Organic Beauty – A focus on labeling and ingredients10/09/2014
This month we’re celebrating all that is organic with the Soil Association’s Organic September. With a host of events across Ireland and the UK featuring organic textiles, food, farming and of course beauty and skin care products, now is the time to brush up on your organic beauty knowledge to ensure you are #organicbeauty smart for the dedicated Organic Beauty Week from September 8th.
The ingredients that could be destroying your skin
One of the most important things the Soil Association has focused on for Organic Beauty Week is the proper labeling of products and how consumers can read and understand beauty product labels .
Ingredient listings can be extremely confusing, we’re not all scientists and pharmacists after all!
Don’t worry, we’re here to help highlight a few ingredients to watch out for that could be destroying your skin.
What toxic chemicals is your skin absorbing?
There are thousands of dangerous chemicals in cosmetics today, some of which might be sitting on your bathroom shelf right now! It’s a bit of a minefield, so to get us started I’ve chosen these top five chemicals based on their risk and their widespread usage. Use this list as a guide to help decipher if what you’re buying is truly natural during Organic Beauty Week.
The Top 5 chemicals to avoid…
Fragrance an be one or more of 200 chemicals. Companies don’t have to disclose the actual components of each fragrance, under the guise that their fragrances are trade secrets.
Artificial fragrances have been known to cause many side effects, including headaches and allergic reactions.
Look out for anything ending in “Paraben”. These are chemical preservatives that act like estrogen in the body, throwing off hormonal balance. Parabens have also been shown to accumulate in cancerous breast tumors.
Anything ending in “Urea”. Again, these are preservatives. They are known endocrine disruptors, are known immune system toxicants and have a possible link to cancer. Even supposedly natural companies still use these ingredients as a preservatives in supposedly “organic” beauty and skin care products.
4. Propelyne Glycol
Among other things, propelyne glycol is a penetration enhancer, meaning it’s a carrier for other chemicals, bringing them into your skin and even your bloodstream.
It’s a known skin irritant. It has been shown to cause cancer in lab tests and it’s also a possible endocrine disruptor, and a possible neurotoxin. You can find it in over 3,000 products, including moisturisers, deodorants, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner and body washes.
5. “Petroleum” (aka Petrolatum or Petrochemicals)
Petroleum is a paraffin-like material coating oil rigs. To produce it, the crude material undergoes vacuum distillation.
The still residue is then filtered through bone char to yield petroleum jelly. It is believed that as a sealant petroleum jelly can prevent the skin from releasing toxins, sweat and sebum. If this happens, the skin can’t breathe or eliminate toxins, thereby blocking pores and causing breakouts. Mineral Oil is a clear odourless oil derived from Petrolatum and should also be avoided.
Organic Beauty and Free-from skin care
As a result of consumer’s growing awareness of what they put on their skin, more and more people have turned to “free-from” skin care – skin care that promises not to use the chemicals listed above and other harmful ingredients. This is a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to come. To learn more about the difference between conventional cosmetics verses organic beauty products visit our blog.
Do you find it difficult to make sense of labels and ingredients listings? Ask us your questions in the comments section below or on Twitter @VOYA beauty and Facebook/VOYA Organic beauty from the sea. Use the #VoyaOrganicBeauty hashtag to join the conversation.