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Can a shampoo clean your hair but harm your body?

Consider simple alternatives to chemical-laden personal care products that you use every day.

How many chemicals have you used on your body by the time you leave home in the morning? Think shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, hair styling products, cosmetics, toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, perfume or cologne. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the average person in the United States uses more than 100 such chemicals per day!

Since this can be a part of a daily routine, it is easy to see how the levels of chemical ingredients can build up in our bodies. The cumulative impact of these ingredients can have lasting effects on our health and has been linked to rising rates of cancer, reproductive problems and other health issues.

If you think the government protects you from potentially harmful chemicals, it might surprise you to learn that cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, with the exception of color additives. In fact, many brands falsely advertise as being clean, natural or gentle when they actually contain many harmful chemicals, Further, many ingredients that have been banned from use in European countries are still allowed in the United States.

The good news is that there are “cleaner” versions of many personal care products that we use. For example, have you ever thought about substituting coconut oil for a drug store moisturizer that contains ingredients that you can’t even pronounce? Or what about using a shampoo made of three or four simple ingredients instead of the typical shampoos that have more than 10? 

Next time you are at the store or browsing on-line, pay extra attention to the number and the type of ingredients in the product you intend to buy. Your health just may depend on it!

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