Hi Amber Babies!
Did you know that skin is the largest organ of the human body? It accounts for 10 percent of body mass. We normally don't think of skin as playing an important role in our health, but it does!
The skin has many important functions including protecting your body from harmful agents. The outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, acts as a barrier by keeping molecules from passing through and protecting the lower layers of the skin.
Be careful about what you put on your skin, because harmful chemical substances, depending on the size of the molecules, can penetrate the outermost layer of the skin through a process called dermal absorption.
For the last several years, there has been a growing movement toward clean beauty. Simply put, clean beauty consists of products that are thoughtfully created without toxic ingredients for the health of our bodies and environment.
After more than a decade of experience as an aesthetician and a skincare product formulator, I am glad that the industry is listening to our concerns and moving toward safer products.
My philosophy is to use only good-for-you ingredients without harmful substances like fragrances, parabens, phthalates, triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, and gluten. We are vegan and cruelty-free.
Not everyone agrees about what ingredients to stay away from. Europe has banned more than 1,000 ingredients in skincare and beauty products, however, most of these ingredients are still used in the U.S. Companies operating in the US face less strict regulations than those in Europe.
Unfortunately, this means that many products in the U.S. that we use every day (mascara, face wash, shampoo, etc.) are laced with potentially harmful ingredients that can include known carcinogens, irritants, and endocrine disruptors.
Companies will spend millions of dollars on pretty packaging and ads to convince you that their products are good for you, even though they may be full of harmful ingredients. Do not believe the hype. Don’t let expensive advertising make up your mind for you.
Take the health of your skin and body into your own hands and do your homework. Research the companies and products you use. And pay attention to your skin and how it reacts to ingredients. If your skin becomes red or inflamed, it’s telling you something.
Some of the most common harmful ingredients to remove from your skincare and beauty regimen:
Parabens: These are estrogen-mimicking preservatives can disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorders.
Phthalates: They can mimic human hormones and can also be endocrine disrupters.
Triclosan: Known as an antibacterial ingredient and preservative, recent studies have shown that it can alter hormone regulation in the body and be harmful to the immune system.
Fragrance: Yes, fragrance. I have an entire video devoted to why fragrance is bad. Did you know that 95% of synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals which have been linked to cancer and birth defects?
Knowledge is your best weapon against harmful ingredients. Take the time to know your products and the ingredients in them. Your skin will benefit, and so will the planet.