Men (just like women and children) are exposed to ingredients in personal care products every day. On average, men use six personal care products a day, exposing themselves to 85 unique chemicals.
Not all of them are “bad,” but our bodies are overloaded with exposure everyday (remember this is a stat JUST from daily usage of personal care products). In short, not all chemicals are created equally!
We commonly think that make-up (eye shadow, foundation, lipstick, etc.) is the only thing that the word cosmetics entails, but that’s a false generalization.
The FDA defines cosmetics as a product used to cleanse, enhance or change the appearance of the face or body.
That’s why I like the term “personal care products” when I talk about skin care, lotion, shampoos, body wash, etc.
This is how I feel that the clean beauty movement unknowingly targets women, and dismisses (most) men. “Beauty” is synonymous to “make-up” in many people’s minds, so “clean beauty” (which actually DOES include men’s personal care products) can easily be passed off as “only for women.”
It’s not anyone’s “fault”, the clean beauty movement started out to disrupt the status quo in the beauty industry and create products that were safer for consumers.
You may be thinking…’wait, why do consumers need to ensure their own safety when shopping for personal care products’?
The truth is that personal care products are largely unregulated in the United States. You would think that before a product gets to a shelf it is certified safe by a governing body, but unfortunately that’s not quite the case. The last federal law to ensure that personal care products are safe hasn’t been changed much since 1938…
The FDA does not even require safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they are used!
The cosmetics industry is basically run on the honor system. Better hope that the products you are using are from a company and manufacturer that is following along!
If you need some comparison to understand how grossly behind the U.S. is in regulation, The U.S. has banned or partially restricted approx. 30 ingredients from personal care products, Health Canada has banned or restricted over 600 ingredients, and The European Union is at over 1,400. 😧😳
Enter the Clean Beauty movement.
Created for safer personal care products, usually by people who were alarmed with the information above AND good ole’ research- like a study that found more than 200 synthetic chemicals- many of them KNOWN TO BE TOXIC- in the bodies of nearly all Americans, including newborn infants who are exposed to these chemicals in utero.
Let’s talk about some real reasons why choosing safer products (aka the clean beauty movement) goes for both men and women.
- Some of the chemicals in men’s products (aftershaves, shaving cream, shampoos, cologne, and deodorants) are linked to cancer, birth defects, reproductive health problems and other chronic health problems.
- According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in about 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole or a contributing cause.
- Phthalates: a class of toxic chemicals that aren’t often listed on labels but can lurk under non-specific ingredient “fragrance.” Phthalates are typically used to make plastics more flexible and have been associated with several types of sperm damage, including lower sperm counts, impaired movement and abnormal shape.
Final tips on how to start making a clean swap:
- The most important personal care products to choose safer are the ones that sink into your skin. Think lotions, oils, deodorants and sunscreens for guys.
- My biggest suggestion (for both men and women), is to ditch FRAGRANCE (as mentioned above about phthalates). You can learn more about why in this blog post. In short, anything that has “fragrance” in it…DITCH.
I’m a huge believer in taking action right away when you feel the most inspired to do so. The longer you wait to do anything (especially something outside your comfort zone) the less likely you will go through with it.
If you’re ready to clean up your personal care product selection, I created some action steps for you below, along with some tips on how to start out:
What is one product that you will “investigate” after reading this?
- Pick your one item
- Head to The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
- Type in your product’s name. If you can’t find it, try typing in the Brand’s name
- Select your product and review it’s safety measures:
- I usually tell people, if it’s 4 or more- let it go!
- Of course, I don’t want you to be wasteful, so use your product until it’s out (unless it’s 7-10 😫 then I would urge you to reconsider ASAP).
- Once it’s run out and you need another- before you rebuy, check out safer options (find products that are EWG verified, or rated from 1-2). You can find safer Men’s products here: https://www.ewg.org/ewgverified/products.php?type=mens-products
My go to recommendation for safer men’s personal care products is the Counterman collection from Beautycounter. I’ve tried out the charcoal body wash and body bar myself! They felt amazing and never left my skin dry or irritated. See for yourself via the button below where you can shop with me and get some cleaner products that actually work!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just remember you have plenty of resources to make safer choices for your health and wellbeing!
So that’s about it! If you want to learn more about personal care product safety you can reach out to me and let me know you want to see more content like this!
To ALL of our health and safety,
Ps: further reading resources linked below: