The use of natural & organic beauty products is a hot topic these days. As people become more and more aware of what they’re putting into their body, they’re also becoming more aware of what they’re putting ON their body. What you put ON your body gets absorbed INTO your body. So it makes sense to be mindful of the skincare and makeup products you’re using on your body and face, as well as any household products that you use too. Perhaps you’ve been thinking of making the switch to natural & organic beauty products. Or maybe you’re wondering what all the fuss is about. No matter where you are in this process, in part 1 of this 3 part series, I’ll break it down into simple, easy steps for you. Are you ready to begin? Great, then let’s get started.
So why does it matter? Why should I care about using natural & organic beauty products?
The main reason is that many of the ingredients you find in mainstream beauty products can be harmful to your skin, your health and the environment.
Something I notice with a lot of my clients is that they’re already using natural & organic products on their children’s skin. Which is really great. Yet they’re using makeup & skincare products on themselves that contain toxic ingredients. Remember Mums, it’s just as important that you take care of your skin as much as your children’s skin.
This is particularly applicable to people with sensitive skin or who have skin conditions such as eczema or allergies. If you do have sensitive skin, you really need to be extra careful about what products you use on your skin. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen clients with sensitive skin using products that contain ingredients that irritate their skin even further. Men also fall into this category as they often just buy the first thing they find in the supermarket without considering what ingredients are in that product and if they’re going to irritate their skin.
Start with the ingredients
One of the biggest problems people have when they begin to make the change to ‘clean beauty’ is overwhelm. Where do you even begin with this process? What ingredients should you avoid? It can be very confusing when you look at the ingredients list for each product. Some of those names are so long and unpronounceable! It’s enough to give you a headache!
The best way to begin this process is to keep it simple and start with a few basics. You’re not going to learn everything about this topic overnight. Nor do you need to. But even making yourself aware of a few things will make a difference.
We can divide ingredients up into hero ingredients and villain ingredients. Today I’m going to concentrate on some of the villain ingredients.
Ingredients to Avoid
I’ve listed below 3 of the most common ingredients that are found in mainstream products and the effect they can have on your skin. There are of course many, many more ingredients that you could avoid. But eliminating 1 or all 3 of these from your beauty routine are a great starting point.
1. SLS and SLES
This stand for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It also has a twin called Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Both of these are found in many skin care products such as soaps, shower gels and shampoos to name but a few. SLS’s are also found in household cleaning products such as washing up liquid, washing powder, and carpet cleaner. SLS is a synthetic detergent and surfactant, which basically means it’s a foaming agent. So that’s what creates a lather when you use these products.
Why should I avoid it?
One of the biggest issues with SLS is that it’s a known skin irritant. So if you have sensitive skin or a skin condition like dermatitis, for example, a product that contains SLS’s could inflame your skin even further.
Even if you don’t have any skin issues, it can still cause very dry skin. For example, think about how dry your hands feel after using soap sometimes. This can be as a result of using a soap that contains SLS’s. Or if your hair is always dry, even if you’re using what’s considered to be a good quality conditioner. Again, it most likely contains SLS’s and with a lot of use, this can cause dry, brittle, dull looking hair. So try to avoid products that contain this ingredient if you can.
These are preservatives used in a lot of skincare and makeup products. Their main purpose is to stop bacteria and fungus from growing in the products and to extend their shelf life. This is particularly important for cream or liquid products such as mascara, shower gels, and moisturisers. Cosmetics companies generally use parabens as a preservative because they’re cheap to use.
Why should I avoid it?
The use of parabens in cosmetic products has come into question a lot over the past decade and there have been many studies done on their effects on our bodies. Whilst there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence as yet that parabens cause cancer, they have been found in cancerous cells. As the results so far have been inconclusive, some people believe that using products that contain parabens are safe to use.
Whilst I understand this logic, I personally prefer to use products that don’t contain parabens. In my humble opinion, if there’s a risk at all, why take the chance. There are plenty of really great products on the market that don’t contain parabens and I’ve personally had great results from using them. In fact, I’ve gotten much better results from the paraben free products than the mainstream products I used to use that do contain parabens. So I’m more than happy to omit them from my makeup bag.
I really love this article which asks Are the Parabens in Your Beauty Products Dangerous? It contains an in-depth review of parabens and goes into great detail about the controversy surrounding them. A very interesting read.
This is used as a preservative in beauty products, most commonly in nail polishes. You may also have heard about its use in the chemical hair straightening treatment The Brazilian Blowout.
Why should I avoid it?
The main concern with formaldehyde is that it can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Some people even suffer allergic reactions to it. For these reasons, some nail salons have chosen to stop using nail products that contain formaldehyde, as it was causing some health issues for their nail technicians who were using these products on a daily basis.
The good news is that there are plenty of really great nail products available that don’t contain formaldehyde. You may have already seen some nail products on the market that are 3-Free, 5-Free, 7-Free, etc. These products don’t contain formaldehyde, as well as other ingredients that can also be harmful. And I’ll talk about these in greater detail in part 3 of this Beginners Guide to Natural & Organic Beauty.
So what do I do now?
Now that you know a few ingredients to avoid, the next part is to begin to eliminate them from your beauty routine. And In part 2 of this Beginners Guide to Natural & Organic Beauty series, we’ll talk about some simple ways you can start making the switch to using natural & organic beauty products that won’t overwhelm you. Or break the bank!
I’ve created this handy FREE Guide for you with even more Toxic Ingredients to avoid in Beauty Products. Print out the guide or download it to your phone so that you’ll have it with you every time you go to the drugstore. It also includes a simple guide to reading an ingredients list. So make sure to get your copy of this guide.
I really hope you found this first part of this series helpful. And if you did and you know someone else you think would if helpful, please feel free to share it with them.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Where are you in the process of making the switch to natural & organic beauty products? Have you already begun? Or are you just starting out? Let me know in the comments below. Or if you’d prefer to chat privately, I’d absolutely love to hear from you. You can contact me here or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.