Natural Beauty Week kicks off next week. We're big fans of all-natural skincare here at The Purist - let us tell you why.
Conventional skincare products make the promise of beauty...but they also contain toxic ingredients (formaldehyde, parabens, petroleum and coal tar, just to name a few) that are harmful to both our bodies and the environment.
Did you know that 60% of what we put onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies and bloodstreams as though we were swallowing it?
Did you know that skin allergies, cancers, disruption to hormone balance, reproductive issues, infertility, birth defects and learning disabilities have ALL been linked to chemical toxicity in the body?
Did you know that the average adult uses 9 beauty products per day? That's 126 unique chemicals being slathered onto the skin EACH. DAY.
That major cosmetic companies haven't committed, publicly, to removing toxic ingredients from their products?
Or that there are 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products, but that 89% of those have NEVER been tested for safety?
*Facts found here.
Take a look at the ingredients lists on the products you have at home. Do any of these pop up?
BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (B.H.A)
BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE (B.H.T)
COAL TAR DYES / PIGMENTS
COLOUR INDEX (C.I)
PARABENS (METHYL / BUTYL / PROPYL)
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (P.E.G)
SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (S.L.S)
SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (S.L.E.S)
Here's why they may be doing more harm than good...
BHA & BHT are synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives. They are found in most moisturisers and lipsticks, and can disrupt hormones and cause liver/thyroid/kidney conditions.
Coal tar dyes & pigments, P-phenylenediamine & C.I. are synthetic colours found in make-up and hair dyes. These can cause skin sensitivity and irritation, and their absorption can lead to cancer and brain toxicity.
DEA, MEA & TEA make products foamy. They can irritate the skin and eyes to the point of dermatitis, and as they are easily absorbed they can accumulate in the brain and organs.
DMDM Hydantoin, Methenamine, Quarternium & Urea are formaldehyde-releasing preservatives found commonly in moisturisers and hair products. Allergies, skin reactions, depression, chest pain, ear infection, dizziness, insomnia, joint pain, chronic fatigue, and cancer are all dangers of using these chemicals.
Parabens are very widely used in skin and personal care products, and, whilst acting as preservatives, can unbalance female hormones, cause male sterility, and bring on early puberty.
Parfum can comprise a mix of chemicals, and works as a masking agent. The chemicals can cause asthma and allergies, but have also been linked to neurotoxicity and cancer. Again, parfum is widely used in skin and personal care products.
PEG is a thickener and softener used in moisturisers, conditioners and deodorants. If contaminated with dioxide, PEG may cause cancer.
Dibutyl Phthalates are found in nail products, and can cause kidney/liver damage and birth defects, but also reduce hormone function and sperm counts.
Petrolatum & Petroleum Jelly are used as moisturisers in lip, skin and hair products. They can cause liver/kidney abnormality as well as cancer.
Siloxanes and Cyclomethicone smooth and soften, and so are used in a lot of moisturisers and hair products. They can cause disrupted hormone function and liver damage.
SLS & SES are foaming agents used in shampoos and bath/shower gels. While SLS can damage the liver, SLES can cause cancer.
Triclosan is found in toothpastes, soaps and hand sanitisers, as it is a synthetic antibacterial. The American Environment Protection Agency has actually registered Triclosan as a pesticide harmful to both human and environmental health. It can contribute to hormone disfunction.
When you're shopping for your new beauty products, their ingredient lists should be your one and only reference point. While some products may lead you to believe they're green, natural, or organic if they contain any synthetic chemicals, including artificial fragrances, detergents or preservatives, THEY ARE NOT NATURAL. No matter what the label says.
Now that you're aware of the harmful ingredients in conventional cosmetics, you can start to make some swaps. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Natural Beauty feature...