Top 5 chemicals to avoid in your beauty products
We all know how important the ingredients we put IN our bodies are. But what about the ingredients we’re putting ON them?
The average woman applies 12 products to their skin daily and absorbs around 168 chemicals (a 2007 study said the average woman absorbed up to two kgs a year).
If I gave you the ingredient list from breakfast, chances are you’d recognise most of the items and have a vague idea of how they impact your body. What about your daily beauty regime? If you started flipping over all that pretty packaging would you be able to figure out what your moisturiser, foundation and deodorant are really adding to your day?
The skin is our largest organ. It can absorb anywhere between 30 per cent to 90 per cent of the products we’re using. This means that within minutes all those beauty ingredients you can’t even pronounce are swimming through your bloodstream and could be quietly wreaking havoc on your precious internal systems.
Many of the toxins found in mainstream beauty products can be directly linked to:
Skin conditions and irritations
Impaired liver and other vital organ function.
Head to EWG.org for more information, but here’s a quick overview of the top five ingredients to avoid:
1. PARABENS (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)
Found in: Makeup, deodorants and skin care products.
2. PARFUM/SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE
Found in: Makeup, skin and personal care products. The thing about a fragrance added to a product is that if it’s umbrellaed under the term “fragrance” the company doesn’t have to disclose what it’s comprised of.
Use: Mask odors or add a pleasant scent.
PETROLATUM (Petroleum Jelly)
Found in: Hair products, lip balm/lipstick, skin care products.
SODIUM Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & SODIUM Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Found in: Shampoos, shower gels, bubble baths and face wash.
Use: Foaming agent.
PHTHALATES (DBP, DEHP, DEP)
Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray.
Use: A class of plasticising chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin.
Now, before you start to panic, here’s some good news! There are now so many incredible, natural alternatives on the market that making the switch has never been easier.
Step 1: Know your toxins.
If toxicology isn’t your thing, there’s an amazing free app called Think Dirty that’s done hard work for you. Simply scan or search your products and you’ll be given a rating from 1 to 10 based on carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity and allergies and immunotoxicity. There’s also a full breakdown of the ingredients with their use and health impacts if you want to dive deeper.
Step 2: Replace old nasties for new naturals.
This can be a little overwhelming so do it a little at a time. So as one product runs out replace it with a healthier alternative. Thankfully we’re totally spoilt for choice when it comes to natural and organic products that are effective, affordable and accessible, with Australia leading the way with brands like Inika, La Mav and of course Miranda Kerr’s Kora.
For a head start on making the switch come visit me at Depths of Beauty for a tonne of natural beauty info, reviews and how-tos.
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