A question for you. If toxins came in a pretty package, would you put them on your skin?
The answer is, of course, a resounding NO! Yet each one of us takes in harmful chemicals on a daily basis through the products we use. We make our choices based on numerous individual preferences, such as whether the brand in question tests products on animals or use known harmful ingredients such as parabens to which one smells nicest. More and more frequently, studies are showing that diseases are, in part, linked to toxins ingested
through environment and ingredients. 80% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream within 20 minutes. Bearing that in mind, do we want to put things on our skin that we wouldn’t willingly eat? Did you know, for example, that for a product to be classed as ‘organic’, it need only contain 10% organic ingredients?
Although beauty is definitely not just skin deep, more often than not, we feel concerned with how our skin looks because it’s on view. Our skin can be affected by the weather, diet, hydration, stress, hormones and many other factors including what we put on it. According to surveys, on average, women use 12 products a day that contain 168 harmful chemicals[i].Whilst individual ingredients may have been researched, who knows what the combined effects maybe?
Granted, we want to take care of ourselves and each of us has differing needs when it comes to caring for our skin and our entire well-being. But how much do we really know about each of the ingredients listed in the products we use and what their effects are? There is a wealth of information and recipes for natural products now that more than covers skin care needs and in an ideal world, maybe we would all make our own completely natural and healthy products. Realistically though, we all have our favoured brands and products. So here are a few of the worst offenders commonly found in ingredients to put on your ‘avoid ‘ list and a couple of websites that can provide you with more information.
Aluminium Chlorohydrate – a neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer. Found in antiperspirants and deodorants
Ammonia – an eye and respiratory tract irritant often found in hair dyes/bleach.
Parabens – have been linked to breast cancer and infertility amongst other things. Often found in cosmetics although awareness has been raised in recent years and may products are now labelled ‘paraben free’.
Sulphates (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate – SLS, SLES) – carcingogenic, hormone disrupter, eye & skin irritant, this list goes on. One of the most harmful ingredients in beauty and personal care products.
Organic skincare is not just about you, it’s also about your environment. There is a growing trend towards organic products not just in the supermarket but in the health and beauty industry and there are plenty of products to choose from. I favour Raw Gaia (there chocolate face pack is divine and is genuinely good for your skin) but there are more and more brands springing up all the time. Take the time to check out those that advertise themselves as 100% organic as there is bound to be a brand that suits you, your pocket and the environment. I’ve attached an interesting article to get you started.
The websites below are just a few of the numerous ones that have started listing toxic ingredients. There are many more. Do get in touch if you know of resources (whether they are books, websites etc) that provide useful information on cosmetic ingredients and health. EWG’s site also gives you a hazard rating for specific brands and products. Would you want to use a mascara that has a hazard rating of 8 out of 10?
As ever, if you have any questions or would like to share your experience of organic / non organic products and how you feel about them (positive or negative), get in touch.