In the past few years great attention has been put on the chemicals in our favorite beauty products. Ultimately we use cosmetics and skin care to look better, not feel worse. A slew of impressive brands have cropped up promising healthy clean alternatives to the harmful toxins in our traditional cosmetics. The trouble is, clean beauty is a science and cannot be summarized, you need to study it, understand it and hopefully implement it. It’s also not something that is going to happen overnight. In the time being, CIIN draws your attention to the ways in which your body ingests toxins and what to be on the look out for.
So what does clean beauty even mean? It means products made naturally, ethically and/or organically – using plants, herbs and spices rather than twenty-letter long unpronounceable chemicals.
1 || Your Under Arms
Your underarms may not be your most flattering asset, but these two pockets of goodness are a substantial part of your detoxifying system. With sweat glands and lymph nodes both present in the area of the underarm is particularly sensitive and absorbent to formulas applied to the area. The delicate skin of the area and constant irritation of hair removal for example, means that toxins are more easily absorbed through your underarms.
Once diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the first things you are asked to abstain from is the use of an anti-perspirant deodorant which contains endocrine disruptors, potential carcinogens, and a host of other toxins, many of them unlisted, hidden within the ingredient “fragrance”. Keep this in mind when you buy your next traditional deodorant. Opting for a natural, clean alternative is particularly important.
2 || Your Shampoo and Conditioner
If you were to consider surface area, the chemicals in your shampoo and conditioner will touch almost all of your body in the shower. Add to that the steam in your shower and you are literally inhaling the chemicals. Hair products are loaded with harmful chemicals, powerful fragrances and sulfates, endocrine-disrupting preservatives, potentially carcinogenic plasticizers and dyes are common ingredients, more so than any other beauty product. Switching to a clean option is a great idea especially for your young ones. The same can be said of your body creams…
3 || Anything You Put On Your Lips
Anything you put on your lips will most likely be ingested, lipsticks and lip balms are loaded with harmful chemicals. Lip balms are made primarily of petroleum jelly, with potentially toxic fragrance, flavors, and texturizers added in. Lipsticks contain 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”. The fact that you are ‘eating’ these daily is a serious issue that you need to consider.
4 || Wet Wipes
In order to keep wet wipes moist a variety of particularly harmful preservatives and chemicals are included in the formulas. When used they leave a residue of potential hormone disruptors, irritants, and even carcinogens (and if the ingredient list has “fragrance” in it and doesn’t break down what’s contained within it, you can’t know what’s in the formula). It is for this reason that you should avoid wet wipes or switch to a clean option, particularly for your little ones.
5 || Sunscreen
It’s official, as has been for years, the greatest skin-ager is the sun, so the quality of your sunscreen is important. The cosmetics industry use chemicals to make your sunscreen usage experience better. You end up liking the chemical sunscreen product more, its application is easier for example, or feels silkier. In sunscreen, chemical sunscreen is clear in color so we prefer it to mineral sunscreen that comes on white and is harder to blend in. The truth however is that chemical sunscreen degrades and may stop working after 2 hours, so you are exposing yourself to the sun without protection for the rest of your time in the sun, mineral sunscreen lasts till its removed. Mineral sunscreen is less irritating to the skin thank chemical sunscreens, so the possibility of inflammation is reduced substantially. Just a reminder that inflammation is another ageing factor. Its a shame when you think you are protecting your skin with a chemical sunscreen when really you aren’t.
6 || Fragrance
If you are concerned with what goes on your skin, then how about the stuff you end up breathing in? A spritz or two of fragrance will reach your nasal and sinus passages and your lungs. There is a very long list of problematic ingredients from endocrine disruptors and potential carcinogens to other unknowns. If there is one place you should start it’s fragrance.