The Silent Killer Hiding in Your Skin Care

05/11/2017 03:02 pm ET Updated May 11, 2017

Imagine living through your prime years, only to be plagued with constant suffering and the alarming sensation that your body is failing you. Imagine if you had no idea why this was happening. It’s easy to feel hopeless and lost in such a scenario.

Wendi Sudhakar experienced exactly this. She struggled through years of ovarian cancer, liver failure, losing her thyroid after both Hashimoto's and Graves’ disease, mind-boggling allergies, and complete immune system disfunction. Worst of all, she had no idea why it was happening.

After years of countless tests and visits with doctors, Wendi found solace in a functional medicine practitioner who guided towards a new path of healing. After carefully studying her diet and habits, he advised her to cut gluten, all grains including corn and to remove all toxins from her food. Through his guidance she learned how gluten affects one’s sensitive body, triggering autoimmune diseases such as MS, fibromyalgia, and hashimotos.

Wendi quickly discovered that her previously undiscovered gluten allergy/intolerance had turned her body into a living, breathing toxic waste dump. In order for her to heal, it was critical to begin on the cellular level.

After 2 years of a strictly gluten-free diet, Wendi began to see a difference, but she couldn’t help but feel as if something was still off. She still wasn’t feeling 100%. So she decided to dig deeper. A geologist by training, Wendi was no novice to research. She began looking beyond what she consumed orally and focused on all of her topical skincare and bodycare products.

What she discovered not only shocked her, but planted a seed for the next massive transformation in her life.

In digging deeper, Wendi learned that the skincare industry was riddled with conflicting information. What were thought was safe products were filled with carcinogenic toxins. Taking the next step, she completely removed any and all products that had either gluten or toxic ingredients. For the first time in over 20 years, she began to feel better.

Wendi had found her Holy Grail of healing, but there was still a whole other journey to begin.

In reaching out to others and in sharing her story, Wendi realized that she wasn’t the only one suffering. Thousands of people have experienced the tragic reality of a diseased life, not having any answers and feeling lost and helpless. She discovered that Gluten Ataxia is in fact an epidemic and one that has caused misdiagnoses, mistreatments and a lack of understanding when it comes to root causes.

Research conducted by Dr. Alessio Fasano, medical director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research, and Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center and author of Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic, indicates that between 5% and 10% of all people may suffer from a gluten sensitivity of some form. Unfortunately only 1 in 4700 have been diagnosed and informal research indicates the percentage of affected Americans could be as high as 40%. This leaves a massive chunk of the population suffering in the dark. Celiac is only one of the many autoimmune diseases that gluten causes, which is a main factor of why many diseases fall under the radar by not associating gluten as the root problem.

“It’s a silent killer. It does it’s thing behind the scenes and then one day you are sick and you don’t know why” says Wendi.

Fast forward a year, and after her own tribulations and in studying those of others, Wendi is at the helm of Kudarat, her own line of skincare. Kudarat is a word ingrained in Hindi culture, meaning “nature”. Her research of thousands of cosmetic companies and ingredients allowed her to gain critical knowledge in developing her own brand that is not only 100% gluten and toxin free, but also has all the anti-aging and skin rejuvenation advantages of her mainstream competitors.

You do not have to sacrifice your health for the sake of looking or smelling good. I didn’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through. There is a road to recovery but it’s a long one and it’s a terrible quality of life. Once I started feeling better, I didn’t realize how bad I actually felt, I got so used to it. I don’t want anybody to suffer like this.

Wendi knows that her product line is also perfect for the masses and not only those suffering from gluten allergies. To her, it’s disheartening to think that other products we use can lead to sensitivities, minor health issues and possibly serious ailments over a prolonged and difficult period of time. In the aims of discovering your own transformation and Holy Grail of healing, here’s Wendi’s top-10 list of key ingredients to avoid:

  1. Gluten—Gluten, a nasty protein found in all grains to varying degree (especially GMO grains), including CORN, can wreak havoc on the bodies of those people who are intolerant and/or sensitive to it. Besides causing harm to our bodies in the form of many auto-immune diseases including lupus, fibromyalgia, and MS , along with inflammation, fatigue, and joint pain, to name just a few, gluten can also have a negative effect on our skin. The presence of gluten activates our immune system and this can lead to acne, eczema, dermatitis, etc. Our skin can become very irritated and angry—because it is! There are a lot of people out there who are suffering from the toxic effects of gluten but are totally unaware of it.

There is an unbelievable amount of “hidden” gluten in our skincare products. A full (but non-exhaustive) list can be provided upon request.

  1. Mineral Oil/Petrolatum—Mineral oil is used in almost all products in the USA. It is the #1 most-used ingredient besides water. Mineral oil is a bi-product of the petroleum refining process—basically, it’s crude oil that has been refined about 7 times. Because the FDA doesn’t really do much to regulate the skin-care industry, it’s more profitable to sell this waste product to cosmetic companies to be used as a cheap filler, instead of disposing of it. Because it is so highly toxic, the EPA has strict guidelines on how to dispose of it!

Mineral oil masks itself as estrogen, causing estrogen dominance and that can lead to side effects such as depression, weight gain, thyroid problems, and breast cancer. It also negatively impacts skin function, causing it to age prematurely. It is actually the second leading cause of aging! Cell renewal is slowed, collagen breaks down and connective tissue is destroyed. Also, since it doesn’t allow absorption, no beneficial ingredients can be absorbed into your skin. At the same time, mineral oil blocks pores from releasing toxins. Our skin is our largest organ and one of the primary ways our bodies detox. When the skin is prevented from doing its job, the toxins are then stored in our fat cells. Over time, this can lead to major problems. Mineral oil is a probable carcinogen.

  1. Parabens—Parabens are preservatives. The American Chemical Society estimates that parabens are in about 85% of all personal care products. There is a lot of debate regarding how harmful parabens are. Just as with mineral oil, parabens mimic the effects of estrogen. A lot of questions are being asked—parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors. Does this mean they can be linked to female breast cancer, increasing rates of male breast cancer and testicular cancer and declining sperm counts (infertility)? Regardless, they are another petrochemical and just add to the toxic load on your body. There are natural preservatives that do the job very nicely.
  2. Formaldehyde—Formaldehyde is a highly toxic chemical that is still used under the guise of different names. Formaldehyde is a highly effective preservative, but it is also very toxic to our immune system, nervous system, and is also a major carcinogen. Even if we diligently avoid products containing formaldehyde as a known ingredient, many of the other preservatives used are actually formaldehyde releasers. They actually begin to release this toxin as your products sit on the shelf. The longer your products sit on the shelf, the more formaldehyde they release, and the more toxic your products become!

The following list are the most common formaldehyde releasing ingredients (avoid these!): diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium 15, sodium hydromethylgycinate.

  1. Phthalates—Pthalates change the texture and quality of skincare products. They are estrogen disrupters and the cause of reproductive problems, especially for the guys and have been linked with liver cancer. They have also been connected to rising obesity rates, especially abdominal obesity! Seriously, so this will both make us fat and kill us?! No thanks.
  2. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA  (triethanolamine)—These are hormone-disrupting chemicals that have known carcinogenic effects. They have been linked to major increases in liver and kidney cancers. They are commonly found in shampoos, bubble bath, and cleansers.
  3. Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS), and Ammonium Laureth Sulphate)—These are detergents or foaming agents found in cleansers. They are very harsh detergents that strip the skin’s moisture barrier, which is linked to immunity and can disrupt your skin’s health and well as cause irritation. These have the same issues as the parabens.
  4. Propylene Glycol and PEG’s—PEGs are chemical skin softeners and emulsifiers. Without sounding like a broken record, they have been linked to cancer, reproduction and fertility issues, birth and developmental defects, and are toxic to organs. They also reduce skin’s moisture levels and accelerate aging. A lot of anti-aging products contains these. You’re not doing your skin any favors.
  5. SD-40 Alcohols—This is made from a petroleum derivative and can act as a carrier, accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin. It can promote brown spots and prematurely age your skin.
  6. Triclosan—Triclosan is a synthetic antibacterial ingredient that is chemically similar to Agent Orange. It can cause cancer and is a hormone disrupter. Since it is stored in body fat, it can damage the liver, kidneys, and lungs and cause paralysis, immune function suppression, brain hemorrhages and heart problems. Run! Well, ditch your antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers first and then RUN.

11. Synthetic Fragrances and Dyes—Most fragrances in lotions, shampoos and many other cosmetics are composed of aromatic hydrocarbons. Artificial colors and dyes cause allergic reactions. It takes up to 25 chemicals to creative various colors—that’s a lot of chemicals! There are wonderful botanical ingredients to derive scent and color.

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