The Hidden Cost of Beauty – A Guest Post by Peter Lamas

by kimgerber on 11/13/2011

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Written by: Peter Lamas

There are hundreds of face creams, shampoos, lipsticks and other beauty products that line the aisles of a store’s beauty section, each product claiming to help make you more beautiful. But at what cost? Many of today’s products are loaded with harsh chemicals that can irritate or damage your hair and skin. In fact, some ingredients are so toxic, they are considered carcinogenic – cancer-causing.

As a professional in the beauty industry for over 30 years, I have been privileged to work with the most beautiful people, in the most prestigious salons and on the most glamorous runways. However, I’ve also witnessed the damage that harmful chemicals and a toxic environment can have on a person’s health. A very famous client of mine, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and doctors publicly stated her hair dye may have contributed to the development of the disease. I was devastated to hear the very thing I’d applied to Mrs. Onassis’s hair with the intention of enhancing her beauty was one of the things that slowly affected her health. Mrs. Onassis’s situation is only one of a number of cases that motivated me to find a better way to achieve beauty. I spent years studying and searching for effective ingredients that could help enhance a person’s features naturally. I formulated my own line of skincare and hair care products using exotic herbs, potent extracts and certified organic ingredients in the hopes of setting a standard for my peers in the beauty industry. It is important to me to create products that are free of harmful chemicals. I use natural ingredients in my products as much as possible to stay true to my belief in the Healthy Living Philosophy.

It’s been my passion to help educate people about the potentially dangerous ingredients hidden in common beauty products. The following are some of the ingredients I would highly recommend people to stay away from due to the harmful effects they may cause to the body:

  • SODIUM LAURYL SULFATES / SODIUM LAURETH SULFATES (SLS and SLES): Sulfates are used to emulsify or make oils soluble and suspend soil. These are commonly found in shampoos, bath products and cleansing products as a lathering agent.
    • Potential Dangers: Sulfates have been shown to cause irritation to area of skin. Studies have found build-up of the detergent on the skin’s surface and in the hair follicles with consistent use. This buildup may cause to damage the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Also reported that 1% and 5% Sodium Lauryl Sulfate produced significant number of blackheads.
  • PETROCHEMICALS: Petrochemicals are ingredients made from raw materials of petroleum or other hydrocarbons and are often used as a solvent or to make a product more flexible. Petrochemicals are often listed in ingredients listings as Ethanol, Isopropyl alcohol, Phthalates, DEA and TEA. Petrochemicals can be found in anything from lotions to lipsticks to hairspray.
    • Potential Dangers: Certain petrochemicals have been shown to cause reproductive or developmental toxicity.
  • PARABENS: Parabens are usually used in products as a preservative to prevent growth of fungi and bacteria and to extend a product’s shelf life; often listed in products’ ingredients listings as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, isopropylparaben or isobutylparaben.
    • Dangers: Shown to have the ability to mimic estrogen, potentially causing developmental damage to the fetus in pregnant women, estrogen-dependent tumors (ex. breast cancer) and a decreased sperm count in men.  May also cause skin irritations, trigger allergies and may facilitate the development of contact dermatitis and rosacea.

True healthy living encompasses an entire lifestyle – from what you eat, to the products you use on your hair to the nail polish you put on your feet, each has an effect on your entire body. There are a variety of botanicals and herbs in nature which can be used to enhance a person’s appearance naturally. With today’s technology, I believe the beauty industry has the ability to offer healthier products that contain fewer chemicals.


Don’t miss the opportunity to enter the Giveaway for a fantastic collection of Peter Lamas Products.  Contest ends Saturday November 19th!  Until next week…


About the Author: Peter Lamas has been a force in the beauty industry for over 30 years. After training directly under Vidal Sassoon and Paul Mitchell, Lamas became one of the most sought-after hair and makeup stylists in the world – working in prestigious salons such as the acclaimed Kenneth Salon Townhouse and the Henri Bendel Salon Studio.  Soon after, Peter launched his own salon, “The Reapers” in the mid ’70’s. Peter’s clients included some of the world’s most iconic women of our time including Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Diana Ross.


© 2011, kimgerber. All rights reserved.

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