You may have started or popped into your diary day 1 of our 3 day beauty cleanse to get the beautiful skin and the energy you crave! We looked at cleansing from the inside out with the foods you eat.
Today we look at cleansing your body from the outside in by going through the ingredients in your makeup and skin and body care products and offering delicious alternatives.
- Synthetic fragrance
- Dyes and artificial colours
- Foaming Agents
- Emulsifiers, texturizers, fillers, carriers,
- Non plant oils and waxes - petroleum, mineral, synthetic
- EWG Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
- Download the Skin Deep App. iPhone or Android
- luk beautifood Guide to making the switch to natural and organic beauty products
- Buy the book "No More Dirty Looks" or visit Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt fabulous website
The cosmetic & personal care industry is highly unregulated. Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and are carcinogenic. Look at your beauty labels the same way you do your food products. There are thousands of chemicals in your beauty products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. These are 10 you should really try to avoid, there are many more.
Start by checking the labels on your products.
F + DC colourings (F= Food C=Cosmetics D=drugs) represent artificial colours in the USA. They are coded with a colour and number eg D&C Red 27). In Australia we use a 3 digit code + name colour. They are derived from petroleum, coal tar and/or †˜lakes’ using lead and aluminium. Synthetic colours are said to be carcinogenic, a skin irritant and linked to ADHD in children whilst the heavy metals (eg lead and aluminium) are causing cancer and neurologic diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Why use synthetic fragrance in everything from fancy perfume to face wash when pure oils are available? Because they are CHEAP and the the term is protected so the formulations can’t be copied. Lab studies by the EWG have shown them to contain a cocktail of hormone disruptors (among other things). Do you know hormones regulate everything: mood, skin health, fertility and weight. Fragrance can be found in many products such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash and moisturisers.
Petroleum & related petrochemicals such as mineral oils, waxes and coal tar & PEG’s: Yes that glossy shine from most well known lips balms comes from petroleum which forms an impermeable barrier that ironically dries out the lips and can cause allergies. And yes, it is used in many moisturisers as it is cheap and highly refined which means †˜consistency’ in production.
This widely used group of prevents bacteria, mould and yeast growing. It became controversial when their presence was discovered in the tissue of breast tumors because of their estrogen-mimicking properties. Look for ingredients on the label with "paraben" as a suffix. Found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers.
Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservative are used in many cosmetics to prevent microbial growth. Look names such imidazolidinyl urea, and diazolidinyl urea as you won’t always see the words formaldehyde on an ingredient label. It's considered a human carcinogen by many health agencies worldwide, and most likely will be giving you a rash and is harmful to your immune system. Found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows and more.
This very powerful antimicrobial†”used in everything from hand soap and face wash to deodorant, toothpaste and acne treatments†”has an ugly side. For one, it stays in our bodies. There’s concern that regular exposure may actually be creating resistant strains of bacteria. And two, it may also impact thyroid function as it is a known endocrine disruptor. Not to mention it is a skin irritant.
PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as surfactants, cleansing agents, emulsifiers, skin conditioners an humectants. PEG’s are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases as they can penetrate the skin helping to deliver other ingredients deeper in. Thru a production process dioxins are released, this combined with heavy metal contaminants is the major concern of this ingredient as they are linked to cancers, skin irritation and cardiovascular ailments.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) This †˜surfactant’ use to be found in more than 90% of products that †˜foam’ up such as shampoo, body wash and liquid soap. They strip out natural oils (protective and skin balancing barriers) forcing you to use more product and making your skin irritated. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. These combinations can lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage.
Phthalates (colourless oily liquid) acts as a plasticiser to give flexibility, softness and slip to products. Look for dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. And don’t forget your lipstick or deodorant. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Problem is they are used in †˜fragrance’ and don’t need to be declared.
In the US there are 17 individual sunscreen ingredients that are FDA approved: 15 of these are clear chemicals that absorb UV light and two are made of minerals that reflect UV light – zinc oxide and titanium oxide. 9 of the 15 are endocrine (hormone) disruptors and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. Common names are phebenzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. On top of this, preservatives are added such as pheoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol which irritate and/or dry the skin. We share do some research on this toxic time bomb.
It does not stop here, keep looking for medium to high risk ingredients you should avoid.
This is an example of an ingredient statement off a well known brand that positions itself as Natural Australian Beauty - so be careful as there is no legislation to manage the % of natural ingredients that are used whilst the rest maybe synthetic or contain known preservatives.
- Free People | Beauty & Wellness
- Beauty Heaven | 10 Best natural skin care products
"Beauty so clean you can eat it"
- Brown Sugar Lip Scrub with avocado and grapefruit
- Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
"Wear confidence like make up"There is nothing as beautiful as a women who follows her dreams, who wears what she desires, who nourishes her beauty inside and out....she glows as she knows the true meaning of natural beauty. Featured image courtesy of Sweet Style