We’re all familiar with the idea that we are what we eat. With the holistic health trend fully underway, most of us also understand that we are what we apply. But have you ever stopped to think about what that really means? Your body literally consumes the ingredients in your personal care products right through your skin. Yep, it can be a scary thought.
A top mission at One Love Organics is to help you get started on your path to a truly safe beauty routine. Today, we’re sharing our top six ingredients to avoid in facial cleansers, body washes, and shampoos. Read below and then read your product labels!
1. Sodium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate (SLS)
Sodium lauryl sulfate is one of the most irritating cleansing agents used in skin-care products. In fact, it’s used in testing labs as the standard ingredient to irritate skin. That’s right, in scientific studies, when researchers want to establish whether an ingredient is problematic for skin, they compare its effect to the results of SLS. It has also been shown to cause allergic or sensitizing reactions. Um, no thanks! (Note: sodium hydroxypropylphosphate laurylglucoside srosspolymer, sodium coco-glucoside tartrate, and sodium cocoyl glutamate may sound similar, but are actually mild, non-irritating, all-natural, and plant-based surfactants.)
2. Petroleum and mineral oil derived ingredients
A byproduct of the distillation of gasoline, these ingredients will quickly rob your skin of its glowing beauty! Many cosmetic companies love to use petroleum-derived ingredients because they are cheap, have no odor, and they never go rancid. But beware, petroleum and mineral oil form a film on the surface of your skin akin to plastic wrap. (Yes, plastic is made from mineral oil, too!) This film does lock in moisture — but it also blocks pores, traps dirt and bacteria, and may ultimately accelerate the aging of the skin. Yikes! Look for natural plant oils for skin nourishment instead. Some cosmetic companies do a good job keeping their petroleum and mineral oil derived ingredients under wraps, so look for these common petrochemical ingredients: Propylene glycol, paraffin, mineral oil, butylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, and petrolatum.
3. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (momoethnanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine)
Commonly found in most personal care products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, and facial cleansers, these hormone-disrupting chemicals may be readily absorbed through the skin and can react with other ingredients in a cosmetic formula to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). To add insult to injury, these ingredients commonly cause allergic reactions, irritate the eyes, and dry out hair and skin.
4. Parabens (butylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, and ethylparaben)
Parabens (also derived from petroleum) are among the most widely used group of preservatives in cosmetics. Some studies suggest that they act as estrogenic endocrine disruptors. This means that these chemicals may mimic your body’s own hormones and can have endocrine-disrupting action that interfere with your endocrine system: your hypothalamus, your ovaries, your thyroid —v irtually every system in your body. Steer clear!
5. Synthetic fragrance
An undisclosed mixture of petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances can be drying and irritating to your skin. Also, many synthetic fragrances are stabilized with phthalates. Both the EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have labeled some phthalates as “possible carcinogens” which means they may cause cancer in animals and humans. Look for products that use essential oil blends and natural fragrance instead. Natural fragrance can be a blend of essential oils, oleoresins, distillates, fractions, isolates, and absolutes obtained from plants without altering their chemical structures. At One Love Organics, all our natural fragrances have been evaluated and approved by ECOCERT, the first global certification body to develop standards for natural and organic cosmetics. Our customers can trust our commitment to the quality, integrity, and pureness of each product that we produce.
A lot of liquid soaps labeled “antibacterial” contain triclosan. While many equate “antibacterial” with “healthy” there is currently no evidence that antibacterial soap products containing triclosan are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water, according to Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., a lead microbiologist at the FDA. Studies have also raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. However, frequent washing coupled with soap can be drying. We suggest washing with a mild, soap-free cleanser like Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser. We like to keep this one in our purse, gym bag, and overnight bag.
We know first-hand how daunting it can be to start reading labels and learn what all these insane-sounding ingredients mean. But knowledge is power! Armed with this list, you can steer clear of harmful ingredients and find products that will bring out your glowing beauty and be kind to your health. You got this.