Organic & Natural Skincare: Why? How? and Where Do I Start?
Synthetic ingredients found in many skincare products, such as fillers and preservatives, often include potential carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and skin irritants.
Although the effects of harmful ingredients will not be immediately evident, cumulative exposure can result in health problems years down the road. It’s important to read and understand product labels and find safer alternatives whenever possible.
Some common examples of toxic ingredients found in cosmetics include:
Yes, even fragrance!
The word "fragrance" in cosmetic product labels tends to be used as a catch-all term for hidden ingredients not required to be disclosed individually. These are a combination of ingredients (usually synthetics) used to scent a product. The lack of full ingredient disclosure when it comes to fragrance makes it impossible to accurately evaluate what you're using on your body. If you have sensitive skin, stick to products with no added fragrance, or all-natural fragrance components, that are fully disclosed on the label.
Most common skincare issues can be safely addressed with natural alternatives. The cleaner, the better. Organic ingredients take things a step further by meeting additional certification standards when it comes to pesticides and fertilizers used, which further reduces toxin exposure.
HOW DO I DO THIS?
It will be a gradual process. Don't get overwhelmed. No need to throw out every single skincare item you own. You can’t avoid all toxins, all the time, but you can at least try to implement small changes to reduce your exposure.
1. Focus on that handful of go-to products that you use on a daily basis.
2. Familiarize yourself with potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors found in skincare products.
3. Find safer, natural alternatives and try them out.
Overtime, you'll reduce the amount of toxic ingredients without compromising effectiveness.
WHERE DO I START?
There are various resources that can help you get started when it comes to reading labels for beauty and skincare products, for example:
These are not comprehensive databases for specific brands, but they're a good place to start when it comes to researching individual product ingredients and potential health effects. While this first step might seem intimidating, reading labels and making healthier choices will eventually become second nature.
Upcoming YW blog post: 3 Super Easy DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes You Can Make at Home
See you soon!
About the Author: Yazeth is the owner/founder of The Y & W Laboratory. Her background is in clinical microbiology and teaches allied health and wellness courses at a local college. She has additional training in natural skin care, aromatherapy, and herbal studies. Connect on Instagram and LinkedIn.