If you’re reading this article, chances are your health is at least somewhat of a priority for you. You probably enjoy searching for new, healthy recipes to try, new workouts to inject some variety into your routine, and like to keep up with the latest health news. Most likely, you are no stranger to reading labels at the grocery store, either, checking calorie, fat, and sugar content, as well as “fake” or chemical ingredients before you purchase any food items for your family.
When it comes to checking food labels before buying a product, that seems like a no-brainer. But when was the last time you checked the label on your shampoos, conditioners, and other beauty products? Oftentimes, we forget to look beyond the promise of “natural, radiant, youthful looking skin!” in bold letters on the front of the packaging. If this sounds like you, this article will tell you why you should start reading these labels and exactly what to look for.
Why are most commercial beauty products bad for you?
Many of the beauty products that we buy in our younger years for conditions such as acne work well, solving the problem as long as you continue to use the product. The unfortunate reality of many of these skin “solutions” however, are the long-term damage they can do to our skin.
Early signs of aging, dry skin, dry hair and additional problems with your sweat glands are just a few of the problems that you could very likely face with continued use of these products. The idea that you have to trade smooth, blemish-free skin now for copious facial wrinkles and other side effects is simply untrue. There are plenty of natural products and solutions to all skin problems that work far better than their commercial counter parts without creating harmful side-effects.
Which Beauty Products Do You Need to Keep an Eye on?
1. Body Lotion
When choosing the perfect moisturizer or body lotion, we often spend twenty minutes or more smelling each one and debating on which scent is our favorite. Scents like island breeze or vanilla cupcake smell so wonderful thanks to an ingredient known as Phthalates, commonly known as perfume. (2)
Phthalates act as hormone disruptors and are linked to reproductive health defects, development problems with children and insulin resistance. These are just a few of the reasons why Phthalates have been banned from Europe. Unfortunately, they are still present in many of the beauty products in North America. (2)
Many body lotions also include coal tar and butylated compounds. Coal tar has been linked to skin cancer according to research done in mice. (3) For a safer option that still smells just as good, choose an organic option with essential oils or natural plant butters.
2. Face Wash
Parabens (aka Phenoxyethanol) have been linked to skin irritation, brain damage, and reproductive complications. They have also been found in human breast cancer tissue; therefore an association nhas been made to this type of cancer, but it is still being investigated further.
Unfortunately, they are commonly found in some of the most popular facial cleansers that dry out and damage the skin. (4) Instead, try using natural, hydrating cleansers.
3. Facial Moisturizer
Similar to the body lotion and face wash mentioned above, facial moisturizers also include parabens and phthalates. (3, 4) To avoid them, find a new face moisturizer with essential oils instead of a fragrance or perfume listed on the label.
In addition to parabens and phthalates, you can also find triclosan and propylene glycol in your favorite deodorant. (3, 4, 5) It is time to search for a deodorant that includes ingredients such as Vitamin E, coconut oil and baking soda listed on its label, or learn how to make your own.
You have most likely experienced the excruciating pain that occurs when soap touches your eye. The reason behind that pain is a chemical known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS), which is not only an eye irritant but a skin and lung irritant as well. (6) Add that in with parabens and simple soap has suddenly become damaging and dangerous. Search for the perfect alternative that includes coconut oil and butter instead, which won’t dry out your skin and doesn’t include chemical ingredients.
6. Face Mists
Along with the long list of ingredients on many conventional facial mists labels, by far one of the more alarming of these is “fragrance”. While it appears it is only one ingredient of many, fragrance actually means thousands of chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic and not in any way safe for your body. (7)
That being said, face mists are excellent for hydrating your skin, especially when you are out and about and your skin just needs a little perking up. Thankfully, natural face mists that don’t use natural chemicals do exist!
7. Eye Creams
We all want to get rid of the fine lines that slowly start to appear around our eyes. Unfortunately, most of the conventional eye creams out there are not only expensive and don’t work, but they are full of synthetic chemicals that do more harm than the product does good. Common ingredients include fragrance, phthalates, and drying alcohols. (3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Easy DIY Recipes for Your Beauty Products
Not only are there fantastic natural products you can buy, but if you have a little extra time and motivation, you can make many of your beauty products at home with items from your kitchen.
This DIY recipe for a deodorant has no trace of harmful chemicals. All that you have to do is mix coconut oil, shea butter, baking soda and organic corn starch and enjoy your homemade deodorant!
After learning about all those harmful chemicals hiding in our soaps, here are 10 recipes that are chemical free and protective for your skin.
DIY Body Lotion
This recipe can also be used to prepare a natural hand lotion apart from the body lotion, and will leave your skin soft, luminous, and chemical-free.
DIY Face Mask
Though your everyday skincare routine is the most important for maintain young, healthy-looking skin, a good weekly or bi-weekly face mask gives your complexion an extra little bit of TLC. You can try making your own DIY natural face masks here.
How To Select A Good Skincare Brand
It‘s easy to get a good skincare brand when you know what to look for. Here are 5 rules to follow:
- Avoid endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, BPA, and parabens.
- Check the label for synthetic ingredients such as dyes and fragrances. These “single” ingredients contain thousands of chemicals that are damaging to your health.
- Look for natural based products that use ingredients such as plant butters and oils, herbs, and essential oils.
- Choose organic whenever possible: If a product uses entirely plant-based ingredients, but those plants were not grown organically, than you are exposing yourself to the pesticides and insecticides that were sprayed on the plants as well.
- Research each company’s core values online to see if they prioritize sustainability, using natural ingredients, and aim to be as transparent as possible with their customers.
A healthy diet and regular exercise will improve your health and slow down aging, but the harsh chemicals found in your favorite body lotion, best anti-aging product or face wash can undo much of the hard work you put in. Start reading the labels of your favorite cosmetics and beauty products, and consider switching to natural alternatives.
Here are a few more DIY recipes to give a try!
(1) Know the Untold Facts about Facial Wrinkles. (2017, May 02). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.solvaderm.com/blog/facial-wrinkles.html
(2) Lyche, J. L., Gutleb, A. C., Bergman, A., Eriksen, G. S., Murk, A. J., Ropstad, E., . . . Skaare, J. U. (2009, April). Reproductive and developmental toxicity of phthalates. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20183522
(3) Cosmetic, P. A. (n.d.). Final safety assessment of Coal Tar as used in cosmetics. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18830861
(4) Tacon, A. (2014, January 18). What Are the Side Effects of Parabens? Retrieved August 09, 2017, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/194949-what-are-the-side-effects-of-parabens/
(5) How Harmful Are the Chemicals in Your Deodorant? (n.d.). Retrieved August 09, 2017, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/02/17/deodorant-chemicals.aspx
(6) Eisenbraun, K. (2015, January 28). Dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/174367-dangers-of-sodium-lauryl-sulfate/
(7) De, A. C., & Frosch, P. J. (1997, February). Adverse reactions to fragrances. A clinical review. Retrieved August 09, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9062742
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