Wanting to make a change?
Toxic chemicals are in so many products we use on our skin, you know it's bad and you've thought about making some changes in your go-to line up, but where to start? Well gorgeous you've already taken the first step, which is to stop accepting the toxic chemicals in your skincare products, you go girl!
The thought of changing all of your products at once is overwhelming. Not to mention, unless you have a lot of money at your disposal, it’s actually impossible! Believe us, we’ve been there! But it doesn’t have to be. The key is to simplify the problem, make it achievable, if that means making a small change here and there then that’s still great, as every SINGLE product you can replace will enrich the longevity of your health, and also that of your children’s (yes, even the ones that you haven't had yet).
Why choose non-toxic skincare?
Your skin is like a sponge constantly absorbing particles, things like UV rays, air pollution and skincare products enter the body through your skin and make their way into your bloodstream. While the toxins used in skin care are generally used in small quantities, skincare is something we tend to use on the daily (hello skincare routine)! Therefore these toxins are constantly building up in your body to levels which may cause you harm in the short and long run. The harm caused by these toxins range in severity, anywhere from skin irritation all the way up to Cancer. Another huge concern is Hormone Disruptors.
So you know that your hormones affect your skin, but did you know your skincare can affect your hormones? That’s due to the EDC’s or Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, which are found in your skincare products. The Endocrine System is responsible for all your body’s hormone production and distribution. This system plays a big part in your growth, metabolism, development, sleep, mood and your sexual and reproduction system. This is especially a concern when it comes to women, as we are the ones that make precious little humans in our bodies. A shocking study of 10 newborns, who had their umbilical cords tested for chemicals showed as many as 232 chemicals present. That’s scary stuff, and this is before ever having used baby products which contain EDC’s. Let’s start by looking at the top offenders, the EDC’s and harmful chemicals that are most commonly found in your skin care so you know exactly what you SHOULD be avoiding.
THE TOP OFFENDERS-
PHTHALATES- (Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Butylbenzylphthalate (BBP), Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP))
Why it’s bad: Possible concerns with fertility problems, male reproduction, developmental problems, respiratory issues like asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and behavioral issues.
Most commonly found in: Fragrances, nail polishes, hair sprays, lotions, and deodorants.
PARABENS- (Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben.)
Why it’s bad: Evidence suggests the possible risk of breast cancer, early puberty, and male infertility. Known to cause contact dermatitis and allergies.
Most commonly found in: Deodorants, body washes, shampoos, facial cleansers, makeup products, lip balms, moisturisers.
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOLS (PEGs)- (Propylene glycol, Polyethylene glycols, Polyoxyethylene.)
Why it’s bad: Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a possible cancer-causing by-product.
Most commonly found in: Cleansers and conditioners for skin and hair.
SYNTHETIC COLOURS- (4-MMPD or CI followed by a number, D&C and FD&C follower by a number.)
Why it’s bad: Can cause skin sensitivity and irritation, no purpose other than aesthetic.
Most commonly found in: Hair dyes, eyeshadows, eye liner, lipstick, lip balm.
Why it’s bad: Some chemicals used in fragrances are linked to causing disruptions in many different body systems.
Most commonly found in: Perfumes, moisturisers, deodorant, lip balm, facial cleansers, hair care.
DEA, TEA, MEA-
Why it’s bad: May cause possible precancerous changes in the skin and thyroid. May cause serious damage to health from prolonged exposure.
Most commonly found in: Moisturisers and sunscreens, as well as in cleansers, bubble baths, body washes, soaps, and shampoos.
Why it’s bad: Can cause skin irritation and allergies, suggested in some studies to possibly cause cancer.
Most commonly found in: Moisturisers, lip balm.
SULFATES- (Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES))
Why it’s bad: Tends to build up in body organs and cell membranes, causes skin, lung and eye irritations and allergies.
Most commonly found in: Shampoos, facial cleansers, body washes, and other foam-building products.
BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA)- (BHT, 2 tert-Butyl-4-methoxyphenol, 3-tert-Butyl-4-hydroxyanisole, Anisole, Butylated hydroxy, Phenol)
Why it’s bad: Possible carcinogen, a known immunotoxicant, endocrine disruptor, and disrupts aquatic ecosystems.
Most commonly found in: Face washes, /scrubs, exfoliants, toners, lipsticks, shampoos, conditioners, and bubble baths.
What else to lookout for?
Skin care companies know that consumers are starting to make more informed decisions about what products to buy, so a great marketing tool many companies use is to slap on some words like "made with natural ingredients" and use some clever branding to make us associate their product with nature. These companies know you are busy, and they count on that. So make sure that even if a product claims to be natural, you still take the time to look at the ingredients! You'll be amazed the ingredients you'll find on the products you thought were natural! The key is LESS IS MORE! A product made with great quality ingredients doesn't need many ingredients, and if you can actually recognise all the ingredients used in a product, that's a really good sign that the company is actually selling what they claim.
Where to start?
The easiest way to switch to non-toxic skincare is to wait until something is running low. When you know you will have to replace something soon, start doing your research on what natural alternative is right for you and will still achieve the results you are accustomed to getting. Because while natural is better for you, it’s understandable that you don’t want to compromise on results, and we believe that the perfect non-toxic alternative is out there, it's just a question of finding it! If you have friends or family that use natural products, then that is a great place to start, otherwise it’s time to use the world’s best assistant, Google. With the internet at your fingertips you will find everything you need to know. Most products have been reviewed these days so it’s easy to see what other people’s experience has been with those products. Here's a couple of companies we know and trust to help get you started, remember we are on this journey too, so if you find some awesome non-toxic alternatives please let us know!
For all the care your lips will ever need we recommend Balm Balm Co- https://www.balmbalmco.com/
For keeping our face clean and radiant we love Supple Skin Co- https://suppleskinco.com/
For a skincare brand that is focused on taking care of your mind, body and soul we love- https://lifehqwellness.com/
For a natural Self Tanner we choose Eco Tan- https://ecotan.com.au/
To keep mosquitos at bay we love Vanilla Mozi (and it smells AMAZING) - https://www.vanillamozi.com/
For all your non-toxic hair care visit Go-for-Zero: https://goforzero.com.au/collections/view-all-haircare
All of these recommendations are Australian companies, we love to support local.
Balm Balm Co has some exciting new products in the works for 2020 including deodorant, sunscreen, body balm and baby balm, so watch this space!
Okay, now you know you have all the tools to make this change happen, you've totally got this! No it's not going to happen over-night, don’t worry about changing everything at once, make it simple, create space for change, and be excited about bringing less and less harmful chemicals onto yours and your families skin. We are still on this journey to better skin-care too, and so far, loving the results. Can't wait to hear about yours <3