It is an alarming thought that, on average, women in Britain are apparently ‘hosting’ 515 cosmetic chemicals a day!
As a Nutritional Therapist, I often find there is more awareness about the benefits of a natural and organic diet than there is regarding the benefits of natural and organic skincare.
Most people know that food in its natural state, ideally organic, is preferable to convenience foods that are full of unhealthy sugars, salt, additives etc. However, less attention is paid to the equivalent in beauty products ie. natural, organic, ingredients in skincare are preferable to the kind of chemicals that are as unhealthy for our skin as junk food is for our overall health.
If a skincare product or cosmetic is marketed successfully, it is easy to focus on what is being promised (such as fewer wrinkles), rather than how natural the ingredients are or indeed whether the product will actually fulfil its promises. But is conventional skincare any better at delivering results than natural skincare?
There is research to show that ingredients such as parabens, foaming agents, PEGs, artificial fragrances and petrolatum are linked to various health concerns, skin irritation and ironically, skin aging. Not forgetting perfumes – artificial fragrances have been linked to headaches, fatigue, allergies, asthma and insomnia. It is an alarming thought that, on average, women in Britain are apparently ‘hosting’ 515 cosmetic chemicals a day! Although the skincare industry argues that their ingredients are safe, this does not take into account that most women (and men) do not use a single product in one day, they use a number of them, and it is this cocktail of chemicals which is of greatest concern.
If you consider how many products you use each day – shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, hair products, not to mention make-up and perfume, it really can add up to quite a combination. In a year, on average, you could be absorbing 5lbs worth of potentially toxic chemicals from your personal care products. The skin is our fourth organ of detoxification after the bowels, kidneys and liver and it needs also to be allowed to do its job as a protective barrier. The skin absorbs around 60% of what we put on it, into the bloodstream.
It surely makes sense to avoid skin products containing toxic chemicals – to minimise the amount of potentially harmful ingredients we put into our bodies, by taking as much care over what we put on our bodies as we do when deciding what to put in them.
Artificial fragrances have been linked to headaches, fatigue, allergies, asthma and insomnia.
Vanessa May, BSc Nutritional Medicine, BANT, CNHC, is a Nutritional Therapist whose background in health and well-being led her to set up Vanessa’s Choice, a natural and organic online boutique, specialising in carefully chosen skincare, hair products and perfumes.