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There are thousands of cosmetics products on the market and the majority of them have a plethora of ingredients that are not naturally derived.
It is these chemicals which can potentially harm our health. Recent research found that the average woman applies over 200 chemicals to her skin everyday - from shower gels and perfume to makeup and body lotions. Over the course of the day, it is estimated that 60% of these chemicals are absorbed into our bloodstream, so it makes sense to opt for more natural and organic cosmetics.
Any beauty product that has been awarded the UK Soil Association badge guarantees that the ingredients are of organic origin and are free from any harmful chemicals including fertilizers and pesticides that could be used during ingredient production.
Here are just some of the ingredients are are included in non-organic skincare and cosmetics and the effects they can have on the body.
It might be one of the most common ingredients in body lotions and skin cleansers but mineral oil is definitely best avoided. As a petroleum by-product, it has very little skin-nurturing properties. It coats the skin, clogs pores and stops skin from naturally releasing toxins which can lead to acne breakouts.
Another petroleum by-product, Propylene Glycol can be found in moisturisers that claim to soften and hydrate. Frighteningly, this is a major ingredient in types of antifreeze but it can also be used in skincare in quantities of up to 20%. People have reported allergic reactions and skin irritations as it penetrates skin, breaking down any protein molecules and cellular structures in the dermis. More serious liver and kidney abnormalities have also been recorded because of Propylene Glycol.
There are hundreds of thousands of types of synthetic fragrances and just because sometime smells fresh, pure and inviting doesn't necessarily make it good for you. Because of the vast amount of synthetically produced scents, any cosmetics which just lists 'fragrance' as an ingredient could potentially contain an extra 4,000 separate ingredients that do not need to be disclosed as it falls under fragrance. Look out for bouts of dizziness, headaches or skin irritations if you think you might be allergic to any products that contain fragrance.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) and TEA (Triethanolamine)
Beware your cleansers and body washes, because any non-organic product that foams most likely contains one of these ingredients. Thankfully in Europe, inclusion of DEA, MEA and TEA is somewhat restricted because of its known carcinogenic properties, but it is still cause for some concern. Several government funded research has found links to kidney and liver damage with these ingredients.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
Another ingredient included in any cosmetic product that foams up with water, SLS can have a serious damaging effect to skin and hair. It's a harsh detergent that strips your skin and hair of it's natural oils which act as barrier against external and environmental aggregators. Use a product with SLS and you'll soon find your skin feeling rough, with breakout and irritated.