The average Australian woman spends almost $4000 a year on beauty and skin-care products. We spend a lot of money to look our best, but did you know dangerous chemicals can be lurking in our favourite beauty products?
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, make sure you are treating it properly with natural skincare products. Your skin is exceptionally porous and it absorbs 60% of what you put on it.
Many skincare and beauty products claim their products are natural, but they may have harmful or dangerous ingredients lurking in their formulas. So how can you tell which products are really all-natural?
Keep reading for our guide on choosing the best natural beauty care products.
Dangerous Chemicals Lurking in Beauty Products
There are numerous dangerous chemicals lurking in common self-care products. These dangerous chemicals can cause health problems from cancer to hormonal imbalances and endocrine disruptions.
Even though a product may have a label that says all-natural or non-toxic, that always a guarantee that these products are safe. Make sure to read product labels before you buy anything.
Keep an eye out for these harmful chemicals in any self-care products you use.
Parabens are synthetic chemicals used to preserve cosmetics, foods, and medicines. They are used in numerous products that we use every day, and they help give products longer shelf life.
However, the pervasive use of parabens can cause adverse effects. Parabens are fairly benign in small doses, but 90% of products in the grocery store contain parabens.
This leads contributes to a build-up of parabens in our bloodstream which can cause adverse results. Many studies show that paraben can disrupt our endocrine systems and cause hormonal imbalances.
There are even studies that link parabens to breast cancer. It’s unclear what concentration of parabens is safe, and since individual reactions can vary so widely.
Phthalates are a common chemical in most household products. Our food, cosmetics, and furniture all have phthalates in them. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that make plastic malleable and soft.
Almost every American is exposed to phthalates on a daily basis, and they can cause major organ damage in high concentrations. Phthalates can damage your lungs, reproductive system, liver, and kidneys.
Companies are necessarily required to disclose all phthalates on their labels. Look for products that specifically say they are phthalate-free.
Many beauty and personal care products contain petroleum. Petroleum acts as a natural water-repellent and it helps keep moisture locked to your skin. It can also keep infectious microorganisms from penetrating your skin.
Refined petroleum is safe for topical use, but most petroleum in beauty products is not fully refined. So, it is usually contaminated with dangerous toxins knowns as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
We all love our scented beauty-products, but did you know these scents could actually be hiding dangerous chemicals? ‘Fragrance’ is a general ingredient that can contain hundreds or thousands of other chemicals.
The chemical composition changes from company to company, and there is no requirement to disclose the ingredients in the fragrance of a product.
A study found that 75% of products containing ‘fragrance’ also contained phthalates. Since, it’s impossible to know what’s actually in ‘fragrance’, avoid products that list it as an ingredient.
Industry Definitions for Natural Beauty Care
You know that all cosmetics aren’t created the same and that some beauty products are packed with dangerous chemicals. So how can you know which products are actually safe?
Does it mean anything if a product is labelled ‘natural’ or ‘non-toxic’? Keep reading for our breakdown skincare definitions.
This may come as a surprise, but there is no set definition of a ‘natural’ self-care product. A company doesn’t have any legal requirements they need to fulfil to be able to call their products ‘natural’. For the most part, it’s a marketing strategy to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.
Generally speaking, a company can label their cosmetics ‘natural’ if they use some natural products. That means they can use a few natural ingredients. pack the rest with synthetic chemicals and still label it ‘natural’.
Make sure to thoroughly read every label before you buy. If the ingredients are a lot of long, foreign chemicals it probably means the cosmetic isn’t as ‘natural’ as the company want’s you to believe.
Companies with hypoallergenic products want you to believe their cosmetics cause less break-outs and allergic reactions. However, there is no guarantee these claims are true. Hypoallergenic packaging is another marketing tactic with little evidence to substantiate the claim.
The term is not regulated, so any product can be labelled hypoallergenic.
Products labelled non-toxic usually leave out chemicals that are known to cause humans bodily harm, like parabens and phthalates. Non-toxic make-up eliminates any ingredients the Environmental Working Group identifies as toxic.
This eliminates lead, mercury, asbestos, and formaldehyde in addition to other toxic ingredients. ‘Non-toxic’ make-up tends to be pretty safe, but you should always read the label to be sure.
Organic products are regulated by the USDA. Every product with an ‘organic’ label should also have a USDA organic seal somewhere on the packaging. The USDA organic logo indicates that almost 100% of the product is verifiably organic.
This means the ingredients were grown and processed under stringent guidelines for cleanliness, and without the use of GMOs, pesticides or fertilizers. Keep in mind that a few ingredients can be inorganic, so carefully read the label to ensure it’s all non-toxic.
Choose the Best Natural Beauty Care Products
You spend a lot of money to look your best, don’t waste your hard-earned cash on toxic beauty products. Not every ‘natural’ beauty product is created the same. Many natural beauty care products contain toxic chemicals that can damage your health.
Make sure to always read every ingredient in your cosmetics and self-care products. Be vigilant for hidden chemicals, and do your best to buy products that are phthalate and paraben-free.
Check out our other articles on natural beauty care for tips on finding the best and safest cosmetics.