We’ve heard it a lot: beauty is more than skin deep. On any given day, a person will lather, rub, and spray ten or more items on his or her body. Skin is much more a sponge than a barrier.
In fact, there are almost 130 chemicals that we expose ourselves to almost every day. Although cosmetics corporations and the FDA say these chemicals are safe, the doses we expose ourselves to are not.
Although most people use only a limited number of products each day, those amounts of exposure add up over time. We don’t know how certain chemicals disrupt the human body over time, or how the combination of these chemicals will cause the human body to respond. Many chemicals are known to be dangerous: Phthalates, found in fragrances, are hormone disruptors linked to birth defects, sperm damage, and infertility.
Your skin the body’s largest organ, no different from the liver, heart, kidneys and brain. It protects you from and interacts with the environment. One of the most important functions of the skin is detoxification.
Skin has its own sequences as it heals, regenerates and detoxifies overnight, and using chemically polluted products will interfere with this very important process.
That’s why we highly recommend natural skincare that nourishes your skin is where we begin.
GO GREEN WITH YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Now that we know how harmful the chemicals infused in beauty products are, we can appreciate learning how to go green with our skincare routine. Here some steps we recommend.
Advertising is faulty at best. Don’t trust the claims of the companies that guarantee ways to stop aging. Just keep it simple: basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Verify that “Natural” Is Truly Natural
Keep your eye on product labels. Just because something says it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s really natural. A helpful resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin-Deep Cosmetics Database site. It gives ratings to popular cosmetics and personal-care products, as well as hazard scores.
Know The Difference Between Naturally Derived and Natural
There’s a key difference here. Ingredients that are naturally derived can still be chemically treated, which essentially defeats the point. When buying, make sure you’re buying products with natural ingredients, not naturally derived ingredients.
Loopholes in the law allow companies to avoid declaring dozens of toxic chemicals that a single fragrance blend could have. Artificial fragrances frequently contain phthalates and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
Choose Non Toxic, Recyclable Packaging
Glass containers are safe because they are recyclable and present no danger of leaching toxins into the product. For plastics, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), recycling code #1, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), #2, are considered safe; polycarbonate (#7), can leach the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A, or BPA into its contents.
And at all costs, avoid containers that bear recycling code #3 and the letter “V”, which refers to polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. PVC poses significant environmental and health hazards. PVC contains additives and chemical stabilizers like lead, cadmium, and di-ethylhexyl phthalate -that can leach, flake, or off-gas from the plastic.
Ask How Company Values Stack Up
Ask about a company’s philosophy and values. Visiting a corporate website is always informative; check to see if the company tests on animals, or whether the company participates in the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
Choose Organic Beauty and Grooming Products
Organic elements are grown without fertilizers or pesticides, which is healthier for both the planet and our bodies. Better still are botanicals grown with biodynamic farming, which goes above and beyond organic.
Petrochemicals are basically tar and oil. They are often used to produce emollients for face cream or coal tar for scalp-treatment shampoos. The byproducts of these chemicals often contain cancer causing agents. It is listed on labels as petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil.
Using Homemade Skin Care Ingredients
There’s even better news. To ensure that you really are using natural ingredients in your skin care, there are a number of ways to make products naturally at home.
It is exciting to know that you should have almost everything you need to take care of our skin naturally right in your own home! The ingredients below can be used in a number of ways to promote natural skin care.
- Coconut Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Baking Soda
- Olive Oil
- Green Tea
Each of these options have terrific anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant properties. These inexpensive remedies work miracles compared to expensive cosmetics that can have side effects.
BUT IS NATURAL SKIN CARE THAT MUCH BETTER?
So, is natural skincare better for your health and your skin? The answer is yes. Not only will it help your skin, natural skin care products are better for the environment.
If you’ve recently become aware of the truly dangerous chemicals used in skincare products, you know better and you want to do better. Maybe you’ve even realized that not all-natural skincare is purely natural. You are searching for trustworthy natural skin care.
True natural skin care products contain no artificial ingredients. They are made of natural oils, plants, fruit extracts and fruit acids. These products effectively treat and nourish the skin. Skin care harvested directly from nature is one way to get and keep your skin healthy.
As long as products are 95% natural, they are probably safe, but still look at the ingredients and ensure they are high quality. The USDA will not list a product as organic or natural without meeting the 95% threshold. If products have more than 95% in natural ingredients, so much the better. Look out for parabens (bacteria killers used by some companies).
GOING FULLY ORGANIC?
Maybe you want to take things a step further and focus not just on natural skin care products, but also products made with organics. The organic trend is one part of a shift in consumer mindfulness about health and wellness. The beauty market is becoming a haven of organic products for skincare.
Parabens and phthalates, the endocrine disruptors linked to increased risk of breast cancer, are the two most dangerous additives in current skincare products and cosmetics. Business men and women are becoming more aware of the shift in the market and are working to meet the demand for organic products.
Companies and corporations in the beauty business are far more aware of the dangers of preservatives and additives in their products and are working to make significant changes.
Our skin is our largest organ and largest sponge. We truly need to start considering what it is we are putting on our skin (and by osmosis, into our bodies) that may be harming us in the long-term. The short-term benefits of cosmetics, moisturizers, and other skin care products will not equal the long-term side effects.
For those concerned about their overall well-being and long-term health status, it is essential to read the labels of everything you intend to put on or in your body. Choose wisely to promote a healthy, happy lifestyle.
By Anna Kucirkova