In this day and age, we as consumers have become more aware of a lot of the hidden dangers in the plastic containers that we use the food that we eat and the air that we breathe. And thanks to some brave souls who didn’t mind disrupting the beauty industry, you can now find many skincare products that are labeled “phthalate free”, “paraben free” and/or “sulfate free”. But what do these labels mean? Is it just a marketing ploy to sell more products? Why should you care? While I cannot speak to the intentions of every company labeling their products as such, let me provide you with some reasons why you may not want to not roll your eyes when you see these labels on skincare products.
Phthaltes - DEP (Diethylphthalate) is a type of phthalate commonly used as a solvent for cosmetics, shampoos, and bath products. Putting products containing Phthalates directly on your skin can be absorbed into your bloodstream and negatively affect hormonal and reproductive organ issues, especially in males.
Parabens – Commonly used preservatives in cosmetics, skincare products and shampoos. Similar to phthalates, parabens are thought to be hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors are generally thought of as dangerous because they mimic our natural hormones causing our bodies to overreact to false hormonal signals. This effect is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer along with increasing the risk of reproductive and neurological issues.
Sulfates – Commonly listed on product labels as “sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)” and/or “Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), sulfates are what is used to produce the foam in most of your skin, hair and bodycare products. Sulfates have been associated with being a skin irritant as the ingredients used to produce the foam that we love, also strips away the natural oils our skin. If you have sensitive skin, sulfates can clog pores causing an acne reaction.
Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ingredients in skincare products that used to give the perception of clean healthy skin. As the saying goes, perception is not always reality. If you are looking to get healthy glowing skin, try all natural products containing ingredients that actually benefit your skin by feeding it with the oils, nutrients, and bacteria (yes good bacteria) that it needs.
A very simple, effective and healthy all natural solution is oil washing. If you have good quality avocado oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and/or jojoba oil then you have all that you need to oil wash your face. Why would you wash your face with oil? Read my blog on Oil Washing to find out. Another simple alternative is to create your own face wash by simply mixing a cup of Castile soap with a couple of teaspoons of your favorite carrier oil and 10-15 drops of a face friendly essential oil such as rosemary, lavender, and frankincense or tea tree oil. This mix is not only effective at removing dirt and grime but equally important, it allows your skin to continue to product its natural oil which in and of itself helps to regulate the bad bacteria on your skin.
If you are not the DIY type and previously not aware of the dangers that may be lurking in your skincare products, I encourage you to slow down and have a second look at the product label. We must all do our part to reduce our risk and our family’s risk to synthetic chemicals that may have a long term adverse affect on our health.
Photo by geralt from Pixaby