We’ve heard the saying that beauty is more than skin deep. On any given day, a person will lather, rub, and spray on average ten or more products on his or her body.
In fact, there are thousands of chemicals that we expose ourselves to almost every day and when it comes to what we are putting on our skin, cosmetics corporations, TGA the FDA say these chemicals are safe. But what about the constant doses we continually expose ourselves to?
Although most people use a limited number of products each day, those amounts of exposure to chemicals add up over time and this is known as toxic load. Toxic load refers to the accumulation of toxins and chemicals in our bodies that are ingested or absorbed from a variety of sources; like pollution, food we eat, water we drink, personal care /skin care and household products we use. How do certain chemicals disrupt the human body over time, and how does the combination of these chemicals cause the human body to respond? Our body is a clever system and does a great job of removing toxins via crucial organs of the skin, digestive system, kidneys and liver, but if we constantly bombard our body with toxins, it can become overloaded.
When it comes to the skin, our largest organ has its own sequences as it heals, regenerates and detoxifies overnight, and continually using chemically polluted products may interfere with this very important process.
Going Green With Your Skincare Routine
Now that we know how harmful the potential chemicals infused in personal care products may be, we can appreciate learning how to go green with our skincare routine. Here some steps we recommend.
Simplify your personal care/skin care regime and make it as clean & toxic free as you can. For a great skincare regime you only need 3-4 products not 10+. Introduce a cleanser, serum, plus an oil as required and remember your daily SPF. Bring in a gentle exfoliant 1-2 a week or specialised products only as required. Become more intuitive with your skin and use only what it needs.
Verify that "Natural" is Truly Natural
Something labelled natural generally refers to the purity and the origin of the ingredients. Natural skincare are products containing ingredients that are taken from nature without much modification, and are naturally sourced, like botanical ingredients that have originated from plants for example extracts and oils.
This is a term seen on a lot of beauty and skincare products for those who are mindful about what they're putting on their skin, and the word 'natural' can be the thing that gets the purchase across the line. However, unfortunately the term 'natural' is often misused, shrouded with confusion and in some cases can mean that only a small percentage of a product's ingredients is plant-based or what was originally 'natural', has now in fact gone through a production process, which now results in a less-than-natural form.
Know the Difference Between Naturally Derived and Natural
There’s a key difference here. Ingredients that are naturally derived can still be chemically treated, which essentially defeats the point. When buying, make sure you’re buying products with natural ingredients, not naturally derived ingredients.
Loopholes in the law allow companies to avoid declaring dozens of toxic chemicals that a single fragrance blend could have. Artificial fragrances frequently contain phthalates and can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
Choose Non-Toxic, Recyclable Packaging
Glass containers are safe because they are recyclable and present no danger of leaching toxins into the product. For plastics, polyethylene (HDPE), is considered safe; while bisphenol-A or BPA plastics should be avoided.
Most importantly, avoid containers that bear recycling code #3 and the letter "V", which refers to polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. PVC poses significant environmental and health hazards. PVC contains additives and chemical stabilizers like lead, cadmium, and di-ethylhexyl phthalate -that can leach, flake, or off-gas from the plastic.
Choose organic, biodynamic or wild harvested
Organic elements are grown without fertilisers or pesticides, which is healthier for both the planet and our bodies. Better still are botanicals grown with biodynamic farming, which goes above and beyond organic. Wild harvesting is another great option as the plant or portion of the plant that has been collected or harvested from a site has not been farmed or maintained under any cultivation.
Petrochemicals are basically tar and oil. They are often used to produce emollients for face cream or coal tar for scalp-treatment shampoos. The by-products of these chemicals often contain endocrine disruptors or cancer causing agents. It is listed on labels as petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil.
Reduce your toxic load
Here are some simple tips to help to help promote a healthy, happy lifestyle.
- Look closely at the ingredients in your skincare formulations, personal care and household cleaning products.
- Switch to natural, plant-based green cleaning products.
- Say NO to plastics with BPA and avoid coated cooking utensils.
- Drink more filtered H2o and detoxifying foods to filter toxins through your organs.
- Increase antioxidant, prebiotic rich foods & limit alcohol.
- Get adequate sleep & exercise.
- Let fresh air into your home.
- Invest in house plants as they help to reduce toxins.
Finally, for those concerned about their overall well-being and long-term health status, it is essential to read the labels of everything you intend to put on or in your body and choose wisely to promote a healthy, happy lifestyle.
There are some common ingredients to look for and it’s not exhaustive, however, remembering that it's about understanding ingredients, their %, your exposure and then educating yourself on why to potentially avoid them that is important to understand. Some common examples include Fragrance (Parfum), BPA/BHT- butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, Parabens, SLES - sodium laureth sulphate, Siloxanes, PEG compounds - polyethylene glycols, Phthalates, BHA - Bisphenol, DEA - diethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Talc, PABA, F, D & C colours, Phenoxyethanol and nanoparticles.
Make the switch to a cleaner greener skincare regime and chat to our experience skin experts here.