Shownotes: The benefits of changing your beauty and skin routine to a natural one
Natural beauty. All the rage, seems like it might even be the trend of the decade. As consumers have become more aware of individual ingredients, chemicals and additives, there has been a massive shift towards more natural, including organic, ingredients. The main driving force behind this shift has been the wave of new-information and research that has become public, focusing mostly on additives and preservatives. Previously thought as being harmless, or at least in the quantities present in personal care products, some of these ingredients have now been called in to question. And since no authority or body can proof them harmless beyond any doubt, consumers have decided to rather steer clear. These ingredients include parabens, triclosan, sulfates, fragrances and artificial dyes and colourants. (read my full post here)
But what consumers fail to realise is that natural beauty products might expose them to the same issues, albeit in a different form. Just because something is natural does not make it inherently safe. Arsenic is natural after all. But going natural does have its benefits, and these can be profound if approached correctly, safely and cautiously.
Some of the benefits that you can experience if you decide to go the natural route:
1. Decreased irritation – because you are eliminating the artificial and synthetic ingredients you decrease your chances of irritation. Of course there are plenty of natural products that can cause irritation (essential oils are usually the culprit), but these can mostly be managed either by eliminating them completely, or by simply diluting the product. If you make your own products this becomes even easier since you can now formulate them to only include ingredients that work with your skin.
2. You are caring for the planet – so many of the commercial products contain ingredients that are bad for our planet. Microbeads in exfoliating scrubs (banned in most countries, but still present in some products), BHA and BHT have both been linked to potential environmental harm because of bioaccumulation, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) is contributing to the destruction of our marine life, triclosan is linked to an increase in antibiotic resistant organisms, not even to mention the plastic that is used for bottles, packaging, etc. Finding a zero waste, or even a low waste, commercial product is like looking for a unicorn…
3. Increased effectiveness – some of the natural remedies have been tested and perfected hundreds of years ago, and they are still effective today. By using modern knowledge and techniques we have the know-how to extract even more potency from them, and we benefit all the way.
4. Smell nice, without the downside – commercial products mostly contain chemicals to make them smell nice, and these artificial scents and aromas can be irritating to your nose, skin, eyes, etc. Natural products can be scented with essential oils or other natural products such as rose water, geranium hydrosol, and more. Although these can also be irritating if you are sensitive, the chances are smaller plus you can always change or reformulate until happy and irritant free.
5. Your wallet and bank account will thank you – making your own body lotion using coconut oil, shea butter, essential oils and beeswax costs a fraction of the price of a conventional product, and your yields are much bigger. Cost savings all around.
6. Gentler over time – have you ever noticed how your new night cream works wonders the first time around, and then from there on it just seems to lose its efficacy? So you think you need a stronger product, which you get and it works great until it stops. Cycle starts again. By the end you have exposed yourself to so many chemicals, synthetic ingredients and other fillers that your skin is begging for a breather, so you get a breakout. With natural products the effectiveness is not immediately apparent. You usually see improvements after months of use, round about the time you would have gotten the breakout from commercial products.
7. Which leads me to no. 7 - Your skin will clear up and be brighter. No more frequent breakouts. Goodbye fine lines and wrinkles. Hello glowing skin. And you can change the formulation until you are 110% happy.
8. You can be more mindful and make your beauty routine part of your wellness routine
Natural beauty has benefits all around, and I have never been sorry that I changed. If you have any questions, please drop me a comment or send me an email!
Sharon Hill, “Plastic pollution a problem in the Great Lakes,” The Windsor Star, July 2, 2013, http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/07/02/plastic-pollution-a-problem-in-the-great-lakes/.
Margaret Badore, “3 companies commit to removing plastic beads from their body products,” Tree Hugger, July 2, 2013, http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/3-companies-commit-removing-plastic-beads-their-body-products.html.
Zoe Mintz, “Microbeads from Facial Cleansers May be Polluting the Great Lakes with Plastic,” International Business Times, June 27, 2013, http://www.ibtimes.com/microbeads-facial-cleansers-may-be-polluting-great-lakes-plastic-photo-1326515.
“The Environmental Damages of Cosmetics,” Simple Luxe Living, http://www.simpleluxeliving.com/the-environmental-damages-of-cosmetics/.
WNN Earth Watch, “Common cosmetics use can negatively impact the environment as well as the user,” Women’s News Network, http://womennewsnetwork.net/2013/05/29/cosmetics-impact-enviroment/.
“Dirty Dozen Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid,” David Suzuki Foundation, http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals/.
“Synthetic Fragrances Harmful to Marine Life, Study Says,” National Geographic, July 11, 2005, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/07/0711_050711_fragrance.html.
“Sunscreen contributing to decline of coral reefs, study shows,” The Guardian, October 21, 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/21/sunscreen-contributing-to-decline-of-coral-reefs-study-shows.
A. Downs, et al., “Toxicopathological Effects of the Sunscreen UV Filter, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), on Coral Planulae and Cultured Primary Cells and Its Environmental Contamination in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, February 2016; 70(2):265-288, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00244-015-0227-7.
Norwegian Institute for Air Research, “Siloxanes: Soft, shiny-and dangerous?” Science Nordic, August 28, 2015, http://sciencenordic.com/siloxanes-soft-shiny-%E2%80%93-and-dangerous.
Deirdre Lockwood, “Siloxanes Unexpectedly Observed in Antarctic Soil and Marine Life,” C&EN, February 25, 2015, http://cen.acs.org/articles/93/web/2015/02/Siloxanes-Unexpectedly-Observed-Antarctic-Soil.html.