Part 2 of Clean Beauty - Inside, then Out. For Part I, click here.
In the United States, before leaving the house in the morning, the average person is exposed to 100+ chemicals from cosmetics, soaps, and other personal care products(!!). No joke. You wonder how these chemicals can get in our home. While people may assume these products are safe, their chemical ingredients may be largely unregulated and untested, with many still containing known carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting chemicals in formulations. Another problem is that ingredient labels can be misleading, making it extraordinarily difficult for common consumers to be able to tell the difference for products they use every day.
The items add up starting with toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cleansers, hand soap, make up (that's a lengthy one), dish soap, laundry soap, and we could go on, but I think you get the point.
The list of the ones to avoid can be quite long, and controversial. Common offenders for us: formaldehyde, triclosan, phthalates. For sunscreen, oxybenzone. I stopped using any sunscreen with this ingredient for almost 15 years now. Check out EWG's database on this ingredient, reference below.
Another common offender for us is: 'fragrance.' This means chemically derived fragrance, and can hide problematic ingredients in proprietary formulas. If it reads 'essential oil', then this would indicate it is essential oil derived, which is more natural. The only personal caveat is if the product has very clean ingredients and there are no other choices, and the fragrance is very subtle indicating that very little is used, then an exception might be made. However, if an alternative can be found at a competitive price, that alternative would be a better choice.
Lotions and moisturizers can be a big problem. This is why our skincare of choice is our 100% Baobab Oil. No fillers, no synthetic chemicals, no fragrance, just cold-pressed from the baobab seed and organic. As a facial moisturizer, it is light and you can use for a night time serum or a thin layer during the day. As a topical oil, it also feeds your skin Vitamins A & E and Omegas 3, 6 & 9.
Beauty and long term health take work and knowledge as well as discerning what makes sense and not chasing the next new fad. Keep learning with all of us!
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