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DECIPHERING INGREDIENTS

Jacqueline Evans

Posted on September 08 2017

Firstly, congrats to you for taking the time to read this article. Understanding ingredients in our skin care is not an easy task. We're told to not put anything on our skin that you can't pronounce, but I'm not convinced that always works. Take this ingredient which I use readily butyrospermum parkii..can you pronounce that? It's only Shea butter but when written as an ingredient on a label it must be written as its botanical name, and that to me is not an easy one to pronouce. So what do you do?

Let's start at the very beginning. 

Skin is the largest organ of the body and is involved in eliminating toxins, regulating body temperature and protecting the inside of the body from potential invading micro- organisms. Millions of skin cells are shed each day and our skin completely replaces itself approximately every 27 days. Clever, huh!

The skin is a semi-permeable membrane, meaning what we put onto our skin is absorbed directly into our bodies. The skin will absorb up to 60% of what is applied to it, sending it full strength into the blood stream where it becomes material for building new body tissues. Or, it becomes potential toxic waste.
 
Skin care and cosmetics are part of our daily ritual so think of all the chemicals and toxins your body is absorbing in these......

The first step in choosing the right products for your skin is to be aware. Unfortunately natural does not mean natural and organic does not always mean toxin free.  It is very much up to you, the consumer, to identify which ingredients to look for.
Research ingredients in products and ask questions. 

Below are some of the common irritants/toxins contained within skincare products and what they do:
 

Ingredients to be aware of in Skincare and Cosmetics

 
Parabens
Most of us are very familiar with these not-so-nice preservatives. Just in case you were starting to think they weren’t such a big deal anymore, France has banned them in all production of skin care. They are a suspected hormonal disruptor and petroleum derived.

Mineral Oil
This will be found in some oil blends and moisturizers. This is a petro-chemical based oil that does not penetrate the skin. It sits on top of the skin and suffocates it leading to breakouts and dullness. It also prevents any other ingredients from penetrating the skin as well. 
 
Propylene Glycol
This is used as a skin-conditioning agent. It also controls texture in skincare and is listed as a solvent. Derived from petroleum, Material Safety Data Sheets list this product as dangerous around the eye area -  not something that you would want on your face thank you very much! 
 
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Can be derived from petroleum, palm oil or coconut fatty acids (it would have looked like a coconut a long time ago!) this foaming agent is extremely stripping on the skin. If your cleanser contains SLS it will be damaging your delicate acid mantle causing sensitivities and irritation.  A natural cleanser that doesn’t foam is a much better option, remember foaming doesn't equal clean!
 

Think of your beauty products not as cosmetics but as food for the skin and body.

 
{HOT TIP} Download The Chemical Maze app. If you don’t understand what you’re reading this will clarify its origin and use on the skin (and if it’s safe or not).

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