Skin is our largest organ and we are confronting it with a lot of chemical intruders as from the moment we wake up. To give up conventional health care and beauty products has been one of the most challenging tasks for me in the path of becoming a healthier me. Firstly and fore mostly because the information about the dangers and risks lurking in the beauty products is not as widely available as the information about food and its ingredients. Secondly probably that it is much more difficult to have good quality natural products that work the same way as the chemical substances that we have been used to utilize. Thirdly, I’ve been kind of beauty product junkie myself as from young age. I’ve done certain amount of modelling as from the age of 14 and was introduced very early to excessive amounts of beauty products and their absolute necessity to use... When I think back about the quality of the products that were used at the time and that nobody ever thought about them being harmful, it seems quite unbelievable.
In order to know which beauty products to choose, we have to educate ourselves about these substances and the dangers. Check the list below to find out if any of you daily products contain these dirty dozen chemicals.
1. BHA and BHT. Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number. Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
3. DEA-related ingredients. Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA.
4. Dibutyl phthalate. Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
6. Parabens. Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
8. PEG compounds. Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
9. Petrolatum. Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
10. Siloxanes. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
11. Sodium laureth sulfate. Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
12. Triclosan. Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
As it is quite difficult to make the swap to natural, detox-free products all at once, it is better to be conscious which products matter the most when speaking about clean.
Like many other conventional personal-care products, conventional antiperspirants and deodorants contain endocrine disruptors, potential carcinogens, and a host of other toxins, many of them unlisted, hidden within the ingredient “fragrance” on the label. What’s different here is their direct contact with one of your body’s most critical detoxifying areas: your underarms. Lymph nodes and sweat glands are concentrated there, and the fact that underarm skin is thin and regularly exfoliated through shaving may make it more vulnerable to absorption than skin elsewhere on the body. Now it is true that there is a lot of trial and error what works for you. I’ve tried the versions of Dr Hausckha, Nuxe, Melvita but still looking for the one and only among the versions of the “clean” market.
2. SUN PROTECTION:
The most potent anti-ager in existence is sunblock. And ironically, chemical sunscreens are among the most powerful skin irritants in the beauty industry. Inflammation is one of the primary causes of aging. So the daily sunscreen many people put on first thing every morning when sun’s up may actually work against them. Then there’s the fact that many chemical sunscreens degrade in sunlight after two hours, so slathering it on before work means you may not be protected by lunchtime. Add to that the endocrine disrupters and other toxins in standard formulas and you start to realize what a terrible choice chemical sunscreens are.
Mineral sunblock, on the other hand, calms skin as opposed to irritating it, lasts until you wash or sweat it off, and doesn’t add to your toxic load. The only trade-off—that it can take longer to rub in—is now practically nonexistent, as clean cosmetic companies have made clean sunblock formulas much more blendable.
3. SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER:
Hair products are among the most toxin-loaded in the beauty industry: Powerful fragrances and sulfates, endocrine-disrupting preservatives, and potentially carcinogenic plasticizers and dyes are common ingredients. And not only do you work them into your scalp and end up with them all over your body in the shower; you also inhale the shower steam infused with them. Switching to clean hair products can make a big difference in your exposure levels and your hair health. Clean shampoos are markedly less stripping, since they don’t use industrial sulfates and detergents; clean conditioners rely on natural oils and butters as opposed to silicones and plasticizers (neither of which do anything to actually condition hair) to soften and moisturize, so the shine you get is for-real healthy hair, not simply the appearance of it.
You eat a large percentage of whatever you put on your lips; in the case of conventional lipsticks, you’re consuming dyes that aren’t even allowed in food: petroleum, plasticizers, and optical brighteners, along with the common cohort of endocrine-disrupting, potentially carcinogenic preservatives and “fragrances.” That said, when you want a full-on, pull-it-together lipstick, you need gorgeous, intense pigments and luxe, ultrahydrating texture, not to mention long wear. My personal favourites are RMS and ILIA lipsticks and lip colors which deliver fresh and intense color and long lasting hydratation.
There will be a major breakthrough in the industry of conventional beauty products when the consumers will realize the dangers that are currently in the products and their relatedness to quite many of the diseases that we are facing. Need more insight on the history of cosmetics and what you can do have a look at "Story of cosmetics”.
Any clean beauty products to recommend? Let me know!