Photo Credit: kimberlysayer.com
“Organic” means working with nature, not against it. Organic beauty is the formulation of cosmetic products using organically farmed ingredients. These ingredients are grown without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and more.
Certified organic beauty products go one step further, with:
• NO animal testing
• NO GMOs
• NO controversial chemicals
• NO parabens and phthalates
• NO synthetic colors, dyes or fragrances
• NO nano particles
And more importantly, say:
• YES to higher levels of antioxidants
• YES to sustainably sourced and local organic ingredients
• YES to transparent manufacturing processes
• YES to biodegradable ingredients and biodynamic harvesting
• YES to minimal packaging with maximum recycled content
• YES to protecting wildlife and biodiversity
There is very little to no government regulation on any cosmetic products. The most important thing of all is to READ INGREDIENT LABELS. If an ingredient is not recognized it’s probably a chemical and should be researched before purchasing. Also, if you don’t see a preservative listed you need to question how a product can be sustained for more than 5 – 7 days. If you don’t see an emulsifier listed (ingredient that binds water to other ingredients) and the product is water based and contains 5 or more ingredients, you should question how the product can be blended and sustained. Some companies are using chemicals in their manufacturing process which means you have chemicals in your products. Check company websites to see and understand their commitment to clean beauty and don’t be afraid to contact the company with any questions or concerns you might have.
The Effects of Chemicals and Health
1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in the USA. The skin is the body’s largest organ and therefore toxic chemicals applied to the skin will have a serious effect on our bodies, impacting our hormones, general health and well-being. In one study, parabens (cosmetic preservatives), were found in breast tissue of breast cancer patients. Clearing your home of toxic products from skincare to cleaning supplies can greatly minimize the exposure to toxic chemicals.
Chemicals to Avoid in Products (This is my shortlist)
Also known as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben, Butylparaben. Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical industries. The US
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their report “Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?” reported that the parabens —methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl displayed estrogenic activity in several tests. It is a medical fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer.
Parabens are used in over the counter personal products as a preservative to extend shelf life. These chemicals can be found in skin and body moisturizers, skin & body wash, and cleansers.
Almost all skincare products contain synthetic substances – petroleum (chemical) based. Studies show application of petrochemicals result in kidney degeneration, nerve damage and even death. Some synthetic colors, such as FD & C Blue No. 1, are suspected carcinogens. Behentrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidepropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate are toxic ammonium compounds, even with concentrations as low as 0.1%. Household cleaning products, home furnishings and the food supply are loaded with petrochemicals, and this is linked to the rise in cancer and other diseases.
Artificial fragrances are made from petroleum or coal and cause skin irritations. Cosmetic fragrance is often made with cheap, synthetic chemicals. There are companies claiming to only use organic ingredients and yet their essential oils have been processed using fragrance. Trust your sense of smell and your body’s response to products that make your throat feel tight and your nose and eyes feel itchy, as it is likely a response to fragrance.
Phthalates are a truly toxic skincare ingredient. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP, DEP, also butyl ester) helps skincare absorb into skin. DEHP has been classified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the EPA. The Department of Health and Human Services has also classified DEHP as a potential carcinogen.
Diazolidinyl Urea or Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
It is chemically related to imidazolidinyl urea and is a formaldehyde releaser used as a preservative. It was named by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to its highest toxic class, IARC 1 (known human carcinogen). Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which provides sufficient evidence that formaldehyde causes nasopharyngeal cancer in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. While the label on your skincare product may not list “formaldehyde,” the following ingredients breakdown and release formaldehyde: diazolidinyl urea (or 3-diol diazolidinyl urea) 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1 (or bronopol) DMDM hydantoin. It has been banned in Europe after studies concluded that effects can result in: carcinogen, allergic reactions and contact dermatitis, headaches, irritation of mucous membranes, damage to eyes, joint and chest pain, depression, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and immune dysfunction.
Organic Products and Processing
To be deemed an “organic product,” the complete seed to bottle process of a product must be organic, beginning with the growing and sourcing of its raw materials, the manufacturing process, and the final finished product, including its packaging. A product must be clean and environmentally friendly throughout its life cycle. Its foundation should have basic principles; ie the use of ingredients derived from renewable resources and from organic farming, environmentally sound production and manufacturing processes that are safe for human health. Finally, packaged in recyclable containers that sustain organic materials, ie essential oils will leech into PVC plastic.
Now open your medicine cabinet and start reading labels!
Find more information about Kimberly Sayer of London: kimberlysayer.com