he skin is our largest organ and can absorb up to 60% of what we put on it; when we use products containing harmful artificial ingredients these place an unnecessary burden on our skin, our detoxification processes and our entire immune system.
The average woman uses around 10 to 15 personal care products per day, many of which contain potentially harmful toxic ingredients that your body then absorbs and has to process; Studies also suggest the more products you use, the higher toxic concentrations can get in your body. Think about all the products you use on a daily basis that come into contact with your skin: cleansers, toners, moisturisers, makeup, fragrances, body lotions and creams, shampoo, conditioner, soaps and body washes, deodorant, washing detergents on your clothing, etc.
Some commonly occurring toxic chemicals in skincare products include:
SODIUM LAURYL (LAURETH) SULFATE
Also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, laurilsulfate, SDS or SLS, this ingredient is an economical surfactant (removes oil; foaming agent). It is commonly found in shampoo, soap, cleansers, bubble bath, toothpaste, mouthwash, body wash, and most products that foam. It is also found in industrial strength detergents and engine degreasers.
It may contain 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, and ethylene oxide, a chemical known to harm your nervous system.
SLS has a comedogenic rating of 5, which means it has a high probability of clogging pores – it strips the skin of oils, which can cause the skin to over compensate and produce excessive sebum – not ideal in a skincare product!
Phthalates are a common synthetic ingredient often found in artificial fragrances and skincare products. These dangerous chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, and are a known hormone disruptor.
Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, isoparapben, etc.) are a class of synthetic preservatives often used in cosmetics and skincare products to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Parabens are hormone disruptors and can wreak havoc on oestrogen levels.
More than three thousand chemicals are included under this descriptor, and cosmetic companies do not have to declare each ingredient! These chemicals have been linked to allergic reactions, skin irritations, asthma and breathing difficulties, as well as other disorders.
PETROCHEMICALS – MINERAL OIL, PARAFFIN, PETROLATUM
Mineral oil is a mining by-product and is a non-renewable and environmentally unfriendly resource. It is used to make emollients for face creams, as a base in cheap massage and body oils, etc. Petroleum by-products can be contaminated by cancer-containing impurities and should never be applied to your skin.
Converting to an all-natural skincare routine will help your skin and body steer clear of these toxins, and ensure that you feed your skin with the nutrients it craves!