One of the easiest ways to incorporate healthy self care into your lifestyle is by making a change with what you use on your skin. And it’s not only about the harmful chemicals that may make their way into our bloodstream and organs, though that is a serious concern. Many times, skin sensitivity is due to those chemicals and not simply that skin is naturally sensitive. Plus, the feel and aroma of natural ingredients is a sensory experience you don’t get with conventional cosmetic ingredients. Replacing the most harmful cosmetic ingredients with natural ingredients in skincare not only lowers your exposure to toxins, but provides a more pleasurable skincare experience.
Returning to simple, natural ingredients in skincare minimizes the risk of health and skin issues associated with certain synthetics. But do you have to forgo performance in the name of healthier skin and body care? No way! There are natural ingredients that work as well as, if not better than, their synthetic counterparts. Happier skin and a healthier you.
The best place to begin when eliminating chemical ingredients in your skincare is by nixing those shown to be most hazardous. You’ve heard of the link between parabens and breast cancer, but these chemical preservatives aren’t the only ingredients with ties to health issues.This may seem overwhelming at the start, but a handy list of ingredients to avoid and natural ingredient replacements will have your beauty kit cleaned up in no time. Read on for ingredients to kick out of your bathroom cabinet, plus safer alternatives.
5 Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid and Natural Ingredient Replacements
1. Petro-Ingredients: Petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and mineral oil are petroleum-derived ingredients that often contain contaminants linked to cancer. These ingredients are also occlusive, meaning they sit on top of skin, forming a barrier that prevents skin from drawing moisture from the air, often leading to skin irritation and breakouts.
What to use instead: Shea and Cocoa butters make skin feel soft and hydrated without the exposure to harmful impurities. Use our Body Cream, made with Shea Butter and healthy oils, to prevent signs of irritation, dryness, and chapped skin. For a feel of non-greasy moisture, perfect for the face, try using oils like Jojoba and Rosehip oils, both found in Beloved Facial Serum.
2. DEA, MEA, and TEA: These ethanolamines are commonly used as emulsifiers and foaming agents in conventional skincare products, but studies show they cause cancer in lab animals. They also appear to accumulate in the body, and cause hormonal disruption and organ toxicity. Look for DEA, MEA, TEA, diethanolamine, monoethanolamine, and triethanolamine on product labels.
What to use instead: Natural waxes help to keep oil and water from separating, and create a smooth application without the harmful side effects of chemical emulsifiers. And while there are natural foaming agents, oil-based cleansers work particularly well to cleanse the skin of makeup, dirt, and debris without making skin feel tight or dry. Give our Beloved Facial Cleanser a try.
3. PEGs: These petro-based ingredients are used in cosmetics to make the skin feel soft. As with other petro-ingredients, PEGs often contain carcinogenic contaminants, and are found to cause skin dryness, irritation, and sensitivity. They are also penetration enhancers, which make it easier for other chemicals to absorb into the body. Look for PEG followed by a number, polyethylene glycol, PPG, and polypropylene glycol on product labels.
What to use instead: Natural ingredients, like Coconut and Avocado oils, make skin feel ultra soft and supple. Use our Face & Body Lotion, made with these two oils, plus Sesame and Lavender to give skin a calm and youthful look, for an all over feeling of healthy hydration.
4. Silicones: Used in skincare to give a smooth, silky feel, silicones (like dimethicone) make the skin feel soft at first, but over time will lead to excess dryness and irritation. Silicone is another occlusive ingredient that blocks pores from releasing toxins and absorbing moisture from the air, often resulting in breakouts and clogged pores.
What to use instead: Many natural oils and plant botanicals lend a feeling of super softness and balance to skin. Our Facial Serum contains Evening Primrose Oil and Carrot Seed Oil to make the complexion feel soft and supple, while offering a glowing appearance.
5. Synthetic Preservatives: Yes, parabens have been found in tumors of breast cancer patients, but they aren’t the only synthetic preservatives to avoid. Urea is used in cosmetics and releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin. Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is another widely used preservative that can cause allergic reaction and is considered a possible neurotoxin.
What to use instead: While it is important to prevent water-based formulas from bacterial and microbial growth for safety, Vitamin E and some essential oils are effective natural preservatives. Besides, who wants a cosmetic product with a super long shelf life?
Have our list of ingredient dos and don’ts nearby next time you shop for skin and body care to check for some of the most hazardous cosmetic ingredients. These five are a good place to start when going toxin-free. You’ll not only feel better about your purchases, but your skin will look and feel better too.