Mold. That distinctly disgusting, odorific, hairy looking substance that claims the lives of so many food items and now your body care products too!
Don't be scared ... this is a good thing.
For too long we have been tricked into believing that our products should last forever. While this may seem like a great idea, it actually is not. Products that never go bad are often created with tons of chemicals and/or preservatives. Most of these compounds have a negative impact on health by causing a potential cocktail of issues in the long term such as endocrine disruption and skin irritants.
You've heard the phrase, "you are what you eat." There has been a big effort to educate people on what they are consuming because sadly, our food is laden with chemicals and preservatives that over time may cause harm. Information about these harmful ingredients has become readily available and it is very easy to find numerous articles on what you should be consuming instead.
Unfortunately, the effort to educate people that putting chemical laden products on your skin is just as bad hasn't really had as much traction. I am here to tell you "you are what you put on your body" as well. What goes on, goes in! Your skin is one large organ that absorbs a large percentage of what it comes in contact with: soap, lotion, bug repellant, the environment, pollution, etc.
It is important that you read the label, both for food and body care. If you don't know what an ingredient is, use the skin deep cosmetic database or quite frankly, google it. You will find information as to whether it is safe or hazardous.
EWG Link: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
If all of this isn't enough to convince you to take better care of your skin, then perhaps knowing that babies are born "toxic" will. There have been studies showing that infants are being born pre-disposed to toxins; the culprits, well there are many. The big players are food, cosmetics/body care, and the environment.
The task of leading a healthier life for you and your family may seem daunting but it can be done. Making the switch to less processed food is a great start. Eating more fruits, vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats (nuts, oils, avocados) will not only cut down on chemical consumption, it will improve your health and well-being in general. Making a conscious effort to buy more natural body care products will also help to eliminate a lot of harmful toxins that are typically endocrine disrupters and/or skin irritants.
Read the labels, look up ingredients. Does it take time, yes. Do we have a lot of time in this busy day and age, no. But we do tend to devote time to those things that are important to us. Make living a more natural, less processed life one of them for both you and your family's well-being.