For many years of my adult life I spent thousands of dollars on the next miracle product for my skin. There are products that claim to reduce lines, reverse aging, regenerate collagen, make you glow, or make you more desirable and the list goes on and on. There are others like me who have chased the miracle to reclaim younger looking skin, but at what risk? Do we really know what goes into these products? We spend a small fortune and slather creams and lotions all over thinking that since the packaging is beautiful and it was very expensive then the promise must be real; this must be the best way to get real results. Cosmetics are not regulated by governmental agencies so the safety of the products we buy are determined by the cosmetic manufacturer itself. Today’s society is more aware than ever of the quality and origin of food we eat, so since our skin is the body’s largest organ shouldn’t we care as much about what we are feeding it? Both nutrition and potentially harmful chemicals are absorbed by the skin and into our organs. Our skin is hungry and will eat any molecule, every drop of water, and every speck of product we apply and distribute it throughout our bodies. Think about how many drug manufacturers now make products that are delivered transdermally (through the skin) as a patch or cream. Skin can absorb up to 60% of substances applied to its surface.
I’ve come to believe that Mother Earth provides us with everything we need to properly maintain our bodies in the healthiest way possible. The plants available to us contain powerful antioxidant, antiaging, antibacterial and hydrating ingredients that we can harness for healthy skin. If I can’t pronounce or identify an ingredient on a cosmetic label I don’t think I should feed it to my skin. There are literally hundreds of synthetic ingredients commonly added to cosmetics, but in the interest of brevity I’ve listed below a short list of those you should avoid.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Causes skin irritation when used around the eyes and may be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane.
- DMDM Hydatoin: This is a formaldehyde releaser preservative. Known immune toxicant or allergen
- Diazolidinyl Urea: This is a formaldehyde releaser preservative. Known immune toxicant or allergen
- Imidazolidinyl Urea: This is a formaldehyde releaser preservative. Known immune toxicant or allergen
- Ceteareth: Causes skin irritation when used around the eyes and may be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4-Dioxane.
- PEG and Polyethylene: May contain potentially toxic manufacturing contaminants such as 1,4-Dioxane
- Fragrance: Products with ‘fragrance’ on the label can contain hundreds of chemicals and may trigger allergic reactions.
Don’t be lured by the sexy ads featuring models who have spent countless hours and have a team of people that surround them to make their photos flawless. A common-sense approach to skin care including plant based, organic, responsibly sourced products like Angels & Co. will save you dollars, confusion and possibly physical problems in the future. Besides, every smile you spread across your face, every tear you have shed, every challenge you have overcome have shaped you into a perfectly imperfect creation. Embrace yourself, love yourself – you are beautiful just as you are.