“TOXINS”- that very ambiguous word people throw out a lot that sounds bad and implies you should stay away from them; however, what are they…really? What constitutes a toxin?  Webster’s Dictionary defines a toxin as “a poisonous substance that is a specific product of the metabolic activities of a living organism and is usually very unstable, notably toxic when introduced into the tissues, and typically capable of inducing antibody formation.  Ok…. I think getting closer to the bottom of what this really means but that was a lot of confusing jargon. 

According to Alejandro Junger, M.D. and author of the New York best seller Clean- The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself, toxins are “something that interferes with normal physiology and negatively impacts bodily functions.  [They] are of many different kinds with totally different qualities from an infinite number of different sources. Just as varied are the complex mechanisms by which they cause irritation and damage. Some toxins known as endotoxins are waste products from the normal activity of cells.  When these toxins such as lactic or uric acid build up, they cause diseases.  Some are very specific; for example, when uric acid lingers, it causes gout.”

How does this relate to skincare specifically?  Well according to the EWG, here is a list of the top 12 toxin ingredients that should be banned from cosmetics and beauty. 

  • Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. (often used as a preservative to improve shelf life)
  • Paraformaldehyde, a type of formaldehyde.
  • Methylene glycol, a type of formaldehyde.
  • Quaternium 15, which releases formaldehyde.
  • Mercury, which can damage the kidneys and nervous system. (used as a skin lightening agent anti-aging treatments that remove age spots, freckles, blemishes and wrinkles.)
  • Dibutyl and diethylhexyl phthalates, which disrupt hormones and damage the reproductive system. (used to increase longevity such as in lotion allows the product to cling better to your skin)
  • Isobutyl and isopropyl parabens, which disrupt hormones and harm the reproductive system. (often used as a preservative to improve shelf life)
  • The long-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, which have been linked to cancer. (added to cosmetics to increase their long-term wearability and make skin appear shimmery and smooth)
  • M- and o-phenylenediamine (sulfates), used in hair dyes, which irritate and sensitize the skin, damage DNA and can cause cancer. (these are surfactants, which means they attract both oil and water which allows dirt and grime to be washed from the skin and hair more easily)

In other words, make sure you are reviewing the ingredients of all things you are putting in and on your body.  Thyrst Beauty does not contain ANY of these.  It is something you want to take seriously because doctors often overlook the cause of ailments as overexposure to toxins.  Our health, unfortunately sometimes, needs to be taken into our own hands.  Toxins exist in our cleaning products, plastic our food is wrapped in, products we use on our bodys like soaps and lotions, cosmetics, skin care products, etc.  It definitely feels impossible to eliminate ALL toxins but working towards eliminating as much as you by checking labels may be the best and only way forward until these are legally banned. 

Written by Allyson Welch
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