Many people are beginning to switch to organic foods and making sure what they put in their body is pure and free of pesticides, chemicals and GMOs. However, not very many people are fully aware of the importance to buy organic skin care. They ask questions, like… “Why does it have to be organic? The FDA wouldn’t allow something toxic to be put in our skin care. How is it harming me? What makes organic skin care so much better?”
What we put ON our bodies is just as important to what we put IN our bodies. Think of your skin as a giant sponge, it’s the largest organ, whatever you put on it, your skin will immediately absorb it into your body, sucking it into your tissues, organs etc. If you put harmful products on your body, you are absorbing toxins, chemicals, and loads of harmful ingredients that are in your non-organic lotions, body wash, shampoo, laundry soap, makeup etc.
What makes beauty products organic? They are free of sulfates, paraben, PEG, petroleum, phthalate, silicone, synthetic fragrance, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, FD&C Yellow No. 6, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Dimethicone and cyclomethicon. The list goes on and on. Many words that are incredibly hard to pronounce.
“How do these affect us? What is so bad about fragrance, sodium laureth sulfate and all the other names? What are in those ingredients that harm us?”
Those are all good questions, and often asked. We aren’t taught or told why. We don’t see anything on TV telling us about harmful ingredients in skin care. All we see is the latest cream to help smooth wrinkles and create ageless skin. We have gotten so caught up in looking for that next “beauty secret cream” we aren’t even aware of the ingredients. In our daily lives, we aren’t shown why organic is better. If we want to know, we have to seek it out. It’s not around us enough, to know all the “why” questions involving around living organic.
I’ll now list most of the harmful ingredients we need to stay away from and why.
Dimethicone and cyclomethicone (silica) are used as emollients to give products a silky and smooth texture. Our skin cannot absorb this, causing clogged pores and blackheads. Leading to severe side effects such as irritation to the eyes and skin (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in mouth and chest; swelling of the face, mouth, lips or tongue). That’s just a few of the side effects.
Mineral Oils (Paraffin oil and wax, Liquid Paraffinum, Petrolatum). You’ll probably notice this ingredient in a lot of non organic products. It is used as a sealing agent, as a way to “seal” in moisture. However it completely clogs your pores, allowing your body to hold in toxins. Causing acne, premature aging and other skin problems. But also affecting our body on the inside. Causing us to hold in toxins.
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol are rancid oils that form free radicals and damage the skin. They penetrate into the skin, causing the cellular structure of your skin to weaken. PG is considered so toxic that workers in contact with it are required to wear protective gloves, clothing and eye protection. The EPA – environmental protection agency, even states that the brain, liver and kidneys can be affected through skin absorption.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a cheap detergent and foaming agent ( anionic surfactant) composed of 4 known carcinogens; formaldehyde, dioxane, ethylene oxide and Acetaldehyde. It drys out the skin, damaging the eyes, nervous system and resulting in depression, difficulty breathing, and even death. Surfactants (anionic and cationic) include:
- Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate
- Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
- Disodium Oleamide Sulfosuccinate
- Disodium Dioctyl Sulfosuccinate etc
- Lauryl or Cocoyl Sarcosine
- Potassium Coco Hydrolysed Collagen
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
- TEA (Triethanolamine) Lauryl Sulfate
- TEA (Triethanolamine) Laureth Sulfate
- Benzalkonium & Benzethonium chloride
- Cetrimonium chloride
- Cetalkonium chloride
- Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen
- Stearalkonium chloride
Phenoxyethanol, or ethylene glycol monophenyl ether, is often used in cosmetics to kill bacteria and keep the formula stabilized. Phenoxyethanol is toxic to the kidneys and bladder. It may cause problems with the reproductive system and serious damage to the eyes. It can cause degeneration to the brain and nervous system as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage. Japan and the EU have restricted its uses in cosmetics.
Methyl Paraben is used to extend shelf life and are cheaper than natural preservatives. Methyl, Ethyl, Butyl and Propyl are chemical preservatives. They are quickly absorbed into the skin and are often the cause for eye and skin irritation, allergies and can affect the respiratory tract. Methyl Paraben is the worst since it combines benzoic acid with the chemicals of the methyl group leaving it very toxic. Traces of these parabens have been found in breast cancer cells.
FD&C Yellow No. 6, used only to give products their color, causes allergic reactions and can trigger asthma. It is carcinogenic and banned in some countries. There are others as well, stay away from products with D&C and FD&C followed by a number.
Fragrance may be one ingredient on the list but it in itself can contain up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Allergic reactions, headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, violent coughing and even vomiting might result. You’ll see fragrance in just about every non organic product. It’s in everything…
Those are just a few definitions of the chemicals in our skin care. Make sure to read labels, avoid the above chemicals. Here are some more chemicals that should also be avoided, which are found in most skin care/cosmetics.
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Butylated hudroxyanisole (BHA)
- DMDM Hydantoin (contains formaldehyde)
- Germall 115 (Imidazolidinyl urea)
- Germall II (Diazolidinyl urea)
- Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben
- Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
- Sodium Sulfosuccinate
- Thiomersal (contains mercury)
I know it can be hard and overwhelming when trying to buy something free of chemicals. Now a days anything labeled “Natural” really isn’t natural. Natural has basically been greenwashed (where a company/organization claims to be environmentally friendly in order to distract from the non environmental practices they are really doing. Many companies now a days are using greenwashing techniques to help sell their products more, since the vast majority of people are going the “natural” organic way). I no longer believe the word natural because of all the greenwashing going on.
If you notice the above picture is of an organic skin care line, called “Acure”. It’s one of my favorite organic skin care products. They are vegan, sulfate free, cruelty free, paraben free, PEG free, petroleum free, Phthalate free, silicone free, gluten free, synthetic fragrance free, won’t clog pores, 100% biodegradable, and USDA organic. It actually says all that on the bottle.
A few of the ingredients Acure uses are, Argan oil, pumpkin seed oil, probiotics, chamomile flower, rosehips, coconut oil, Vitamin E, pomegranate, olive leaf, aloe vera, calendula, sunflower oil, CoQ10, cocoa seed butter and so on. Notice the difference? You can actually understand the words and read them. Who wants to put something on their skin, they can’t understand or read? I sure don’t!
I’ve never loved a skin care line as much as I love Acure. I have very sensitive skin, and even some of the most organic pure products still irritate my skin. My skin sometimes will get a rash, itchy and overall irritated. Sometimes the water irritates my skin, causing me to break out and become itchy. When I cry my own tears cause me to get a rash on my cheeks. So finding an organic product that my skin loves, was wonderful. They have a line for sensitive skin, which has argan oil and probiotics. Even their facial scrub doesn’t bother my skin.
“What are all the benefits to the ingredients in organic skin care? I now know all the negative side effects of chemicals in non organic skin care, but what is so great about organic skin care?”
Well, I will make a list of the BENEFITS to using organic skin care and why the ingredients are so beneficial.
Argan Oil, It has extremely high levels of Vitamin E and 80% fatty acids which make it perfect for healing many skin ailments as well as protecting against premature aging caused by oxidation. The active substances called triterpenoids that occur in Argan Oil offer amazing skin protection benefits. These include tissue healing (scars), anti-inflammatory, sun-protective and disinfectant properties. The oil contains 80% unsaturated fatty acids and is more resistant to oxidation than olive oil. Argan oil also contains 0.8% unsaponifiables (a large group of compounds also known as plant sterols or sterolins). Sterolins improve skin metabolism, reduce inflammation and promote excellent moisture retention.
To learn more about argan oil, click here
Coconut oil, is very good at hydrating skin. It sinks in deep, conditions, moisturizes, and softens skin. It soothes bug bites, speeds healing, helps with rashes, gets rid of flaking skin, softens and shrinks wrinkles, protects against sun damage, keeps tans longer, acts as an antioxidant to prevent cellular aging, and so much more. It removes makeup easily and even makes the perfect massage oil. Coconut oil is not only wonderful for the skin, it’s also very beneficial for your body when consumed. You can read more about that here.
Vitamin E, when applied topically, vitamin E gets absorbed directly into the cellular level of the skin, neutralizing free radicals, preventing signs of aging, scars, acne, as well as skin cancer risks. It can also help improve skin hydration.
Chamomile, there are so many benefits to chamomile, topical and internal. When applied to the skin chamomile helps reduce redness, inflammation, cure acne by releasing toxins from the skin, and overall soothes the skin. To learn more about chamomile and it’s benefits for your body, click here
Now the benefits to organic skin care:
Most of the harmful compounds I wrote about at the top are absorbed easily by the skin, yet the body has no way of ridding itself of them. The toxins remain in your intestine and eventually get spread through the body and can damage organs throughout your body. By using organic products, you are giving your body what it recognizes. The ingredients used in organic products are so pure, our bodies don’t react to them, like they do to the chemicals found in other products. Those non organic products are chemically formed, creating a compound our body doesn’t recognize, which results in toxins being stored in our body causing cancer, diseases, infections, failing organs, skin irritation, depression, hormone imbalances and so on.
Our bodies are absorbing toxins everywhere, and by applying chemicals directing to the largest organ of our body, the skin. We are harming ourselves, creating a negative reaction.
When using organic products that are free of chemicals and additives, our bodies react in a completely different way. We create a positive reaction. We are putting products on our body that it recognizes, fulfilling our body, allowing it to release toxins instead of holding them inside. We aren’t clogging our pores, which traps toxins, we are applying products that feed our skin. Allowing us to have healthy, smooth, glowing skin, all with a healthy toxic free body.
One thing I haven’t fully addressed is make up, cosmetics. Buying non organic cosmetics is terrible for the skin. When applying foundation you are coating your skin with chemicals, clogging your pores and therefore making your skin worse. Your skin will absorb the chemicals in the foundation, becoming trapped in your cells and being released into your organs. Same with mascara, women wear mascara every day. It goes directly on our eyelashes, which leaks into our eyes. Have you ever experienced burning, itching eyes? It’s most likely from your eye makeup. When I wash my face at night, and wash off my mascara, I realize how much gets in my eyes and end up having to gently dab it off my eyeball. I use a really pure organic mascara, so I don’t worry too much about that. But can you image using the toxic mascara, almost every woman uses? Toxins are entering their eyes DAILY… 80% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our body.
It’s scary to think about all the toxins around us. They are everywhere, and knowing about them is the first step to trying to avoid them.
To finish this article, I’ll try to list as many products as I can think of, which should be organic. Also to learn about the harmful facts about non organic deodorant and how to make your own, you can read my other article here.
Skin Care, Household, and Cosmetics – Organic:
- Laundry detergent
- dish soap, hand soap, all soaps actually
- shampoo, conditioner
- dishwasher detergent
- all face care products, lotion, toner, cleanser, scrub
- all cosmetics, foundation, mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush
- all cleaning products, floor cleaner, window cleaner, all purpose cleaner, disinfectant cleaner
- hair products, hair spray, gel, smoothers, creams etc.
That’s all I can think of right now. It can be overwhelming, wondering what should I buy then? Which organic products are the best? How do I know what will work, I don’t want to waste my money?
I’ll make another list of products I have found, that I love and know that work. I probably have tried every organic product out there.
Just click on each link, which will direct you to the best site for those products.
- Laundry, Kitchen, Household, Bathroom cleaners
- Face, Body, Hair care
- Makeup and cosmetics
- All hair products
- Body care, deodorants
Alright, I believe that is it for now. Our bodies are special and we need to treat them right. We need to feed them with nutrients from the foods we eat and apply the purest products to our skin. Toxic bodies, create a toxic life. Cleanse yourself, your household, and your family. Love your body and give it what it really needs.
A girl who’s trying to make a difference in the world,