The average person uses ten different skincare products every day on their body. And, since our skin acts like a sponge this means we absorb approximately 130 chemicals on a daily basis. Although many of the chemicals are safe in small doses, the fact is that no one really knows how chemicals can affect us over time.
The Environmental Working Group reports that almost 90% of the skincare ingredients known to the FDA have not been evaluated for safety by a publicly accountable institution. Many complex chemicals have unknown side effects and many ingredients have been banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union because of concerns they may cause cancer or birth defects. However, knowing which products are natural and non-toxic is easier said than done so here is a quick guide to creating a green skincare routine.
Keep it Simple
If you followed all of the advice available online and in magazines you could end up with numerous creams and lotions that all did the same job or might not even be worth using at all. Most professional dermatologists will recommend a simple skincare routine: all you really need is a cleanser, toner, moisturizer and sunscreen to keep your skin healthy.
The fragrance mixture in just one product could contain dozens of toxic chemicals if it is an artificial fragrance. Some of these chemicals have been known to trigger allergic reactions and other health problems. Instead, choose products which are naturally fragranced (check the ingredients list if you’re unsure) or fragrance-free.
What is Natural?
Pay close attention to product labels and research brands that claim to produce natural products. Many companies like OZ Naturals are completely open about the ingredients that they use and provide detailed explanations of how their products are made. Most natural product brands will advertise the fact that they don’t use potentially harmful synthetic chemicals in their products.
Most highly regarded skincare companies will present their philosophies and values on their websites. If you’re contemplating purchasing a ‘natural’ product from a brand that you haven’t heard of, check out their website to see if they are true to their word. Do they test their products on animals; have they pledged to remove harmful chemicals from their ingredients lists, and are they committed to reducing their impact on the environment?
Look for organic products – organic ingredients are grown with synthetic fertilizers or pesticides – or botanicals which are grown using biodynamic methods of farming. The USDA National Organic Program works to certify personal-care products’ which means it easier for you, the consumer, to see if a product is genuinely organic by checking for the USDA organic seal.
If the idea of having to do hours of research before you buy a face cream exhausts you, then why not try making your own skincare treatments? It’s a lot easier than it sounds and the best thing is that you will know exactly what ingredients have been used in the process.
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