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Dying To Look Good
by Christine H. Farlow, D.C.

Many of the cosmetics that women use contain carcinogens. But women are not the only ones who are at risk. Products like make-up, shaving cream, hair dye, toothpaste, mouthwash, hairspray, soap, shampoo, body powders and even baby powder can contain cancer-causing ingredients. And to make matters worse, some of the most commonly used ingredients, that are not themselves carcinogenic, combine with other ingredients to form cancer-causing chemicals. One survey done by the FDA found 27 out of 30 children's shampoo and bubble bath products contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane. Other studies have found this chemical in nearly 50% of the cosmetic products evaluated. Some of these dangerous ingredients may not cause any reactions on the skin, but they can be absorbed through the skin and may end up in the bloodstream.

Cosmetics and toiletries are the least regulated products on the market. As long as the manufacturers of these products don't use toxic substances that have been banned, they are free to use whatever ingredients they want and market their products without testing them and without approval from the FDA. The FDA can make suggestions or recommendations to manufacturers about cosmetic products or their ingredients, but the manufacturers do not have to comply. The FDA must first prove in a court of law that a product is harmful, improperly labeled, or violates the law if it wants to remove a cosmetic product from the market. According to John Bailey, Ph.D., director of the FDA’S Office of Cosmetics and Colors, "Consumers believe that 'if it's on the market, it can't hurt me,' and this belief is sometimes wrong."

So, how do you know which products contain harmful chemicals and which ones don't? You have to read the list of ingredients on all the products you buy and know which of the ingredients in the product are harmful and which are not. That can be an overwhelming task unless you’re a chemist in the cosmetic industry. But now there is a way for the average person to decipher all the "Greek" on cosmetic and toiletry labels. Dr. Christine Farlow, in her book, Dying To Look Good: The Disturbing Truth About What's Really in Your Cosmetics, Toiletries and Personal Care Products, makes it easy to identify which ingredients are harmful and which are not. She classifies over 1200 commonly used ingredients according to safety. And to make it even easier to choose non-toxic products, she includes a list of products that have been evaluated as safe. It's clear, concise and easy to use. Take this book with you every time you go shopping, and you'll never again wonder about the safety of the ingredients on the label. Youll know.

Dr. Christine H. Farlow, D.C. is a chiropractor, nutritionist and author. She has helped thousands improve their health by eliminating harmful chemicals from their food and personal care products. For more information on how to get harmful chemicals out of your toiletries, visit http://www.healthyeatingadvisor.com/cosmetics.html. Contact Dr. Farlow at dr.cfarlow@healthyeatingadvisor.com.

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