I constantly try to remind people that the trace amounts of chemicals in common, everyday products is put there to protect that product from bacteria that can actually harm humans. But this concept can be tough to explain, especially when women (particularly moms) are constantly bombarded with incomplete information about chemicals. 

Luckily, I came across this video that helps explain the point.  

The video starts with a question: "Imagine your cosmetics without preservatives." The video then shows you what happens to face cream that doesn't contain bacteria fighting chemicals. Take a look for yourself.

As you can see from the video, mold begins to form at day 8. Now, I don't know about most readers to this blog, but I can tell you I have makeup in my bathroom drawer from the first Bush Administration (yeah, yeah…I need to do some de-cluttering). You might do a better job of cleaning out your makeup drawer but something tells me you hang on to your cosmetics, lotion, shampoos, and other personal care products for longer than 8 days.

This video is a good reminder that companies use chemical preservatives to do just that–preserve things, so that they're safer and can stay on store shelves longer. That's good news for consumers because the use of preservatives drives down prices. If manufacturers couldn't use these ingredients, products would have to be made in small batches and much of it would have to be destroyed if it wasn't sold or used within that small safety window. But the most important thing for those worried about chemicals in common products to understand is that manufacturers only use trace amounts of these preservatives to get the job done–levels that aren't harmful to humans.

So, when you hear about "toxic" chemicals in your makeup, soap, shampoo, or children's products, remember this video and that trace levels of preserving chemicals are used to protect, not harm.