If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you put it on your face?
A lot of care goes into checking the labels on foods from your local supermarket nowadays, but the same care doesn’t transfer to the things we use on our face. Talk about double standards! That’s right, checking the ingredients in your skincare is just as important as checking what goes into the foods you eat.
Why it’s important to use natural ingredients
The main reason why you should be ditching your poisonous skincare items and opting for better organic and natural products is because you’ll literally be switching to a much healthier lifestyle. Typical skincare products contain so many harmful ingredients in the form of toxic chemicals that reportedly have damaging effects on our bodies, such as: hormonal imbalances, development of tumors, and many more.
On the other hand, organic and clean products contain ingredients that are actually super healthy for us, like lots of good antioxidants that do wonders for you skin. These ingredients can not only prevent any harmful effects that other products might cause, but they can even reverse the damage done by other free radicals that you come into contact with.
What makes a skincare product “clean”
A clean beauty product is considered simply a product that does not contain any of the known toxic skincare ingredients that can be extremely detrimental to our health. You might think that you don’t use any products that don’t fall under clean beauty, but until you check the label, there’s no way to know for sure. Since the cosmetic industry has very low set rules and regulations, many companies can use this to their advantage and describe their products in ways that would lead consumers (you) to believe that they are natural and good for you. Unfortunately, until you check the ingredient list there is no way of knowing for sure.
What to watch out for:
- Parabens: if it has “paraben” in it, then you know you don’t want it. Parabens are used because they keep your products safe from bacteria. But at what cost? They have been labelled as endocrine disruptors because they can lead to hormonal imbalances, and have even been linked to the growth of breast tumors
- Artificial Fragrance: this usually won’t be specified so there is no way of knowing exactly what goes into making these fragrances. But if you’re interested in clean products, then “artificial” fragrances probably aren’t high on your priority list
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: this is put in products to help give them a foamy consistency once you’re using them. This ingredient can irritate the skin, especially for sensitive skin types, and even trigger allergies
- Phthalates: these are mainly found in fragrances, hair spray, and nail polish. They have been labelled as endocrine disruptors and can cause hormonal imbalances, reproductive problems, and other issues
- Formaldehyde: this is a preservative and it is considered a known carcinogen, with links to the development of asthma, neurotoxicity and other harmful disorders
- Oxybenzone: usually this can be found in moisturizers, lip balms, sunscreen formulas, and more. Again, this is considered a known endocrine disruptor, and it can even have a negative impact on thyroid function
What ingredients are best for skin
Depending on what you’re after, you’ll want to pay attention to the “active” skincare ingredients (ie. the ingredients that are actually going to help get stuff done) used in the formula. Not all products will have the same active ingredients, which means that your go to treatment for oily skin might not be the same as treatment for mature skin.
One thing you definitely can’t go wrong with are antioxidants; they’re already in your food, you might as well get them into your skincare as well! No matter what your skin condition is, antioxidants are beneficial all the time.
Another useful tip is that when looking at the skincare ingredient list, any of the following items are a sure natural skincare jackpot: retinol, collagen, ceramides, and more. If you want a little bit more of a detailed outline of skincare do gooders, there is loads of material online that can help you find the best natural ingredients for your skin.
How to become a natural skincare expert (fast)
If all these new names are already giving you a headache and you aren’t totally up for investing a bunch of your free time in googling each new ingredient individually, we have just the thing for you: You’ve heard people say “there’s an app for everything nowadays” (and there is, we should know best). There are even apps that will do the hard work of checking ingredient lists for you. Apps like “Clean Beauty” for android and “Think Dirty” for ios will analyze every ingredient on a label and give you the lowdown on each specific ingredient. Including advise you against the more dangerous ones!
Now you’re armed with more than you might have wanted to know about the goods and the bads of skincare products, and a great new tool to help you on your journey to a cleaner beauty lifestyle.