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Would You Knowingly Wash Your Face with Gasoline?

wash your face with gasolineby Dr. Al Sears

Look at the ingredients on just about every skin product on the market, from moisturizers to sunscreens to shampoos and you’ll find health-threatening chemicals–propylene glycol, parabens, PABA, PEG, and mineral oil.

These chemicals pose real dangers to your health, including cancer. And, sadly they are FDA approved and labeled as healthy.

Did you know that mineral oil is a “by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline”? And, did you know that baby oil is just mineral oil with fragrance?

Johnson’s Baby Shampoo “No More Tears” formula contains cocamidopropyl betaine, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate, sodium trideceth sulfate, PEG-150 distearate, polyquaternium-10, polyquaternium-10, tTetrasodikum EDTA, quaternium-15, and others.   Does this sound like something you want to use on your baby?

Luckily, there are safe, effective, and completely natural ways to protect and nourish your skin, stay youthful and radiant, and maintain your overall health. Today I’ll tell you about healthy alternatives – and where to find them.

But first let’s take a closer look at why you need to take some action to choose alternatives to what you’re having marketed to you.

The Skin Care Industry’s Billion Dollar Lie

Both My Wellness Clinic and my non-profit research center are headquartered in Florida, the Sunshine State. Plentiful sunlight’s one of the main reasons people come here. Yet many of them – including a lot of my patients – avoid the sun like the plague. They live in constant fear of skin cancer. They hide out from the sun. And if they have to be in the sun, they think their only option is to cover themselves with chemical sunscreens.

This is somewhat understandable. The multi-billion dollar skin care industry, with the help of the mainstream medical establishment and the media, has everyone convinced that the sun is Enemy Number One when it comes to skin health.

Here’s what you won’t hear: sunlight’s good for your skin and critical to your overall health and well-being. Get enough of it, and you’ll actually reduce your risk for a wide range of cancers.

What sunscreens are very good at is blocking UVA rays. Yet even that presents a problem, because your skin needs exposure to UVA rays to make vitamin D.

That’s a huge problem, because vitamin D is a vitally important nutrient that insures healthy function in just about every system in your body. Vitamin D’s also the most potent cancer fighter in the world.

A report came out of a Nebraska university showing that vitamin D has the potential to lower the risk of all cancers in women over 50 by 77 percent.1 And in a study published in the journal Anticancer Research last October researchers found that sunlight – about 20 minutes a day for fair-skinned people, and two to four times that much for those with dark skin – can reduce the risk of death from 16 types of cancer, in both men and women.2

Sunscreens rob you of all these health benefits. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few more important functions sun lotions deny your body when they prevent sun from activating your skin’s vitamin D factory:

Activated Vitamin D The Problem Vitamin D’s Solution
Protects you from cardiovascular disease and arthritis Your body is producing too much of a protein that causes tissue inflammation Turns off the gene that makes it
Controls your blood sugar Your pancreas needs to produce more insulin to control blood sugar Turns on the gene to make more insulin
Regulates your blood pressure Your kidney produces too much of a certain protein that raises your blood pressure Turns off the gene that makes that protein
Helps prevent cloudy thinking and depression Your brain is not making enough neurotransmitters Increases production of the enzyme you need to make these neurotransmitters

Look for the Hidden Dangers

Not only do they block key skin-based activity that promote health and well-being – there are many common chemicals in most commercial skin care products that actually cause skin cancer and other serious health problems.

The list is long and the names are hard to pronounce, but if you check the label, I’m sure you’ll find several of them in your favorite brands. Here’s a “top-ten” list of the most toxic types of substances in skin care products my Wellness Research team’s identified – and the dangers they pose to your health:

Chemical Ingredient Health Threat
PEG, polysorbates, laureth, ethoxylated alcohol potent carcinogens containing dioxane
Propylene glycol dermatitis, kidney and liver abnormalities, prevents skin growth, causes irritation
Sodium laurel, lauryl sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate (sometimes labeled as “from coconut” or “coconut derived” combined with other chemicals, it becomes nitrosamine, a powerful cancer-causing agent; penetrates your skin’s moisture barrier, allowing other dangerous chemicals in
Parabens “endocrine disruptors,” these gender-bending chemicals mimic estrogen, upset your hormonal balance, and can cause various reproductive cancers in men and women
PABA (also known as octyl-dimethyl and padimate-O) attacks DNA and causes genetic mutation when exposed to sunlight
Toluene, also called benzoic, benzyl, or butylated hydroxtoluene anemia, low blood cell count, liver and kidney damage, birth defects
Phenol carbolic acid circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma, death from respiratory failure
Acrylamide breast cancer
Octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC) Kills skin cells
Mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum Coats skin like plastic and clogs pores, trapping toxins in, slows skin cell growth, disrupts normal hormone function, suspected of causing cancer

You Can Get Healthy Skin Naturally

Skip the big commercial skin care junk across the board and focus on natural, healthy ways to promote skin health.

Antioxidants represent your first and best line of defense against all forms of skin damage, from age-related wrinkles, sunspots, and cancer to a clear and radiant complexion. They neutralize the action of “free radicals,” rogue molecules that bind to healthy cells, mutate DNA, and accelerate cell death.

These are your skin’s most potent allies against free radical damage. You’ll find all of them in supplement form in health food stores or on line:

Vitamin C: In addition to fighting the action of free radicals, vitamin C reduces inflammation and boosts immune response. Take 500 milligrams twice per day with food.

Carotenoids: Key antioxidants that not only promote skin health, they’re great for your eyesight and also lower your risk of lung and breast cancer. Be sure to look for “mixed carotenoids” when you buy. Take 2,500 IU daily.

Vitamin A: This is another fat-soluble vitamin in the carotenoid family. Take 2,500 IU per day.

Vitamin D: In addition to all the health benefits I outlined before, this is a powerful antioxidant. Take 1,000-2,000 IEUs per day.

Vitamin E: A major ally in skin health. I use 400 IU per day in my patients. Look for “vitamin E as mixed tocopherols” on the label. These are the organic compounds most readily absorbed by your body.

Alpha Lipoic Acid: “The universal antioxidant,” ALA fights free radicals in both the fatty and watery tissues of the body. It also recycles and extends the life of other antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E. Take 100 mg per day from the alpha lipoic family.

CoQ10: A critical antioxidant every cell in your body needs to convert fuel into energy. Take 30 mg per day, 60 mg if you’re over 60.

Look for skin care containing natural ingredients like plant-based oils (palm, coconut, and jojoba are all great for your skin). These are rich in “phyto-nutrients,” antioxidants, and amino acids – the basic building blocks your skin needs to regenerate, heal, and grow.

1. Lappe et al, “Vitamin D Status in a Rural Postmenopausal Female Population,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2006; 25(5):395-402.

2. Grant WB et al, “The association of solar ultraviolet B (UVB) with reducing risk of cancer: multifactorial ecologic analysis of geographic variation in age-adjusted cancer mortality rates,” Anticancer Research, 2006; 26:2687-2700.

Dr. Sear’s Wellness Research CATALOG

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