On average woman use 12 skincare, cosmetic and beauty products per day, exposing our bodies to 168 chemicals per day according to a 2004 study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). There are around 12,000 approved chemicals used in skincare and cosmetics, so imagine a year of use with a variety of selected products, now imagine the exposure after a decade of use.
Skincare ingredients that should be avoided at all costs include:
Fragrance: Hormone-disrupting effects. Fragrance is also connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma and allergies. Find products which are naturally fragranced.
Lead: A known carcinogen and hormone disruptor found in some eyeliners, hair dye and lipsticks.
Mercury: A known irritant and allergen that accumules in the body over time. It causes mood swings, muscle weakness, memory loss, skin rashes, and mental disturbances.
Parabens (Propyl-, Isopropyl-, Butyl- and Isobutyl-): Used as preservatives in many products. Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2004 published research showing detected parabens in breast tumors. The reports showed esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (parabens) detected in samples of tissue from human breast tumours and discussed their estrogen-like properties.
Oxybenzone: An active ingredient in sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cellular damage.
DEA/TEA/MEA (Ethanolamines): Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), and Triethanolmine (TEA) are hormone-disrupting chemicals known to form nitrates and nitrosamines, often in conjunction with other chemicals present in a product, e.g. Cocamide DEA, or Lauramide DEA. They are almost always in products that foam: bubble bath, body wash, shampoo, soap, facial cleanser.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (aka SLS, SLES): A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body.
Not only that but a perusal of Ethical Consumer shows that most high street cosmetic suppliers score very low down the scale in terms of environmental damage from chemical usage, micro plastics, mineral oils which pollute our seas, choke our wildlife and destroy our planet.
A safe, non toxic product with transparent labelling of ingredients....
Clean in its simplest explanation means non toxic, the product is free from certain compounds that may compromise the health of a customer. “clean” is the umbrella that covers organic ingredients, approved preservatives, no petrochemicals or silicones and no potential carcinogens, endocrine disruptors or ingredients with contaminants (i.e. parabens, chemical sunscreens, phthalates, BHT, PEGs). A product that is safe for people and the planet. The beauty product should have considered human and environmental health, using a non-toxic element as a baseline and plant-based ingredients for active results.