What’s That? The things you want (and don’t want) in beauty products.
Sometimes it feels like you need a science degree to understand the ingredient list on the back of your favourite beauty product. To help learn more about the nasties you want to steer clear of, I’ve put together a handy cheat sheet:
|Artificial Fragrances||Man-made molecules that mimic a natural scent. They are usually referred to as ‘Fragrance’ on an ingredient list.|
|Artificial Colours||Any substance that is added to a cosmetics product to simulate a colour that is perceived to be more natural. Some artificial colours are carcinogenic, not only when ingested but when they are applied to the skin.|
|Parabens||The most commonly used synthetic preservative in cosmetics. Typically, more than one Paraben is used, and they are often used in combination. Recent studies show that Parabens are oestrogenic, meaning they mimic the effects of oestrogen in the body and are believed to disrupt the body’s immune system.|
|Sulfates||A detergent or foaming agent, that makes products like body wash and shampoo form a lather. Commonly known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate. Sulfates can cause irritation to the skin and eyes as a result of their capacity to disrupt cell membranes.|
|Mineral Oil||A cheap, low-grade petroleum oil devoid of any nutritional value. Is widely used in moisturisers to create a barrier over the skin and prevent moisture loss. Recently there has been concern that Mineral Oil is a cacogenic [ED's NOTE: that is, contributes to genetic degeneration in offspring].|
|Silicones||A chemically derived product that is used in beauty products to cover the skin and keep moisture in. Prolonged use of Silicones may cause breakouts due to the fact it locks in sebum, dirt or bacteria that may already be on the skin.|
|Petrochemicals||Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Propylene Glycol are just some of petroleum-derived chemicals found in beauty products. They are used to kill unwanted bacteria and keep products fresh.
Petrochemicals are poorly absorbed and tend to sit on the surface of the skin, slowing down production of the skin’s natural emollients. There are also concerns that this barrier makes it difficult for skin to eliminate toxins.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your everyday exposure to chemicals is to make the switch to certified organic beauty products. Not only is Bloom Organics, brimming with organic ingredients, you also won’t find any of the toxins listed above in our formulations.
Don’t get too concerned though if you can’t make the complete switch to organic products. Try replacing products you use the most often. For instance, your body wash or lip balm. Also, considering that skin is your body’s largest organ, use organic versions of products that you apply to the greatest surface area of your body. For example, if I had to choose between an organic body lotion and organic eye shadow, I would pick the body lotion.
Just remember – small changes are better than doing nothing. By simply cutting down on the number of products you use that contain synthetics you can seriously lower your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients. And who doesn’t want that?!
Natalie Bloom, founder, Bloom Cosmetics
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