GUEST POST BY LIZ THOMPSON
Being healthy is on trend. It’s a thing. And this movement happens to benefit us in a big way.
There is certainly no shortage of health experts, fitness gurus, life coaches, and spiritual advisors teaching us how to treat our bodies and minds in the most healthful of ways. These experts span diet and exercise, to meditation and creating our dream careers.
All of this big dreaming and mindful living is pointing us in the direction of better health and happier mind. Know what is often missing from this round up? Beauty.
Yes, we are all beautiful in our own way. No denying that. But we women tend to love our beauty products, treatments, and rituals. Even those who consider themselves low maintenance on the beauty spectrum prefer healthy skin and manageable hair.
I came upon this whole organic beauty career sort of…well…organically. I’ve always loved beauty products and writing but never truly dreamed I’d make a business by combining the two. When my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I read everything I could get my hands on about the disease. Then I came across an article in a British magazine that linked harmful ingredients in the cosmetic and personal care products we use every day with breast cancer.
After much research, purchasing of products, and sampling I came up with a pretty good foundation of which ingredients I wanted to avoid using on myself and my family. It was a lot of time consuming effort and I wanted to share my newfound knowledge. Certainly there were other women out there concerned about the safety of the products they were applying to their own skin and their babies.
And there were! I had women of every age and stage of life, some with existing health issues, others who were interested in maintaining good health for the long run, asking questions on the ingredients in their beauty products, how to identify safe products, and where to find them.
Over the past decade that I’ve been writing on organic beauty, these products have come a long way. We no longer have to choose between safety and effectiveness. We can now have it all, healthy products that are high performance.
But are natural beauty products that big a deal? Do we really need to use them for better health?
Why Organic Beauty Is Important to A Healthy Lifestyle
You may have heard that our skin absorbs around 60% of what is applied to it. Think of skin patches used to administer medication or bioidentical hormones to our bodies. Yep, what goes on, goes in.
So what, exactly, is your skin soaking up? If you are using mainstream cosmetics and personal care products, lots of ingredients you don’t need (or want!) in your body.
Take parabens for instance. These synthetic preservatives garnered big time media attention a few years back. They’ve been found in breast tissue, and have links to infertility and fetal impairment. Yes, it is a good idea to avoid parabens and it’s a good thing these ingredients were put in the spotlight. But the reality is, parabens are the tip of the harmful cosmetic ingredients iceberg.
Cosmetics in the U.S. are under regulated, with a host of not-so-clean ingredients making their way into our mainstay products. The best way to ensure the products you use are safe? Read ingredient listings and follow brands you can trust. Here is a quick look at commonly used cosmetic ingredients that carry health risks.
Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients You Need to Avoid
1,4 DIOXANE A carcinogenic chemical by-product, often found in shampoos, cleansers, and body washes
DEA, TEA, MEA Foaming agents that can cause carcinogenic compounds when mixed with other cosmetic ingredients
FORMALDEHYDE A carcinogenic impurity released by certain chemical preservatives
METALLOESTROGENS Heavy metals that are potentially carcinogenic, with links to developmental and reproductive toxicity
METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE (MIT) A possible neurotoxin commonly used as a preservative that carries potential health risks to unborn babies
PARABENS Widely used preservatives found to accumulate in breast tissue and thought to mimic estrogen in the body
PETROLATUM A widely used emollient with impurities linked to cancer
PHTHALATES Used as a carrier for synthetic fragrance, considered a probable carcinogen
PROPYLENE GLYCOL Used in everything from skin care and makeup to contact lens cleaner, it alters the skin structure and allows chemicals to more easily be absorbed
SODIUM LAURYL/LAURETH SULFATE Found in many foaming products, SLS and SLES are penetration enhancers
SYNTHETIC COLORANTS (FD&C COLORS) Petroleum-derived colorants contain carcinogenic properties, also linked to skin irritation and allergic reaction
SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES chemical cocktails that cause everything from headache to possible reproductive issues
SYNTHETIC SUNSCREENS Have been found to cause hormonal disruption and skin irritation
TRICLOSAN This heavy duty antibacterial agent designed for use in hospitals is often contaminated with harmful chemicals and linked to serious health issues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently committed to stricter regulations for home-use products.
Where to Shop Organic Beauty (Plus Products You’ll Love)
There are many high performance, high quality cosmetic and personal care brands on the market today. Following are some of my favorite products and online shopping spots for organic beauty.
Daily sunscreen use is important for fending off UV damage. Choose mineral sunscreen made with pure ingredients. Suntegrity is very effective and goes on without the white glare or greasiness. Shop the line at LeVert Beauty.
Liz Thompson is an organic beauty expert with over a decade of experience writing on natural beauty / health and wellness. Liz started Organic Beauty Source as a way to inform others searching for safe cosmetics to add to a healthy lifestyle. She is a regular contributor at OrganicAuthority.com, EcoSalon.com, and Domino.com. When not blogging, Liz is providing copywriting services to her dream clients, and loving every minute of it.