Skin care is a multimillion dollar industry but with so many products available it is hard to know what is best for you. Often the simplest products are the best for us to use. Have you ever taken the time to read over the ingredients list of your beauty products? Chances are that they will be filled with hundreds of chemicals. Just imagine the collection of chemicals you are exposed to every day that come in beauty products- soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, deodorant, moisturizers, perfumes, make up, hair spray. This is literally hundreds of chemicals each day! I encourage you to read each and every ingredient next time you have a shower and get ready for your day and just think about the magnitude of this chemical exposure if on a daily basis!
The Environment Working Group has set up a website called ‘Skin deep’ which allows you to search any product and find detailed information about the safety of the chemicals used. You can simply type in the product name and it will bring up information about the various health effects that the product may have. It grades your product, so you know if it contains low, moderate and high risk ingredients. It then lists all the ingredients found in the product with information about those chemicals and your health. I strongly urge you to use the website yourself and learn more about the products and chemicals you are using on your skin- http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
The problem for many of us is that we don’t understand what the chemicals used actually are- you need to be a chemist to decipher the list! This in itself should be a pretty big warning sign that the ingredients are not safe. The graphic above shows the top 12 most toxic ingredients used in skin care- these ingredients may be cancer causing, neurotoxic, endocrine or hormone disrupting, toxic to organs or skin irritants. I suggest you scan your ingredients list of these products and ensure you’re not exposing yourself and your family to these highly toxic substances on a daily basis.
Luckily there are plenty of natural and chemical free beauty products available to use. The following lists some of my favourite brands, products and natural remedies that have been tried and tested both on myself and patients. Next time you are replacing a skin care product, take the time to find a cleaner alternative that will dramatically lower your chemical exposure.
Moogoo skincare products
This is one of my favourite natural skin care brands. For those of you with dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or dry skin the ‘eczema and psoriasis cream’ is one of the best on the market and I have seen fantastic improvements in my patient’s skin health with this product. They have a huge range of products (including shampoo and conditioners and natural skin tanning products). They also make a good range of products for acne free skin. They don’t use any harmful chemicals and instead fill their products with ingredients that literally feed your skin with nutrients and herbs.
Miessence deodorant range
It has taken me a long time to find a natural deodorant that actually works but this one is the best I have come across so far- and my patient’s agree. The deodorant contains just essential oils along with baking soda so it is completely natural. There are no nasty antiperspirant ingredients and no aluminium. The deodorant comes in a range of flavours but even the fragrance free works a treat.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic. For this reason it can be used for a range of skin issues. Don’t use it directly on the skin as it is too irritating- it needs to be diluted. Use it on acne prone skin to reduce bacterial involvement after washing your face. The tea tree oil can either be diluted in some water splashed on the face or add a few drops onto a warm wet cloth or make-up wipe and wipe over the face. You can use it to reduce the risk of infection following a cut or scrape.
Lavender oil is great to have on hand if you have any blemishes or redness as it takes the red colour out of the skin. This one can be used directly onto the skin and does also have antimicrobial activity. Use it for acne, breakouts, blemishes or rosacea.
This is a great alternative to moisturizer and is of course a completely natural product. Coconut oil is full of healthy fats that help to moisturize and soften the skin. It has some antimicrobial activity which also makes it great for skin prone to breakouts. It can soothe inflamed skin, reduce flaky skin, reduces wrinkles by plumping up the skin and is also high in antioxidants which mean it has anti-ageing effects. While coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it will melt with only a small amount of heat therefore the heat on your skin will be enough to allow it to spread nicely. Coconut oil can be used as a hair treatment for dry hair too. I always suggest using the coconut oil on the skin at the end of the day (before bed) with a shower in the morning to wash it off. This is because the smell of the oil can change once it has been exposed to the air for too long. It can also get onto your clothing so best to wear something comfortable to bed that you don’t mind ending up with a coconut smell.
Thanks for reading!!