Putting your well-being in danger before you even take that first sip of coffee in the morning? Is it even possible? Unfortunately, far too many of us are sleepy-eyed when it comes to splashing the water on our faces in the morning and filling our morning routines with a cluster of products that can be detrimental to our health.
Face wash. Concealer. Mascara. Body soap.
Just like the sneakiest of producers within the food industry, the brains behind personal care products slab on the jargon thick, keeping us fixated on the “natural” and “organic” qualities of a product before looking beyond to see the harmful chemicals packed into each dollop of product.
Though we often pluck these products from the shelves to give us a hygienic boost, slightly turning the box of some of these popular personal care products might send us running far away from the shower stall.
So what does it take be an efficient box turner in the personal care aisle? The tips below will help you sift and sort through the not-so-fulfilling promises of most toiletries to find the true goodness that will benefit you and your body at the end of the day.
Similar to clutching the grocery cart at the sight of the rolling aisles of “natural” food products, the “natural” body products can very easily sway us in the wrong direction as well.
Natural is not the same word that our great grandmothers were dealing with. Natural, these days, can be a variety of unrecognizable and unpronounceable ingredients jammed into the crawl space of the label on the back of our beauty products. Before you go relying on the “natural” product line, be sure to turn that box over and do some reading.
Know your stuff
The thought of reading every label on the back of beauty products sounds like a separate item on our to-do lists altogether. But how can we be more informed consumers without piling homework on our plates? Thanks to the age of the internet, it is now possible to do your research quickly and efficiently before you make the buy.
Check out CosmeticsDatabase.com. This comprehensive listing of all goods that cluster our medicine cabinets—from cover up and concealer to deodorants and perfumes—gives each product a rating along with an overview outlining the hazards and risks behind the labels.
This database is my go-to for any product, the crook of the world wide web that I am surely checking on before I scratch beauty care from my shopping list.
Nail the perpetrators.
Parabens and anything that contains the word “Ethyl”
Parabens are the second most common ingredient in skin care products … but unlike the front runner, water, you don’t want these parabens anywhere near you.
Studies show they possess mild estrogen-like qualities being thought to cause cancerous tumors. You will find these parabens lurking within the products making all the “natural” claims to its eager consumers.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
This is a head scratcher, literally. A cheap detergent derived from petroleum, this cosmetic is often said to be derived from coconuts. And while shampoos and conditioners exist to add moisture to our roots and give our hair life and body of its own, this ingredient will only dry us out, causing scratching and itchiness.
Fragrance, though it reminds of the days of mom’s perfume bottles, is a nasty word. Fragrance is the loophole for cosmetic producers to pack over 200 ingredients into a product without having to tell you a single one of them… Like secret family recipes but without the comfort of homemade stew.
Choose products that are fragrance free to avoid caking all sorts of chemicals on your body and face.
Above is just the beginnings of a list of devious little ingredients that you don’t want coming anywhere near your skin. The best way to map your way around and away from chemicals and products that can be harmful to your health is by looking into the products that you use on a daily basis. Read the labels. Look up some of the ingredients. Find what you are really painting onto your nails or rubbing onto your skin.
Of course, it is not always feasible to throw out the whole of our cosmetic cabinet to make room for all-natural, all-organic skin products. However, a gradual shifting out of using products that contain too many harmful chemicals is a wise and responsible choice to make for our bodies in order to promote living a longer and healthier life.
Photo by Andrew Morrell Photography