We are much more savvy these days about what’s in our food.
We are less aware of what is lurking in our cosmetics.
The beauty industry has us in the powerful grip of ‘anti-ageing’, ‘anti-wrinkle’, and a thousand promises of everlasting youth.
While cosmetics are a little better regulated in the EU than the US, most of us still go straight for the promise of chemicals, believing the ‘science’ results will be more effective than natural alternatives.
They may be faster acting, but what about long term effects? What about the other uncomfortable questions chemical beauty raises – like animal testing and the environment.
What are we forcing into our bodies through our skin, and how does that impact our health?
If it was on the menu, you’d say ‘No Way’!
The ‘nasties’ in your nail polish, lipstick, and skin creams can include:
– just Yikes!
– used as a preservative (labelled as propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparabe). Found in almost any beauty product that has water (a.k.a. ‘aqua’) added. Parabens can disrupt hormones and potentially cause cancer. Most have been phased out in the EU.
This toxic chemical is a fragrance used in vinyl shower curtains (it gives vinyl its distinctive smell), air fresheners and detergents. Phthalates also disrupt hormones and decrease sperm count.
When certain chemicals mix, nitrosamines can form. They’re not often listed on cosmetic labels because they are not actual ingredients. But this toxin is so prolific, it is found in almost every skin care product. Many studies link nitrosamine to cancer. 1 in 10 cosmetics still contain combinations of ingredients that create nitrosamines.
What exactly is a ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum? Classified as a trade secret, companies aren’t required to list the ingredients that make up ‘fragrance’ in their products. Unless essential oils are used to fragrant the product, it’s most likely to be harmful chemical components.
Just like the food we eat, we should question the ‘nutritional’ value of cosmetics. If we think of them as ‘skin food’, what are we feeding our skin?
The foundation of a healthy body is good nutrition. It is the same for skin. Chemical ingredients have replaced natural ingredients. They are quicker and cheaper to manufacture. We have been persuaded to believe they are ‘better’, ‘more effective’.
What organic and natural cosmetics pack is skin nutrition.
A Healthy Diet for Skin
They are rich in ingredients like:
Vitamin C – a superpower when it comes to antioxidants and it fights free radicals, which attack the skin’s support structure and leads to imparting collagen and the aging of skin.
Vitamin E – another powerful antioxidant that soothes out the skin and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin A – vital for the repair of skin. If you notice your skin is damaged, dull or flaky look for products that include this.
Most organic and natural brands pack these essential vitamins and more in their products.
Where results are concerned, natural ingredients gradually feed the skin and the layers below. They don’t ‘strip’ or damage skin for instant results but maintain the health and radiance of your skin longer term.
We know good food isn’t a processed ready meal. It’s the same for good skincare. Better ingredients mean better results.
Organic ingredients won’t be grown with pesticides and natural skincare and cosmetics won’t have crude oil derivatives.
Our thoughts about cosmetics should follow our growing consciousness about food. In our ‘results’ driven culture, we are moving away from the instant fix to long term health and maintenance. This is what organic cosmetics offer.
Finally, to the other ‘uncomfortable’ questions of the cosmetics industry.
Organic and natural cosmetics have less impact on the environment across the board. More recyclable packaging. No synthetic chemicals and fertilizers to grow the ingredients. No harmful chemicals washed into the water supply. And natural and organic products mean no harrowing animal testing.
It’s a win-win. More and more cosmetics companies are emerging whose products are tapping into the growing demand for natural. An increasing younger market are demanding organic and vegan alternatives to the traditional make up and beauty brands.
Beauty does not have to have an ugly side. No more environmental carelessness, no more cruel animal testing and no more nasty secrets hidden in ingredient lists.