I can't really remember when's the first time I fell completely in love by going 'Au Naturale' as something really basic and important part in my daily beauty regime. I think it all started out with a conversation with my eldest sister at one Sunday, despite having allergies on some beauty product that uses the word "Fragrance" in the ingredient list & also due to my concern about all things that have been going on with our Mama Earth.
Rare diseases, freakishly climate change, and their domino effects to the world..
All of those things put me in a different state of mind, for GOOD!
It started to tickle my fancy. The hunger of knowing about the advantages of having toxic-free beauty regime in the daily beauty products that I've been using. Then, I start learning bit-by-bit. And many hidden facts that has been written on the composition label on the back (or under) every products that I've been using, came as a shock to me.
On this opportunity I would love to share with you the importance of using toxin-free beauty products. I might be a newbie in the 'Au Naturale' world, but I try my best to have that balance in terms of beauty for body and it's longevity and disease-prevention benefit. Really, these cancer-causing villains will do no good for your own health.
No need to spend all that money on expensive things. You can start small, by first getting to know the ingredients in every products you're using. Soap, Shampoos, Conditioner, Body Lotions, Face Moisturizer, Toner, Makeup Cleanser, Hair Gels and Waxes, Shaving Creme, Toothpaste, and the list goes on...
Few months ago, I started to read every ingredients/compositions to every products that I'm gonna buy on my monthly groceries list, and I ended up by spending a full 2.5hours at the supermarket with not-so-many things to buy. Turns out most of them are NOT TOXIN-FREE. Doohhhh.....
And the hard part by living in Indonesia, where the awareness of going natural and organic have not yet sufficient. I had to look at some other supermarkets like Ranch Market (which is thankfully is located just around the corner of my house), and pharmacy like Apotik Melawai for my natural body scrub. How I wish Whole Foods is also just around the corner of my house.... *le sigh*.
Surprisingly enough, Bali has quite a few good natural products as well! So I get some of my beauty products from there A LOT too. Such as, Kou Soap Bars, Bali Hair Mask Cremebath, Utama Spice Body Lotions and Green Tea Leafs from Dharma Teas.
Other than that you can also make some home-remedies for your beauty basic needs. Try to google it, or check out those home-demos from youtube. It's fast, easy to make and best of all..it's cheap! I know you'd like that. Hee hee.
Some other places for you to get some toxin-free beauty products are: LoveLula, the natural apothecary. I was jumping up and down, almost burst into joyful tears (excessively drama!) when I found out about LoveLula and their ability in shipping to Indonesia. Apart from my favourites natural brands like John Masters Organic and Burt's Bees, they recently add some new brands to the webstore such as BUTTER nail polishes! Yes, I almost cried and jump for joy because the official Butter website can't make deliveries outside the US & UK. They might want to consider of adding AVEDA on the list too.. (a customer's wish.. :P).
So, here are the list of ingredients that you might want to avoid from here on out to prevent those nasty diseases such as Cancer. I quoted this from my ultimate natural beauty goddes source, the Goddes Huntress.
1. PARABENS. Look for any ingredient that ends in "paraben". Parabens are estrogen mimickers, meaning when absorbed it takes on the qualities of estrogen. It's key not to increase our estrogen levels in prevention of breast cancer. Here is the kicker: parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and it makes healthy breast cells act as cancer cells.
2. PHTHALATES. Phthaltes are linked to early puberty in girls, which significantly increases the chance of breast cancer later in life. Phthalates disrupt our glands. Look for any ingredient that ends in "phthalate". A common carrier of phthalates is nail polish and synthetic fragrances. Make sure your nail polishes are free of the nasties by buying Dibutyl Phthalate (or DBP) Free nail polishes. Luckily the nail polish brands free of this chemical nasty happily advertise their clean formulations. Other diseases that Phthalates caused are infertility, uterine cancer, testicular cancer, fetal defects.
Unfortunately, phthalates do not have to be listed as an ingredient on consumer products. Some products do state “phthalates free”. To avoid phthalates, choose fragrance-free products, stay away from plastics with the recycle codes 3 and 7, cut off plastic water/soda bottle use (especially if pregnant), purchase BPA/pthalate free baby bottles, remove plastic/vinyl shower curtains, replace plastic food storage containers with glass, stay away from canned foods (cans inner coating contains phthalates), dispose of old plastic toys (U.S. phthalate toy regulation started in 2009), and go green with your sex toys!
Visit EWG’s cosmetic database to see if your products contain pthalates.
3. SULFATES. Usually written as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA. In your shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser, body was, liquid hand soap, shaving cream, bubble bath/bath oil/bath salts, toothpaste, hair color & hair bleach, and worse, your baby products.
Sulfates are a foaming agent that strip all oils, leaving surfaces barren and dehydrated, which explains why there is a huge need for conditioners and moisturizers marketing tool. We have been trained to think that a soap only works when it lathers up due to an added ingredient known as sulfate. This fluffy lather has been created to evoke "cleanliness".
So here it is.
SULFATES. FOAM. LATHER. NOT CLEAN.
Besides creating a foam party, here are sulfates and their 'gentler' clones do.
Unnatural hair loss, damage follicles, irritate skin (dermatitis), potentially create carcinogens through contact with other ingredients, fade color treated hair, strip essential oils, damage the immune system, may impair brain, heart and eye function.
Lather does not mean Cleansing.
Again, check on those ingredients. There are lots of great performing sulfate-free products (that may lather naturally) in the marketplace to replace those sulface-ridden products.
4. FLUORIDE. Shocker! Despite it's claim to prevent cavities, it's a dangerous toxic chemical. Most of the fluoride used in dental products and in water supply fluoridation is a by-product of making fertilizer. What's even a shocker is, the FDA lists fluoride as an "unapproved new drug" and the EPA lists fluoride as a "contaminant". Fluoride has NEVER received 'FDA Approval'. It has been linked to florosis in children, Acne, Alzheimer's, kidney damage, cancer, genetic damage, neurological impairment, bone and tooth decay.
5. TRICLOSAN. Can also be listed as:
5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) -; 2,4,4′-TRICHLORO-2′-HYDROXY DIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) – PHENOL; PHENOL, 5CHLORO2 (2,4DICHLOROPHENOXY) ; 2,4,4′-TRICHLORO-2′-HYDROXYDIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; CH 3565; IRGASAN; IRGASAN DP300; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) -
Triclosan is found in antibacterial products such as soap, hand sanitizer, clothing, shoes, deodorants, toothpaste, cutting boards, sponges, toys, and cosmetics. Studies have shown that triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and enables bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant.
Triclosan is so prominent, the CDC states that it is found in 75% of the population’s urine. The American Medical Association advises against the use of antibacterial soap at home to prevent the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap has been found no more effective than regular soap.
Triclosan is in drinking water and a large percentage of rivers. The EPA does not regulate levels of triclosan in drinking water.
The European Union has a ban on triclosan for products that come in contact with food.
Triclosan is a listed ingredient in products. Depending on the type of product, you can find it listed in the Drug Facts box or in the ingredient list.
Get to know what your products contain. You can limit your triclosan intake.
6. Retinyl Palmitate. Can also be listed as:
RETINYL PALMITATE, AXEROPHTHOL PALMITATE; RETINOL, HEXADECANOATE; RETINOL PALMITATE; VITAMIN A PALMITATE; HEXADECANOATE RETINOL; AQUASOL A; AROVIT; OPTOVIT-A; RETINOL PALMITATE; VITAMIN A PALMITATE
Retinyl palmitate comes from the retin-A family, a derivative of vitamin A. While this vitamin A family is successful in reducing fine lines and wrinkles (while making skin ultra sensitive and sometimes raw), it causes chemical reactions when exposed to sunlight.
Retinyl palmitate is coming to the forefront as a new, yet controversial, ingredient in sunscreen.According to EWG, 41% of sunscreens being sold to us, this year alone, contain retinyl palmitate.This is definitely a questionable ingredient to include in skincare, especially suncare, due to its phototoxicity and thermal instability.
Seventeen studies have been published by the FDA on the effects of retinyl palmitate. According to these studies, they found that retinyl palmitate forms free radicals in sunlight and alters chromosomes. It has also been found to increase tumor growth in rats by 21%. An ingredient that potentially mutates into a carcinogen with sunlight should not be in our skin products.
Retinyl palmitate can be found in some sunscreen, sunscreen makeup, facial moisturizers, anti-aging treatments, skin peels, foundation, lip treatments, lip gloss, lipstick, blush, and eye cream.
Check out EWG 2011 Sunscreen Report for more latest updates on the sunscreen guide!
Get to know what your products contain. You can ELIMINATE your retinyl palmitate intake.
Those are some of the toxins you need to know. There are new cosmetics being developed every day, so this should by no means be considered a complete list but a starting place.
It is especially important that pregnant women, and those nursing children be aware that the various toxins in normal products can have an effect on the normal growth of both the fetus and the nursling, as well as upon their future health.
Now's prime time to green up your beauty product stash. Start by taking a look at the ingredient lists on your current faves, see unrecognizable scientific names? Parabens? Sulfates?
Switching to cleaner, purer options means a cleaner, purer you (60 percent of what you apply gets absorbed).
Big thank you to my readers, and please don't hesitate to promote this to help bring awareness to others. Let me know if there's anything I can do to make your reading time a value.
Wish you a beautiful healthy Sunday!
Photo: Mona Johannesson by Mikael Schulz