Think what you put on your skin doesn’t matter? Think again…
What you put on your skin is just as important for your health as what goes into your body!
Your skin isn’t a plastic barrier against the world – it’s a breathable organ and actually acts more like a sponge. Your skin absorbs up to 60% of what you put on it – think nicotine and pain management patches!
If your skin products are made from harmful ingredients then it puts pressure on the body’s natural detoxification process and on your entire immune system.
Some chemicals can stay in your body for several months or even years before they are eliminated!
And it’s not just about you, either. Every product we use will eventually end up in our waterways and soil, causing problems for microorganisms and aquatic life.
Some ingredients that are best avoided are:
- Parabens – often found in deodorants & moisturisers, parabens are hormone inhibitors & are believed to accelerate tumor growth
- Artificial fragrance & colour – may trigger allergies and asthma, and some colours contain lead & harmful dyes
- Toulene – found in nail polish, hair colour products, and some fragrances, this chemical is linked to kidney & liver damage, which may affect fetal growth.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – a foaming agent found in shampoos and body/facial washes, it dries out the skin & is linked to eczema, hair loss, rashes, and dry and scaly skin.
- Formaldehyde – used as a preservative, formaldehyde is known by several different names & should be avoided at all costs, as the side effects are numerous.
- PEG’s – found in numerous skin & personal care products, this is anti-freeze and should be used for your car, not your skin!
- Paraffin/Mineral Oil/Petrolatum – clogs pores, causing toxic build-up.
- Phthalates – found in plastics, these are a known hormone disruptor and can be linked to birth defects, sperm damage, infertility and the feminisation of baby boys.
- Triclosan – used in anti-bacterial products, it is a pesticide, harmful to the environment, and a suspected carcinogen.
- Sunscreens – Google some of those ingredients and you will see that they cause possible damage to DNA and many are known carcinogens.
Natural ingredients are a much safer alternative, although often ingredients labeled as natural or naturally-derived have undergone chemical processing which can reduce their benefits to the skin. The best ingredients have undergone minimal processing – look for cold pressed extra virgin plant oils and steam-distilled essential oils.
Choosing the best skin and body care products means reading labels and recognising toxic ingredients. But it’s also important to know how those ingredients are processed. Products from companies that care about the health of their customers will be happy to share their ingredients and production processes.
A few things you can do to minimise toxic ingredients are:
- Read what’s on the label and if you don’t recognise it avoid it, especially if it has a long shelf life.
- Don’t think that expensive is better – most products are pricey because of the brand or packaging, not because they are that good.
- Try making your own care products, like face scrubs and deodorant – the internet is loaded with great recipes.
- Use the same approach to your skin products as your diet – minimally processed, natural ingredients.
- A really long ingredient list means that there will be minimal amounts of active ingredients – usually not enough to benefit your body.