One would think that nowadays, in the age of the internet and consumerism, it’s never been easier to find quality and yet non-toxic beauty products. Both online and brick-and-mortar stores are well stocked with all imaginable kinds of cosmetics and skincare products. Does this mean that splurging on high-end designer makeup is a good investment? Not necessarily. Don’t jump to any conclusions, and start reading labels before making your next purchase. There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when it comes to detoxing your beauty routine.
Beauty Comes from Within
Over time, our skin absorbs large quantities of toxins through various cosmetic and beauty products applied to it. Those toxins accumulate and build up inside the body, causing all kinds of health issues, including some serious diseases. There’s a lot of controversy surrounding certain ingredients used in cosmetics. Countless research studies have been carried out in order to prove that some chemicals negatively affect our health, but even though several notorious toxins managed to get away with it, you should watch out for the following ingredients in your skincare products:
- Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, allergen and skin sensitizer. Its main purpose is to extend shelf life and serve as a preservative. But, there’s a catch: manufacturers don’t use it in its pure form, which means that you won’t find it on the product label. It’s carefully disguised as a “formaldehyde releaser” and usually goes by one of the following names: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, or methenamine.
- PEG compounds are usually used as cream bases. The trouble with those petroleum-based compounds is that they’re usually laced with 1,4 dioxane, another human carcinogen and allergen. The Environmental Working Group says that 1,4 dioxane can be found in almost 46% of personal skincare products. You can spot PEG compounds if you look out for propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, or polyoxyethylene.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are foaming agents used in shampoos, cleansers, and baths. They’re also frequently contaminated with 1,4 dioxane and as such associated with an increased risk of cancer and allergies.
- Phthalates are dangerous chemicals found in numerous cosmetic products. According to many sources, they’re endocrine disruptors, also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Manufacturers slyly hide them under the names fragrance or perfume.
- Parabens are commonly used as preservatives. They are endocrine disruptors as they are able to mimic estrogen. According to a study, several different parabens have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors.
People usually have no idea what all those ingredients are and how hazardous they can be, but now that we’ve demystified them, you’ll know what to steer clear of when you’re purchasing your cosmetics.
Small, independent cosmetic brands can be true gems. Those small-batch manufacturers can provide you with high-quality products which contain no preservatives and other harmful ingredients. Indie beauty products have a shorter shelf life, and that’s actually great because you know they’re fresh and natural. Apart from that, small-scale enterprises always do their best in order to deliver high-quality products and services as they want to safeguard their reputation. They put a lot of time and effort in developing unique formulas, and what’s even better, they offer a personalized approach and customizable solutions.
One with Nature
Avoiding dangerous chemicals in beauty products can be a complicated task because manufacturers aren’t under any obligation to disclose what ingredients they’re using. Ironically, the FDA doesn’t have to approve cosmetic products before they hit the shelves. One of the ways to make sure that your cosmetics is safe to use is to turn to organic and natural products. Instead of using harsh chemicals to lighten your hair, you can use lemon juice. Commercial facial cleansers are packed with harmful substances such as parabens, so avoid them by making your own facial scrub. Simply mix some sugar with honey, and voila! Vitamin C can do wonders for your skin, and you can even find certain products on the market, such as C10+ Firming Serum from Ultraceuticals, which do not contain notorious parabens, propylene glycol, or synthetic fragrances.
Besides taking care of our own health, it’s also important to protect the environment. The idea is to opt for products that won’t cause any damage to natural resources or wildlife. An ECOCERT label means that a product has met strict ecological and environmental standards. Don’t forget that packaging can also pose a threat and that it takes decades for a single plastic bag to break down. Not to mention that they are a menace to marine life, because whales, turtles, and other creatures tend to mistake plastic bags for food and swallow them. Numerous big brands still test their products on animals, exposing them to all kinds of excruciating experiments. Luckily, there are beauty products that are labeled 100% cruelty-free, meaning that no animals were harmed during the product testing process.
Protect your health, beauty, as well as our planet by choosing wisely. Say no to harmful chemicals in makeup and skincare products.