Straining the Toxic Cosmetic Soup

Returning to the blog with a slight shift!

I’m finally back on this blog! Not only am I continuing the natural beauty series, I will be including some articles on very important issues regarding the safety and longevity of our population and our planet. Why? Because I can’t keep writing about how to look young and age slowly without addressing the damage to our bodies and brains by exogenous chemicals. This is SO important because most of us are exposed unknowingly. 

As you may know, I have a strong passion for prevention and helping people gain control over their health and quality of life. Almost 20 years ago, my mother died young, at the age of 55, from cancer. Five years ago, today, my father passed at age 74 from diabetic complications. Lifestyle diseases. I can’t bring my parents back but I can share what I know so you can make educated decisions to reduce risk factors and restore your health. There are many controllable factors triggering inflammation in the body. But many do not know how to manage them effectively and permanently. (This is a big reason for the frustrations over weight loss and rebound weight gain, hormone therapy that works wonderfully then backfires etc).

The information highway is too congested and confusing today. So, I plan to break it down for you. Let’s start with environmental and cosmetic toxins. This hash reality topic blends right into my current Natural Hair, Skin and Nails series. Men, this information applies to you too! 

Writing is a journey for me. I research, study, network, experiment in my kitchen and share. But the most profound knowledge gained comes from my patients, who commit tirelessly to their goals and also struggle to win the battle against their past health history, their cravings, their brain fog, belly fat, thinning hair, brittle nails, sexual dysfunction… the list goes on. Basically, it all boils down to inflammation. It will make better sense as we journey through this blog of brain fog, thyroid disease, aging, autoimmunity and more! 

I have to thank all my past and present patients for teaching me to appreciate and respect the experiences and struggles they endure in their quest to restore their health, naturally. They commit to their goals and manage break from their most addictive or enjoyable habits that were sabotaging their health for years. It’s not easy for most, but the rewards far outweigh the efforts. I hope these articles help you make at least small, healthy changes.  Over time, they make a big difference!  


Any recommendations in this post are not intended to diagnose or treat disease. This article is purely for informational purposes and is not intended to make any health claims. 

When we think of the word “cosmetics“, most of us think beauty industry. Wikipedia defines cosmetics as substances or products used to enhance or alter the appearance of the face or the fragrance and texture of the body.  

There’s a huge movement towards natural cosmetics lately. Celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon endorsing their own line of skin care. Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Goop” lifestyle brand has been dominating the natural health industry for a while now. In 2018 her company was valued at 250 million, but according to (3) , she’s been facing lawsuits for unsubstantiated claims (5).  Last week, Health Canada fined Goop for two sunscreen products that were not approved for sale in the new flagship store.  

In 2015, Canada started licensing natural health products and every year the government rejects about 1,900 of these products submitted for review. Personally, I am not sure what standards and criteria they are using but I would speculate that this system at least weeds out a good number of toxic laden products, protecting its residents. 

ECHA the European Chemicals Agency of the EU utilizes REACH (1), a regulation applying to all chemical substances not just industrial but those used in people’s everyday lives.  Manufacturers and importers have the burden of proof of safety and risk management.  

Of the more than 40,000 chemicals on the market in the US, the EPA has only banned six.  

The May 22, 2019 article of the Guardian (2) mentioned that icosmetics alone, the EU has banned or restricted more than 1,300 chemicals while the US has outlawed or curbed just 11My fellow American residents, are you as concerned as I am?

What chemicals reside in your personal care products?


Sadly, most Americans are exposed to harmful substances daily and are unaware of just how much is penetrating their internal tissues (many of them crossing the blood brain barrier – Yes, they are getting into your brain!) And this just pertains to regular daily living activities such as showering, shaving, brushing our teeth etc. Now think of those who regularly visit the hair salon, nail salons, tanning beds or spray tan booths! It’s even a scarier picture for individuals who work in those industries and are exposed at a higher level all day long: aerosols, hair coloring, balms and serums, nail salon glues and polishes.  

We wonder why Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer rates have not decreased despite all the new technology and medical interventions. Also, why in the last few years, are more and more dementia care facilities sprouting up in our neighborhoods? This is an example of supply meeting a depressing demand.  Environmental toxins don’t just come from car exhaust, pesticides and other air contaminants.  They also lurk in substances we make close physical contact with, including intimate contact: tampons, maxi pads, vaginal washes etc.

Talc based cosmetic products pose a serious threat to our health because they contain asbestos fibers. There is no safe level of asbestos in the body since even the smallest amounts can lodge into the lungs and cause mesothelioma and fatal lung disease after decades of exposure.  Very recently the FDA has again, found talc-based products marketed to children and teens and launched a voluntary recall on two cosmetics sold by Claire’s. This is the third time in less than two years the FDA has found asbestos in kids’ cosmetics! (4)  CBS News released their story just over a week ago! 

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

Educate and Eliminate.

By being conscious consumers and paying close attention to what we put on our bodies, we can lower the risk of chronic disease and a host of other illnesses which often go unexplained in standard lab testing. Now that you’ve read this, take a look at one or two products in your bathroom and read the label. Map these ingredients to an online search database such as the Environmental Working Group’ Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics. As scary as this task may seem, keep in mind: What goes on your body goes INTO your body. I will be sharing a top list of dangerous ingredients to help you spot the perpetrators which could be wreaking havoc with your health.

In the meantime, one of the cleanest products I use for skin is also a food. Single ingredient products are the healthiest for you, as long as that ingredient is safe. Coconut oil has massive benefits for your skin, brain and other internal organs. It is a cooling oil so if you have vata skin, this is not the best oil during the cold winter months. Not sure of your skin type? Take my Dosha quiz HERE.

organic coconut oil
Dr. Melanie’s Favorite Brain and Skin Food: Banyan Botanicals Coconut Oil.


If you are feeling a little anxious about letting go of your best bath buddies and glam products, rest assured natural alternatives and new clean(er) products are sweeping the marketplace. Well, that brings up another issue: the word “natural” is not regulated and can be interpreted many different ways. Stay tuned for future blog posts!  

     Natural Techniques for Dry Skin

I am currently working on the eBooks for each, hair, skin and nails so stay tuned for highlights on this blog.  If you found this article online or through a friend, feel free to subscribe below so you don’t miss out on the sequels!  If you have a loved one who really needs to see these articles please use the share buttons at the top of this article! 

With gratitude and healthy intentions, 

Dr. Melanie












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