products you use, take a tour of the EWG's Skin Deep Database.
Even the products sold in health food stores aren't necessarily pure and natural. Examples of brands with strict integrity include Aubrey Organics, Waleda, Autumn Harp, and Organic Essence.
From antibacterial wipes to hand sanitizers, we are cleaner than we've ever been. Triclosan, first introduced as a pesticide in 1969, has found its way into a myriad of personal care products.
We are indeed the Super-Sanitized Generation.
Our obsession with hygiene is understandable. Bad things happen when people don't wash their hands or dispose of fecal waste in a responsible manner.
But has the pendulum swung too far? Are all microbes bad? Are we missing some key information that might help us turn the tide on increasing instances of allergies, chronic disease, and autoimmune conditions?