Gym Wisdom

holistic health remove makeup bra

What must you take off before going to the gym?

Psst, gals. This one is obvious:

Remove your make-up beforehand. Sweat opens pores, allowing you to release toxins. Imagine what happens when all that muck stays caked on top.

Preservatives, colorants, retinyl palmitate (in lipstick), phthalates (in fragrance), petroleum distillates (petroleum-extract commonly used in mascara, produced in oil refineries, “often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities”)…We women use on average 12 personal care products containing 168 ingredients each day.

And how safe are the ingredients? Nobody knows for sure. Many are considered endocrine disruptors, meaning they act like estrogen in our bodies, and have been associated with breast cancer and reproductive problems in males as well.

Fortunately, a large American non-profit, the Environmental Working Group, has gone to bat for us, analyzing products, studying studies and testifying before government investigators. In 2004, it launched Skin Deep, a huge database that rates cosmetics and personal care products according to safety. You can easily search the list. 

Unfortunately, EWG is not always privy to all the info it needs to draw conclusions. Indeed, science may not yet have all the answers. We, the consumers, must take a leap.

If I learned one life lesson in law school, it’s to balance risks– likelihood of risk AND gravity.  Decision in this case:  I’m not waiting for more evidence. The gravity of the risk is sufficient enough to warrant the personal decision to remove make-up before sweating. It’s simple to do, and the rewards could be life-saving.

Oh yea, you’ll need to rinse off the make-up remover as well.  Parabens, used in watery products such as make-up remover, are estrogen-mimicking preservatives and have been found in many breast tumors.  

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