This is the time of year that everyone turns their thoughts to what they can do to improve their lives. One of the most effective things we can do is to “Detox our Skin Care”. Our skin, the largest organ of the human body, absorbs 60% of the ingredients used in personal care products everyday. One of the most easy and effective steps we can take is to remove skin care products that have toxic chemical links. We must read labels and know the names of these chemicals that have adverse effect on our health and the environment.The task of “Detoxing Your Skin Care” can be overwhelming! Everywhere you look it seems that there are chemicals added to products that are harmful. Key words to look for are Sodium Laureth Sulfates, Parabens, Propylene glycol, Phthalates, & Petrolatum. These words may be disguised with other names and go undetected. The frugal person lines up the products currently on their shelves and in their drawers and shudders when they realize how much money has been spent on products that have ingredients that risk our health.Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLS) are detergent like petroleum-based ingredients classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen and a know animal carcinogen. They are found in shampoos, body wash, baby soap, tanning products, moisturizers, and lotions to name a few. They are used in about 90% of products that produce foam. The cleaning industry uses SLS for floor cleansers and engine degreasers. SLS is a harsh skin irritant that may be a potential carcinogen. Animals exposed to SLS have experienced eye damage, depression of the central nervous system, diarrhea, severe skin irritation and even death..Propylene glycol promotes moisture retention in cosmetics but is really an industrial anti-freeze and a prevalent ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluid. It helps make ingredients absorb quickly. Tests show that it can cause allergic reactions and acne and can be a strong skin irritant. It also may cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.Parabens are a preservative and are know to be toxic causing skin rashes. They are endocrine disrupters and may alter the hormone balance. They have been found in breast tumors and to accumulate in the body and concentrate in fat tissue.Phthalates are plasticizers or fixatives that help fragrance last longer and transform nail polish from liquid to hard enamel. It is believed that using these chemicals affect the development of developing male reproductive organs. The Endocrine Society has actively lobbied to seek a reduction of the human exposure an individual as in utero or in other stages of life.Petrolatum is mineral oil and a by product of the petroleum industry. It is made from crude petroleum oil and is used in products as an emollient giving it “slip and slide”. Many massage product use this as its base as it is cheap and meets the need of the product. The reality is that mineral oil is also used by the industry as metal-cutting fluid.Eliminating products that contain these ingredients will help “Detox Your Skin Care”. Read the ingredient labels and when in doubt refer to SkinDeep.org Database to help research names that you want to know the safety. Have a great start to your New Year by cleaning out the old toxic skin care products.