When I was growing up, I drank either fizzy drinks or beverages made from cordial with every meal. The kitchen always had crates of aerated water lining one wall. We never drank plain water. At best, we would drink sweet tea heaped with sugar, the way our mom liked it.
My family was well-to-do, so we indulged in anything we liked. The dining table groaned with meat dishes, the larder was well-stocked with snacks, chocolates and other confectionery – you get the picture. As for personal care and household care products, we had all the well-known brands. Nothing but the “best” for us. What ingredients went into those products? Who knew and who cared? We were washed and powdered, and we smelled nice. That’s all that mattered.
From my teens, I bought lots of beauty products. They were a mix of unknown brands as well as famous brands. Skin care, hair products, cosmetics, I had the works. All I cared about was whether they made me look and smell good. In those days, what did anybody know about harmful and even carcinogenic ingredients in personal care products? We believed that well-known brands would only be made of the best ingredients, certainly nothing questionable or damaging to health. We never realised that the personal care and beauty products which we used daily could potentially harm us and make us sick.
We’ve come a long way, baby. Consumers today are better-informed about the dangers of common beauty and personal care ingredients such as:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Ethanol / alcohol
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
There are many more toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients we are exposed to at home which can cause illnesses like cancer, respiratory problems, eye problems like cataracts, liver and kidney ailments, Alzheimer’s Disease, and allergic reactions. Many of these harmful ingredients are in products we love to slather on our skin, apply on our eyes, put in our hair and clean our mouths with.
Had I known years ago what I know today, I probably would have avoided using most kinds of commercial skin care, hair and other beauty products, and gone natural as far as possible (safe personal care products were virtually unheard of until recent years). Had my parents known what many people know today, I’m sure they would have made better dietary choices.
Today, half my siblings – including myself – have been afflicted with cancer. One lost the battle. My other siblings grapple with a variety of health problems. My father spent the last 30 years of his life fighting a host of medical conditions. My mother has been in poor health for many years and her memory comes and goes. Sheer coincidence?
Prevention is obviously better than cure. We cannot undo the damage that has already been done, but we can do our best from now on to protect ourselves and our loved ones. This is particularly essential for those who are already dealing with health conditions like cancer. Boycott personal care and household products which use inferior and potentially harmful ingredients. Choose brands which avoid using questionable ingredients. Safety-conscious Neways International avoids using more than 3,000 questionable ingredients, and counting. What about the brands you use? What poison are you putting on your skin today?