As people are becoming more aware of some of the harmful products we use in our daily life there’s a drive towards natural and organic. Many products thought of as natural and healthy contain harmful and damaging ingredients. Harsh toxic chemicals, colourings, foaming agents, parabens and fragrances are rife in beauty products that have a natural and organic image.
Skin is our largest organ with a surface area of about 20² ft. As skin is porous it will absorb anything we put on the surface. It’s vital to pay close attention to ingredients in beauty products as they will enter your body and bloodstream.
Neither Organic Nor Natural
Unfortunately many “organic and natural” products are neither of these things. Companies have been very successful at making consumers believe something is natural, organic and healthy by adding a just a drop of something natural.
A drop or two in something does not make it either natural or organic, nor does it make up for all the unhealthy ingredients. It’s potentially more harmful tricking consumers into thinking something is healthy and they become too relaxed.
When you click to view the “I Love Juicy” shampoo ingredients made by Lush Cosmetics you are greeted with large images of fruit:
However when you scroll more to see the legal ingredients listing it’s a very different picture:
It does contain natural ingredients for the four fruits shown, but they aren’t the main ingredients and has a host of artificial ingredients. These artificial ingredients include SLS, a toxic to humans foaming agent, sulphate, an ingredient similar to antifreeze and an unknown cocktail of perfume.
The main ingredient is water, however that isn’t a good thing as water needs lots of harsh preservatives to give it the shelf life it needs.
Containing a small number of natural products do not make up for all the other harmful ingredients. Lush has been effective at convincing consumers they are a natural and healthy brand but the truth is you just wouldn’t be able to make such bright, fragrant, foaming products without lots of damaging chemicals.
They are not alone in this practice; Holland and Barrett have a range called Dr Organics. These products are not organic as they usually just have a small amount of one organic ingredient and the rest is the same old harmful ingredients.
Another trick is packaging to make it look natural with text along the lines of “enriched with avocado oil” when in reality it could legally contain 0.01% avocado oil and the rest being harmful ingredients.
The Parfum, Perfume and Fragrance Trick
These are present in most beauty products and it’s a way the makers hide many different chemicals. They are allowed to hide them as the regulators allow for secrecy to protect their formula. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found on average 14 chemicals in the products they tested that weren’t listed on the bottle.
These hidden ingredients almost certainly contain synthetic fragrances – if they were natural the makers would no doubt list separately. Many of these fake fragrances have been linked to health issues such as Cancer, allergies, respiratory issues and endocrine disrupters. These disrupt hormones and can lead towards weight gain, birth defects and many other diseases.
Don’t be fooled by parfum, perfume or fragrance – it’s just a way for manufacturers to hide damaging chemicals in products.
Safe Doesn’t Mean Healthy
Just because something is safe that does not mean it’s healthy. Doughnuts made from bleached white flour and sugar then fried in hydrogenated fat are classified as safe in both the US and UK but they’re in no way healthy.
All of the beauty products for sale in Europe and the US will contain ingredients that are classified as safe because it’s the law. Don’t be fooled into thinking safe and healthy are the same.
How to Choose Natural Beauty Products Without Nasties
Petrochemicals, foaming agents, preservatives, artificial colours and fragrances go by so many different names they’re hard to spot.
Try to get products that have an organic certification to avoid lots of nasties. As a general rule of thumb if you can’t pronounce an ingredient or if it sounds like something from a lab don’t buy it.
My general rule of thumb is if I wouldn’t eat it then it doesn’t belong on my skin.
Diet, Exercise and Water Are The Best Beauty Products
The real way to improve your skin and beauty is not found in any bottle. Having a healthy diet, plenty of water, managing stress, avoiding too much sun, regular exercise and plenty of sleep
Safe Alternative to Bath Bombs
If you’ve ever tried to make a bath bomb you will know it’s not possible to get the results the of shop bought ones without unhealthy ingredients.
Instead try using Epsom salts with a few drops of your favourite essential oil. The Epsom salts help to relieve stiff muscles, headaches, foot pains and other bodily pains. These salts are made of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen and are named after the town in Surrey where they were discovered.