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Blog

Natural Skincare

Karen Scobie

Why should we use natural skincare? What is the importance of knowing what is in our body care products?

The skin is the largest organ in the body, it is also one of the most important. The skin absorbs everything that you put on it, it is therefore critical to understand just what is in the skincare products we use everyday of our lives. 

Often people do not understand why I am so passionate about the use of natural products, but this could be because of the lack of knowledge towards what the harmful chemicals in most household brands today are doing to our bodies. 

With over 800 toxic ingredients found in body care products that can absorb into your body and brain through the skin, it is so important that we recognise these harmful chemicals and always check the labels.

One of the most common and perhaps the most debated chemical that can be found in beauty products is parabens. There are many types of parabens that can be found in any beauty product, including methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. They are found in thousands of skin care and make up products that we use regularly. 

Intended to improve the shelf life of a product, parabens have been linked to the increase of cancer cells, particularly breast cancer cells. Not only this but they have also been linked to the decrease of male sperm count. Although this cannot be justified for certain, the fact that these side effects are suggested is reason enough to stay clear of any type of paraben.

Another popular, yet possibly harmful chemical commonly found in skincare is salicylic acid, also known as Sulphur. The use of sulphur in skin products has been linked to dry skin, itching, swelling and irritation. Sulphur can often worsen dry and irritated skin leaving it sore and uncomfortable. 

We can often be tempted by products with the word “Natural” printed on the label, however the manufacturer can use this term even if the product is just 10% natural. Shockingly, the term “Nontoxic” can still mean up to half of the animals tested in manufacture died within 2 weeks. Additionally, baby shampoos that state “no more tears” on the front can often contain anesthetics to prevent the eyes from burning when the shampoo comes into contact. 

Sometimes, we cannot trust what it says on the bottle, as the reality may be a twisted version of what the product claims. While a company can insist on a product being “natural”, we may still be left with dry and tight feeling skin that is common of skincare products loaded with harmful chemicals. 

To avoid these nasty chemicals, it is imperative to become acquainted with the most harmful ingredients and always check the label before buying. 

Please note the most harmful and toxic chemicals found in skin and body care:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • DEA (Diethanolamine)
  • MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • TEA (triethanolamine)
  • DMDM Hydantion
  • Urea (Imidazolidinyl)
  • FD&C Color Pigments
  • Parabens (mentioned above)
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Triclosan (used in anti-bacterial products – VERY bad.)

Organic and truly natural products are becoming increasingly popular today. Products to be found on the market that use natural ingredients include brands such as Jasons, Dr. Organic, Arbonne, green people and neal’s yard. Also Shadeen 27, is a Scottish and vegan brand that prides itself on using natural ingredients. Furthermore, the website LoveLula features hundreds of natural and vegan body care products. 

Also of interest may be the Environmental Working Group’s mission, aka EWG. Their aim is to empower and encourage people to lead healthier and happier lives in a healthier environment. The group has found that, on average, a woman puts 168 chemicals into/onto her body each day. However, it is impossible to know if every chemical that we put on our skin is dangerous or not. To help with this, the EWG has set up a Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Simply type in the product of interest and it will tell you on a scale of 1-10 how toxic the product is.

Treating our skin properly is as important as eating healthily. Putting a harmful cream, or indeed any skincare product, onto our skin is almost the same as eating it. 

Ask yourself this question, would you eat a spoonful of your most beloved face cream knowing it was filled with dangerous ingredients?