How to detox your skin care routine

The clean beauty movement has gone mainstream with conscious consumers reaching for organic and natural beauty products that are free from nasties.  In this article we focus on the most harmful ingredients in common ‘synthetic’ skin care brands that you should avoid.

  • Phthalates –you do NOT want these in your products!

What is the most worrying is the proven negative effects of phthalate exposure on the sexual and neurological development of human foetuses and their subsequent impact on our future generations.

Phthalates are plasticiser compounds found in many skin care and cosmetic products. One of their functions is to make fragrances last longer. Any fragrances in products that are not from natural essential oils, are synthetic and usually contain phthalates. Phthalates are not fat soluble and for that reason don’t stay in the body for very long, however studies have shown that daily exposure to these compounds can cause some serious health problems such as infertility, testicular dysgenesis, obesity, asthma and allergies, as well as breast cancer.

Look for “fragrance” and where the source is – unless it says from natural essential oils it will be phthalates – includes hair care products, nail polish, lipsticks, personal care, skin care etc.

  • PEGs – Also look for PEG compounds – polyethylene glycols – used in cosmetics as moisturisers and thickening agents

PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are used in cosmetics as moisturisers, thickening agents, emulsifiers and solvents. It would be difficult to produce many commercial cosmetics without them. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane which are known human carcinogens. 1,4-dioxane can be removed from cosmetics during the manufacturing process by vacuum stripping, but there is no easy way for consumers to know whether products containing PEGs have undergone this process.  In a US study of personal care products researchers found 1,4-dioxane as a contaminant in 46 of 100 products analysed.

Use products without PEG compounds as far as possible – if you do choose something with it in, make sure it is a very reputable brand as they are more likely to have stripped the 1-4-dioxane from the product.

  • Microbeads – are a massive issue – they have been banned in many countries around the world but not yet in Australia.

Recent research shows 60 – 100 particles of microplastic can be found in 100 ml (less than half a cup) of water in Sydney Harbour – among the highest levels in the world… If you eat seafood about once a week, you ingest 11,000 pieces of plastic a year. Just use natural products that state what they use to avoid microbeads. Look for the ‘Zero Plastics Inside’ logo, which certifies brands such as Weleda who don’t use microplastics or microbeads in any of their products.

  • Parabens – widely used as preservatives, they are suspected endocrine disruptors (your hormonal system). Stay away from those – most natural products use a small amount of alcohol instead.

 

  • Triclosan – is a powerful preservative and antibacterial agent used in antiperspirants, soaps, hand sanitisers and toothpaste. Besides cosmetics and skin care, it’s also used in a wide variety of household products like toys, garbage bags, fabrics, mattresses, laundry detergents and any other products that are marketed as “antibacterial”.

Triclosan can be absorbed through the skin and is a suspected endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with our hormonal and reproductive system. As a powerful antibacterial, triclosan will kill both beneficial and harmful bacteria resulting in a disturbance in the bacterial ecosystem on the skin and in the mouth when used in toothpaste.

What are some smart ways to reduce the toxic load of your skincare and makeup?

Simplify. Do you really need so many products? Quality beats quantity every time. Often one product can have multiple uses like the Weleda Skin Food –  use it as a lip balm, moisturiser for the face, hands, feet, a facial mask as well as brow gel! Check out the full range HERE.

Look for certifications such as NATRUE, which helps you easily identify quality, natural and organic products.

Mr Vitamins
Mr Vitamins