I was chatting with a friend the other day about skincare and she was telling me about a new brand she had discovered that was natural and incredibly pure. So, of course, this got my curiosity going and I asked to have a look. Yes, the products contained a beautiful selection of anti-ageing and nourishing ingredients but they were also laiden with chemicals. My friend was horrified as she had been sold the product as “clean and natural” and so believed it to be such. The problem is that a lot of great products contain chemicals because they are cheap preservatives. There are many effective natural alternatives that are now available so really the use of potentially harmful synthetic chemicals derived from a crude oil or petroleum base; and cheap paraben preservatives (methyl, propyl, butyl, isobutyl, and ethyl) is unnecessary. There is a lot of research around parabens causing hormonal disruption through their ability to mimic estrogen. Parabens can be readily absorbed through the skin and have even been found in the tumours of breast cancer patients.
So, what other potentially dangerous chemical preservatives are commonly found in skin and personal care products?
- BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
- C12-15 alkyl benzoate
- diazolidinyl urea
- disodium EDTA
- DMDM hydantoin
- quaternium 15
- tetrasodium EDTA
- some parfum
So just like when choosing foods, I encourage you to read your labels! The first ingredient is always the highest amount in the product. Also, just because a label reads “Organic” or “Natural” this DOES NOT mean it is chemical free. I recommend products that are free from the above ingredients and if organic have been certified by the Organic Food Chain (OFC). Often these products are priced similarly to their more chemically laiden counterparts. So where possible, especially if trying to conceive or pregnant, please choose chemical free products, as the impact on your health is profound. The effects may not always being immediately visible but do have major effect over time.
My favourite products to recommend:
- Organic Spa
- Meditree Organics
For more information and a great ready reference www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern