Many women, even those who are super healthy and have an immaculately clean diet, often don’t realise the amount of rubbish they’re subjecting their skin to on a daily basis! According to the Environmental Working Group, women use an average of 12 personal care products a day, which means inflicting up to 186 unique ingredients on your body on a daily basis!
Once upon a time the world used to think that the skin was an impenetrable barrier that would block anything from entering the body. We now know better and are much more aware of the fact that while our skin may form a protective barrier to a certain extent, it’s certainly not invincible and definitely not safe from dangerous chemicals – many of which can be found in everyday beauty ‘essentials’! To make matters worse you also have common beauty ingredients such as alcohol and PEGs which are known as ‘penetration enhancers’. These bad boys help other nasty toxic ingredients absorb through the skin more easily.
You may be shocked to hear that the red pigment used to colour your favourite red lippie is actually made of crushed beetles and it takes a staggering 70,000 of them to produce 1 single pound of Carmine pigment!
Unlike food and drink laws there’s actually no legislation when it comes to beauty products. This makes it hard for us consumers as we can easily be fooled into thinking something is more natural and organic than it really is. There’s actually no law that prevents companies from labelling a beauty product as ‘organic’ even if it contains as little as 0.1% organic content!
The key is to become a savvy label reader. Learn which ingredients you need to avoid and look for organic certification! If you can spot a logo on your product that represents organic certification then you can be pretty safe in the knowledge that you’ve found a keeper. For example products which carry the Soil Association symbol must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. If a product has at least 70% organic ingredients it can still be certified but it must state exactly what proportion of the ingredients are organic.
So. Do I have your full attention now?
There are so many wonderful, dedicated natural and organic beauty brands around nowadays – there really isn’t an excuse NOT to go green! Making the decision to clean up your beauty act and embrace a natural and holistic approach to your skincare regime will not only give you healthy glowing skin but you will also benefit from a toxic-free regime in ways you may not even realise.
Here are my top 10 reasons why you should bin the toxic beauty products and switch-up your skin care routine.
1. It’ll make you glow!
You know those products you buy from the high street? Well they probably contain a maximum of 6% active ingredients. The rest will be a plain old water and synthetic fillers which may provide smaller pores or softer skin initially…but won’t really do much for your overall complexion goals! Make the switch to natural and organic products and your skin will get to enjoy in excess of 70%+ active ingredients (many will even contain 80-90% active ingredients). This is because instead of water, alcohol and other nasty fillers taking up valuable bottle space, you’re looking at aloe vera, floral waters, and organic plant oils – all of which have countless skin benefiting properties. It’s simple really – feed your skin with nourishing ingredients that will plump, nurture, and protect and your skin will very quickly start to ooze radiance you never thought was possible!
2. It’s easier than you think!
Kissing goodbye to your favourite chemical-filled compact is so much easier than you might think. If you’re terrified of green beauty commitment, I recommend starting with the products you use all the time are applied to bare skin or are kept on for long periods of time, items like; moisturisers, body lotions, and foundations. Once you’re fully confident with your skin care upgrades you can move onto the (sometimes trickier) items like shampoos and deodorants – these items can involve a bit of a trial and error procedure but once you find your Mr Right you’ll never look back! Many brands offer starter packs at great prices which are a great way to dip your toes into the green beauty pond!
3. It’s cheaper… I swear!
Many people think going green is a huge financial commitment but it really doesn’t have to be the case! Quality natural skin care products don’t have to have huge price tags. Yes, they may seem a little dearer when you make the purchase but you’ll quickly realise that they last up to 3 times longer than their chemical counterparts! You can also make the most of organic plant oils such as jojoba, hemp, rosehip, coconut, and avocado which are really inexpensive. These plant oils don’t cost the earth and cover multiple aspects of your beauty regime. For example, you can use them, on their own as moisturisers, make-up removers, hair treatments, and body lotions which will definitely save you a pretty penny.
4. It allows for creativity.
So you’ve bought your coconut, avocado, and rosehip oil… now what?! Well aside from enjoy them in their completely natural form you can also get creative and make all sorts of fun and exciting DIY beauty products. Mixing up some coconut oil and fine Himalayan sea salt will give you a lovely body scrub that will leave your skin feeling soft and silky while adding a couple of drops of your favourite essential oils to one of those base oils will give you a gorgeously scented bath oil to help you relax and unwind.
5. It’s kind to animals.
Most natural and organic products will also be cruelty-free and usually vegan (some products, especially make-up items contain beeswax so are not classified as vegan – but will more than likely be cruelty-free). If in doubt look for the BUAV symbol but it’s also worth remembering that a requirement of gaining organic certification is that no animal testing has taken place in the production process of the product, this also applies to products that are certified by the Vegan and Vegetarian Society so if you see any of these symbols you can be assured that the products you’re using haven’t compromised the safety of animals.
6. It’ll reduce breakouts and irritation.
Mainstream beauty products are filled with toxic pore-clogging ingredients and we all know clogged pores = breakouts! If that wasn’t enough to worry about ingredients such as alcohol are also commonly found in high-street beauty products. These dry the skin out and will cause an excess of oil production which can lead to breakouts. Natural and organic products on the other hand are full of skin-loving, beauty-boosting ingredients which can actually help to balance sebum production reducing inflammation and improving the overall tone and texture of your skin.
7. It’ll save your sensitive skin.
Chemical-based products are problematic for those with sensitive skin and making the simple switch to a greener beauty regime will often dramatically improve your skin’s sensitivity issues. By starting a love affair with natural beauty products you’ll be treating your skin to an abundance of vital minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants which are essential for optimum skin health. These skin-friendly ingredients will help to nourish and reduce inflammation and redness in sensitive skin.
8. It’s kind to the planet.
Most green beauty brands are dedicated to green, environmental ethics and practices so they’re more than likely using sustainably sourced ingredients and biodegradable or recyclable packaging. Meaning that you’re not only helping your skin, you’re also helping to protect the future of the planet.
9. It’ll reduce exposure to health risks.
You might not think your foundation is doing much damage to your health but evidence has shown that long term exposure to certain toxic beauty ingredients may be linked to a myriad of health issues from skin allergies and asthma to infertility, hormonal issues, and learning disabilities!
10. You’ll still look fantastic!
A few years ago if someone told you to ditch your current make-up products and choose more natural cosmetics you’d probably be left conjuring up an image that was more hippie than haute couture! Thankfully times have changed and now green beauty offerings give their chemical-packed competitors a run for their money. Gone are the days where you have to compromise looking your finest for ethical, safe cosmetics – nowadays there’s pretty much a greener (and just as good, if not better!) alternative to most department store make-up must-haves.
The only product you may struggle to find is a bright, matte, pillar-box red lipstick that’s totally cruelty-free! You may be shocked to hear that the red pigment used to colour your favourite red lippie is actually made of crushed beetles and it takes a staggering 70,000 of them to produce 1 single pound of Carmine pigment! For this reason it goes against the animal cruelty ethics of some natural brands so while you can get a reasonably red alternative, it’s not as easy as nipping down to your nearest department store or high-street chemist!
So what are you waiting for? There really isn’t a better time to end your toxic beauty relationship. It’s time to bin the bad and embark on a new all-natural romance!