Do you love the skin you’re in?

by Polly N on August 22, 2010

I used to spend a lot of time and money in shops such as Boots buying the latest body scrub promising to “make your skin glow”, age-defying face creams that can fill in the crow’s feet and a whole host of other potions and lotions, all because “I’m worth it”. But if I was to take Oil of Olay’s advice of “Love the skin you’re in”, I decided I should stop using all beauty products that are full of chemicals! Which basically consists of the entire contents of Boots, Superdrug, M&S and any other shop that has branched into make-up and beauty ranges and uses parabens, SLS (sodium laurel sulphate), phthalates and many many more!

Toxic!

If like me you have heard that some beauty products contain chemicals but don’t know much more and because you love the products you love, put it to the back of your mind, then you NEED to read this!

Our skin is the largest organ we have and it in order for it to work efficiently, it needs to be able to breathe. Mineral oil and petroleum derived ingredients are often used in our everyday products. They create an oily film over the skin giving the appearance of silkiness but infact work by trapping our toxins in and keeping oxygen out.

SLS (sodium laurel sulphate) is a caustic cleanser that can cause irritation to the scalp, eyes and skin. According to the Women’s Environmental Network there is some evidence to suggest there are reproductive effects and damage to the liver, lungs & the immune system when this comes into contact with the body.

Phthalates (pronounced thal-ates) have been linked to decreased fertility in females and faulty reproductive development in male foetuses and Formaldehyde, often used in shampoos and deoderants, is carinogenic meaning it causes cancer. Errr..yes you did read it right, it can cause cancer!

These are just a few of a very long list of dangerous substances that we come into contact with everyday. It really is quite shocking and disgusting that we are being treated so appallingly by companies that just want to make money with no regard for our health. Often these companies argument for using these chemicals is that the amounts in each product are so small that they are very unlikely to do any harm. Maybe so, but when you use this “safe product” everyday combined with another 3 other products which I have no doubt the average women uses, if not more, it adds up to a significant amount of toxicity. Let’s not forget these chemicals are being used in oils, creams and lotions for babies!

I just don’t know how they are allowed to get away with treating us like guinea pigs. This video is great and explains the process very well. As you know, I am very interested in nutrition and what I put into my body but I am just as passionate to ensure that what I put onto my body is equally as nourishing.

So these days, I buy my beauty products online. There are lots of companies that manufacture ethically sourced chemical free products so there really is no excuse. The thing I found time consuming and confusing on switching from chemical-laden to chemical-free was having to wade through each product trying to work out what all these long words like Triethanolamine and Urea-Imidazolidinyl were and what that really meant. But BEWARE: Just because it’s organic doesn’t necessarily make it chemical-free.

For me, the solution came in the form of the wonderful site, Love Lula.

LoveLula list all of the chemicals they refuse to promote in the products they stock so I don’t have to read the ingredient list, they send out a beautiful box packed with love and an insightful lovelula quote to inspire you, you can rack up points like you do in Boots and treat yourself to something lovely and they send you out 3 samples of your choice with every delivery. I love it! Here is a picture of my latest delivery.

LOVE LoveLula.com!

Now if you’re thinking, “I can’t throw out EVERYTHING  in my bathroom that I use”, then don’t. If you want to make changes then start small. If you want to change to chemical-free shampoo for example, then buy some, but I would suggest you buy whatever you need BEFORE you need it. Speaking from experience, it’s best to have it on hand, available when you need it as if you wait to buy some before you run out of your old stuff, and you’re buying online, you’re more likely to pop out and buy the old stuff because the new chemical-free products won’t be arriving for a day or two. Trust me!

If you’re thinking, “Well that’s all well and good BUT it’s expensive – I can’t afford to go chemical-free!” then I would have to say yes, maybe so. But my question to you is, “Can you afford NOT to?” Think about slathering on a gorgeous silky moisturiser that isn’t likely to give you cancer..then it makes it so much more appealing!

Some products are more expensive than others so do shop around. Here’s a list of companies that are great for chemical free products:

Barefoot Botanicals

Dr Hauschka

Ecotherapy

Green People (do a brilliant fake tan…yes you can still have a tan AND be chemical free!)

I am Natural

John Masters

Jurlique

Lavera

Spiezia

LoveLula stock a lot of these brands so if you’re going to buy a few of these, I would suggest buying from them to save on postage costs.

If you want to find out for yourself what’s really in your products, then check out www.cosmeticdatabase.com where you can type in the name of the ingredient in your product and find out just how toxic it really is!

The truth is, that nourishing our bodies with the nutrients and enzymes it needs and staying hydrated is really the key to younger looking skin. It really isn’t anymore complicated than that but we buy into the myth that wonder creams can keep us looking and feeling great. And yes I agree, we all need a helping hand now and then so if you’re going to indulge, make sure it costs you just the price you’re paying for it and not your health!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth Bristow August 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

hmm – certainly made me think, and i am now going to look at the website you recommend. found you via twitter and now follow you. many thanks

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Cassandra Thomas August 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I couldn’t agree more! I stopped using chemicals due to recurring dermatitis on my face; when you stop and read what’s in these things it’s pretty scary. Although I think I’ve bored my friends stupid trying to convince them to try alternative products! Keep up the good work :-)

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Karen Wood September 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

Hi Polly, a great article, and well written…..it’s true – whilst organics seems to be a lifestyle choice, price seems to be a factor, but – what price your health! I too search for an organic and chemical free way, and due to the difficulties in finding products i could (or was happy to use) decided to formulate my own skincare range…www.keshiorganics.com.au

I’m really happy with it, and can recommend with confidence to others that not only will these products nourish and help you to look your absolute best, but are doing no harm to you or the environment. All our ingredients are fully disclosed, and definitely NO NASTIES!

Good luck on your journey….feel free to find me on facebook! I will follow your further stories with interest.
love xKaren

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Star Khechara February 22, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hi Polly,

Saw your article in Passion – I write for them too. I wondered if I could mention my website? I actually teach people how to make 100% natural safe and organic skincare products. For people on low-incomes making your own organic skincare works out much cheaper than buying it in the shops.

School of Holistic Cosmetology – http://www.fragrant-beauty-lab.co.uk

Many thanks,
Star
http://www.raw-spa.co.uk

Reply

enveloppes January 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues.
It was really informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

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