Sunday, June 2, 2013

Are the chemicals in your Acne Treatment okay?

If you are a user of acne treatment products that use BENZOYL PEROXIDE (BPO), you may find the linens in your linen closet riddled with white spots, or bleached areas. I have heard many complain about the ruining of towels, pillowcases, sheets, from benzoyl peroxide.

Food for thought for today - if a chemical in skin care bleaches your fabrics, do you feel it is safe for your skin and body?  Personally, I am not saying it is dangerous, but think about that for a moment....

For my own family, we have found a product line of which the active ingredient is salisylic acid, formulated with other botanicals, for an effective, non irritating treatment of facial acne. Abbi, above is one person who has benefited from the product line and saw visible results within a few weeks.

Benzoyl Peroxide, found in the most popular acne treatment product line advertised on television today, can irritate the skin of many - leaving it very dry. I've talked to a number of teens who dread using their acne treatment products because it makes their skin feel so dry and itchy, yet they don't want blemishes, or they are "threatened" by a parent who invested in the product, i.e. "use it or else..."

The top-selling brand, ProActive, when asked why they do not use BPO in their acne treatment products targeted for the body, state on their site why they utilize BPO only in the face products:
 "...Because BPO is known to bleach fabrics, while salicylic acid does not, we opted to leave it to our customers to decide whether they want to take the extra care required when using BPO products on the body. If you decide to take that route, we recommend that you wear white clothing, use white towels and sleep on white sheets; or at a minimum, wear a white T-shirt under your clothing and sleep in nightwear you don't care about bleaching so that the treated areas of your body don't make contact with your sheets." 

Now, I know people prefer studies about such ingredients, and I found one on BPO done way back in 2002. I am sure if I kept looking I would find some additional info uncovered by now. If you read the study, in general, you wouldn't get too concerned. (if you don't have concern for a chemical that bleaches your towels is ok for your body) ...

I did find this sentence on page 18 a bit disconcerting: "Benzoyl peroxide is not likely to be a complete carcinogen and/or initiator, but it seems to be a tumor promoter in mouse skin in an experimental two-stage model of carcinogenesis."

In my mind, an "INCOMPLETE carcinogen" is not okay...nor are tumor promoters. Obviously, doses of BPO at each application must be small, or people everywhere would have serious reactions to products using BPO. From the books and articles on endocrine disruptors that I have read, it is not the small amount in each "dose", but the build up of these chemicals in the body over a period of time, that contribute to problems down the line. I would venture a geuss that most people who use ProActive use if for more than a year, as they go through their hormonal change/teenage years.  As a parent, I am glad I can offer our son a safe approach to acne treatment.

A few other interesting google search finds on BPO - a hazardous material handling sheet on Benzoyl Peroxide from the US Department of Labor.
Holy cow Batman!  Why is this an okay ingredient to apply to our children's skin day in, day out?

When BPO was first scrutinized at its introduction to the market (whatever that may entail),  the FDA  classified Benzoyl Peroxide as a Category 1 chemical, in other words, safe to use.  However, in 1991 the FDA took another look at BPO and changed the chemical to a Category 3 "more data needed"  due to it's tumor promoting tendencies in more than one strain of mice, as well as in hamsters.  

This time of year, many are preparing for their wedding day, desperately trying to clear up blemishes and such prior to the big day when photos will be taken that will be with them the rest of their lives. As well, upcoming seniors often have their senior pictures taken during the summer prior to their last year of high school. I encourage parents to research the products they decide to purchase for their child, or encourage their young adult to be aware that ingredients in acne treatment products can and may:
1. turn your linens into a white dot design pattern
2. dry out and irritate skin, making them regret having to use it
3. can potentially be harmful with use

Safe and effective products are available, and some even come with a 45 day money back guarantee. As always, for the sake of your health, I hope you have found today's post informative and empowering to help you make smarter choices for smarter living, that can help you...

Feel better, look better, and live better!
Rita S.

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