Natural Skincare and Essential Oils
In today’s society, we all want to look and feel our best. Aside from finding the right products for our skin, it is important to know that it is not only what we put on our bodies that affects our skin, but what we put into our body that will ultimately affect the skin.
There are many alternatives to skin care and consumers are becoming much more aware of what is good for their skin and what isn’t. Since the skin is the largest organ on the body, it is therefore important to treat your skin with love and care.
So where do we start? Many believe that skin care is only an external matter and that by using expensive products with fancy names that they are doing what is necessary to sustain a good skin care regimen.
If you take time to research you quickly become conscious of what is going on in the industry and it starts to sink in that you are being sold very costly products that not only hurt your wallet, these products may damage your skin.
These products are often filled with highly toxic ingredients that used over time will worsen any condition that you currently may have along with the possibility of creating more serious health issues.
Real skin care starts from within, you clearly are an end result of what you eat and drink, “Junk in junk out.” Eating a diet high in sugar and fats is surely going to take a toll on your appearance.
Research has proven that poor diet will age us, while a healthy diet of whole foods and plenty of clean water for proper hydration, along with exercise will enhance our appearance.
Imagine you are out looking for products for your face and body as you step into the mall you begin the search for something that is going to make your skin look great and maybe protect you from the elements. What you find instead is the commercialism and creative marketing of the beauty industry. These huge skin care companies have wonderful advertising, and can cost quite a bit, yet are filled with very toxic ingredients such as mineral oil. Stop! Did I just say mineral oil?
Before the invention of synthetic oil, mineral oil was predominantly used as a mechanical lubricant. According to the Environmental Working Group, mineral oil is derived from petroleum and may be contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Mineral oil aggravates acne and negatively impacts skin function, causing it to age prematurely. This oil is a common ingredient in anything that requires a smooth gliding action, and may be listed under different names, including petrolatum or paraffinum.
We know that our skin is the body’s largest organ, and it works together with the kidneys to rid the body of toxins. However, your skin needs to be able to breathe to perform these functions. Kim Anderson, a health care consultant to Arbonne International, states that “mineral oil coats the skin like plastic wrap, disrupting the skin’s natural immune barrier and inhibiting its ability to breathe and absorb the ‘natural moisture factor’ (moisture and nutrition).” In addition, mineral oil attracts needed moisture from cells deep inside your skin. This means that cell renewal is slowed, collagen breaks down, and the connective tissue is destroyed. Normal cell development is slowed down and the skin ages prematurely when skin cells are robbed of moisture.
Mineral oil is just one of many toxic ingredients in today’s skin care products.
There are so many different choices for your skin, organics, natural, anti-aging, skin tightening, moisturizing, etc. If you don’t understand the toxic ingredients, you can easily get fooled into buying products that will only be harmful to your body in the long term.
Recent Demand for Naturals & Organics
There is a rising demand for natural and organic products with no unnecessary chemicals, parabens, additives or fillers.
This segment accounts for more than one-third of the $9.6 billion natural and organic personal care industry, says Nutrition Business Journal, and is growing even faster than the overall skin care market.
When we think of an organic product we assume that it is free of pesticides and anything that is not of a natural or organic substance, the reality is that most skin care products labeled organic have very few guidelines and as long as the product contains 3% of an organic substance it can be labeled organic! So how do we know what we are getting is actually good for us? We need to learn to read labels or at least have an understanding of what we don’t want to put onto our skin. Due to toxins via cosmetics, shampoos, face creams & lotions, anti- bacterial soaps, & hair care products combined creates a toxic liver.
Our liver is challenged! We need to stop now and pay attention to what we put in and on our bodies.
In 2008 my wellness team attended a presentation by former Miss America Susan Jeske
During the presentation, Susan shared the toxic 12 ingredients to avoid in skin care. Let’s review some of the things in skin care ingredients that can do us harm.
Reference Source: Susan Jeske Toxic 12 Ingredients to avoid:
Cosmetics are a $50 billion a year industry with profit percentages in the thousands, the principles involved are not highly motivated to change. “We are the lab rats. They are testing on us. This is the least-regulated industry,” she said. “Americans deserve safer products.” Susan Jeske.
The Toxic 12 List of chemicals in personal care products that former beauty queen and consultant Susan Jeske believes are “non-natural” and damaging to people’s health.
Jeske’s list is the latest in several ongoing movements by groups such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to petition the Food and Drug Administration to regulate chemicals used in the cosmetic industry.
The list of the toxic items has surprised many women as these items were found in most of the cosmetics and make up items. This has led them to wonder that why the products with the toxic elements have not yet been banned from the market. The list of toxic twelve also comprises some pathogens which had been known to cause genetic mutations and cancer.
References: News article
Jeske’s Toxic 12 List
- Benzoyl peroxide (Benzoyl peroxide (BP), (A tumor promoter)
- Diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamine (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) Is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked to the development of stomach, esophagus, liver, and bladder cancers).
- Dioxin (cancer causing)
- Hydantoin and imidazolidinyl urea (DMDM (Cancer, skin irritations, respiratory problems).
- Synthetic colors and pigments (Tumors).
- Parabens (methyl, butyl, ethyl, propyl) (Breast tumors)
- Polyethylene glycol (FEG) (Weakens immune system, breast cancer).
- Xenoestrogens (phthalates) (Hormone disruptor).
- Propylene glycol and butylene glycol (skin irritant).
- Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (Cancer)
- Avobenzone, benzophenone and PABA (hormone disruptor, skin irritant).
- Triclosan (cancer causing also in many commercial toothpaste)
What about All Natural skin care?
Reference. Source: © 2008 Farlow, Christine H. D.C., “The Ingredients Investigator” and author of DYING TO LOOK GOOD.
Dr. Farlow has been researching ingredient safety since 1991. She gives more information about ingredient safety at http://www.DyingToLookGood.com and healthy skin care products at http://www.BestOrganicAndNaturalSkinCare.com
However, in the world of natural skin care products, the word “natural” has no legal definition. Manufacturers can call their products natural if they contain all natural skin care ingredients, a few natural ingredients or none at all.
Even organic natural skin care is not what you might think. Surely if it says organic it must have all healthy ingredients, right?
Well again, maybe or maybe not!
If the products are USDA certified organic skin care to the National Organic Program Standards (NOP), i.e. the organic food standards, then you can feel that you’ve got a healthy product. However, if the product says organic, but it’s not certified then there may be a problem.
Recently the Organic Consumer’s Association (OCA) commissioned a study of organic natural skin care and body care products from health food stores. The results showed that many of the popular products labeled as organic actually contained the cancer-causing contaminant 1,4-dioxane.
The products that were certified organic according to the NOP standards did not contain 1,4-dioxane.
So, you might say, that’s easy, just buy certified organic skin care products. That would have worked in the past, when the only organic standards were the NOP food standards.
Until recently, there were no certified organic standards for skin care, cosmetics, and personal care products. However, a short time ago so well known companies from the conventional skin care industry got together and formed the OASIS organic standards. There was no comment period for input from the organic consuming public. Organic farmers and skin care companies who had achieved certified organic status through the NOP were not invited to participate.
The OASIS organic standards allow non-organic ingredients grown with synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. They also permit petroleum-derived synthetic preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin.
Another organic standard is Ecocert. It’s new to the U.S., but has been the European standard for some time. This certifying body also has a less-than-organic standard and is known to certify products as organic that don’t even meet their own low standards.
These pseudo-organic standards, by allowing a variety of synthetic ingredients in products they certify as organic, undermine the true meaning of organic as set forth with the NOP.
So, even though it should be easier to identify truly all natural organic skin care products, it really isn’t … if you’re just looking at the label.
To make sure you get truly healthy, all natural skin care products, do these things before you buy:
- Check out the manufacturer. Many of the mainstream cosmetic and skin care companies are coming out with natural skin care lines that aren’t very natural.
- Look for USDA certified organic or certified organic to the NOP standards.
- Read the ingredients list. If you need help, Dying to Look Good is a good resource you can carry with you when you shop.
- Check the ingredients every time you buy. Manufacturers sometimes change the ingredients.
With all the deception in the organic market, it is just as important now, as ever before, to do your due diligence. Do your homework and vote with your dollars for the truly good-for-you organic natural skin care.
What to do
I have found that through my experience that the power of essential oils are the best resolve for those who are determined to free themselves from the false organics of the skin care industry
And turn to nature inspired essential oils.
You can find some great recipes in books and online to begin your own experimenting with skin care products, you do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to look and feel your best. It is very simple, drink plenty of filtered water, eat healthy foods, exercise and get plenty of sleep, then follow up with your own skin care regimen of essential oils or find an aromatherapist who can create them for you.
For great recipes on making your own organic skincare products, check out: Organic Beauty With Essential Oil.