Over the past couple of weeks we have looked at labeling in the food industry. Today we’re going to switch gears to something very near and dear to my heart…skincare.
As someone who has always struggled with acne and used many caustic ingredients on my face, I understand the need to have effective products. Only when I was going to become pregnant did I start to really educate myself on what things are actually in the products we’re putting on our skin. Not all ingredients are absorbed into your skin, but many are. This is why we give certain medications as pastes or patches that you wear!
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. I have heard many different numbers as to how many chemicals your skin comes in contact with everyday. But guess what the bottom line is, they’re all really high numbers! So your skin absorbs it, your liver and your kidneys have to filter it out. Many are carcinogenic, meaning cancer-causing agents.
You are NEVER going to keep all carcinogens and toxins away from your body. You’re just not. And I’ve seen a few people close to me get a little nutzo with this if you know what I mean. My intent is never to cause you to change your habits out of fear. I simply want you to be an informed consumer. I will tell you right now that stress will do way worse things to your body than any chemical you come in contact with. So just breathe and chill out ok? But if we are informed consumers and know how to make healthier choices, we can reduce that toxic load, and that’s what it’s really all about.
Ok rant over. I’ll come down off the soapbox.
Here’s why knowledge about skin and body care is so important to me. BECAUSE IT’S AN EASY CHANGE! You might understand that those pieces of candy are not great for you, but you get a craving right? You don’t crave skincare. You WANT things that work. If you look hard enough you can find them. And that’s a super easy, no stress way to live a little healthier. In my mind there is absolutely no reason to be rubbing chemicals all over your body. There just isn’t. This is completely illogical to me.
I am attaching a NEVER ingredient list from one of my favorite skincare lines. This sums up nicely the things you should be avoiding whenever possible. Since they did such a fantastic job, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.
A few things to understand about the skincare and cosmetic industry
It is almost completely unregulated. Anyone who sells anything can put any label, aside from the USDA organic label, on their products. You can say “all natural” or contains “natural” ingredients. You can even say “contains organic ingredients” because it does in fact have an organic ingredient in it. But it still contains several off the naughty list. Inclusion of a good ingredient does not equal exclusion of a bad one…catch my drift here? So do you just look for things labeled “organic” with the USDA stamp of approval? Not necessarily. Just like in the food industry, you can have some shady areas within the organic realm.
Anything with over 30% water content in the product cannot contain the organic label because water can never be certified organic and the product must contain more than 70% percent organic material. Weird right? What’s the point here? The point is that not everything without a label is a bad product. And if you limit yourself to certified products, you’re going to be narrowing your search quite extensively. Some of the best companies I’ve seen do not have the organic certification through USDA. They do however have some form of 3rd party validation. I am particularly found of NSF certifications!
The moral of the story is this. Read labels. Make informed choices. Understand that using traditional products here and there isn’t going to kill you. But there are amazing options out there that do NOT contain these chemicals, and are just as effective if not more so! I’m not an expert by any means. But if you have any questions about products I’d be happy to give my 2 sense.
Go be beautiful peeps…just don’t compromise your health to do it! And never forget that fabulous skin starts with fabulous health. The best thing for your skin is a healthy diet, followed by healthy skincare products.