Just like you nourish your body with good food, your skin deserves the same care. Many mainstream beauty products on the market today include an astonishing amount of scary chemicals. From parabens (chemicals linked to cancer) to formaldehyde to petroleum waxes, an ordinary body lotion can contain up to 12 toxic chemicals alone.
When it comes to choosing beauty products for your health it is best to choose a green beauty product that is either 100% natural or pretty close to natural.
The reasoning behind this is because your body knows how to process and eliminate plant material. The cellular composition of plants is very similar to our own cellular composition, so when the natural products are applied to the skin, the skin can easily process the plant structure, unlike chemicals that are foreign to the body. When we apply products that are loaded with chemicals the body has to work hard to break down the chemicals and over time this causes toxicity in the body which leads to inflammation and disease.
What exactly is a natural product? The formal definition defines a natural product as:
"A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism – found in nature. In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life."
The bottom line is that for a product to be claimed as natural it needs to be made completely (100%) with ingredients that breathed life. However to increase shelf life many natural skin/makeup companies add a few preservatives, for the product to be natural it should still be made with at least 97% natural ingredients and the preservatives should not be chemical based.
It is also important to point out that even if products are plant-derived or non-synthetic, that doesn’t mean they are safe—there are plenty of naturally produced toxic compounds, take for example arsenic, cyanide and lead. Personally thats why when I first started to switch to green beauty products I checked every ingredient on the EWG website.
The goal of green beauty products is to reduce negative environmental, health and social impacts throughout the entire life span of the product. Green beauty is thoughtful beauty; every phase of the product is taken into consideration from the concept of the recipe, the manufacturing and testing to how it will break down when it becomes a waste product. To learn more about what a green beauty product is [click here].
There are many different reasons to opt for green beauty products over mainstream products, and to be honest the reasons come down to your own individual beliefs and ideas.
Today we are going to look at how switching to green beauty products will benefit your health and then further down the article we will cover some of the green beauty ingredients that you should look for.
The Health Benefits Of Switching Over
Because what we apply to our skin absorbs into our bloodstream natural products have the ability to heal internally and externally.
Instant health boost: Natural skin care products promote good health Yes it is not a myth - on average 70% of what you put onto your skin does get absorbed into your blood stream. Considering that the average woman uses at least 12 beauty products every day, she is likely to be exposed to 160 potentially harmful chemicals in the process! All those chemicals in your current beauty regime are filling your body up with toxins, making it harder for your body and skin to heal and repair itself. By simply replacing your beauty products with natural alternatives you become much healthier without even having to change your diet or exercise program. Now is that an incentive or what!
Beautiful skin: The plant nutrients found in natural ingredients are absorbed through the skin and can increase collagen production, repair free radical damage and improve oxygen and blood flow to the skin.
This then helps tighten skin, diminish lines and wrinkles, repair skin discolouration, and protect the skin from environmental elements.
Many of the common chemicals found in mainstream beauty products are so harsh on the skin that they actually make your skin worse over the long term. They strip your skin of natural oils, and to protect itself the skin often becomes thicker leaving you with big pores, more lines, skin break-outs and random blemishes.
When you choose natural alternatives, your body is no longer trying to process and eliminate all those chemicals and there is less chance of skin breakouts. The other beautiful thing is that when your body is not burdened with the toxic overload it has the energy to start repairing the body. So by choosing to not put chemicals on your body you are actually giving it a chance to build new healthy cells which will show up as radiant skin, blemish free skin and even whiter eyes.
Prevent disease: What if I were to tell you that many of the chemicals found in mainstream beauty products are also found in anti-freeze, brake fluid and engine degreaser! Yes, this is a true fact - it certainly makes you rethink that expensive moisturiser that the beauty consultant at the department store told you that you just had to have. Beauty products contain chemicals for many reasons - to make them look and smell good, to create more lather or to give them a longer shelf life. However, the worrying thing is that many of the chemicals found commonly in toiletries, skincare products and makeup have been proven to be potentially carcinogenic, interfering with hormone regulation and causing skin and eye irritation.
Reduce allergies: Allergic reactions are on the uprise - more and more people are allergic to skin products and foods, and it is believed that chemicals are a major contribution, especially the toxic cocktails that make up a products fragrance. If you suffer from allergies to ingredients then there is a good chance that you will find natural beauty products to be more soothing - make sure you opt for ones that are designed for sensitive skin (some plants, even though they are natural can have a strong effect on the skin).
Natural Ingredients To Look For
There is an overwhelming variety of ingredients used in all natural beauty products and each has its own effect on the body. Here are some of the most popular and widely used natural beauty ingredients and the benefits they provide.
Plant-Oils: Unrefined vegetable and nut oils contain lipids, tryglycerides, sterols and antioxidants. They replace lipids within the skin’s intercellular matrix and help restore barrier function. Some healthy ingredients are avocado oil, hemp oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and coconut oil. Each of these oils nourishes dry skin without the nasty side effects of chemical, petrolatum based moisturizers. Argan oil is also used to treat eczema, psoriasis and wrinkles.
Essential Oils: Essential oils reach the deeper layers of the skin where they can hydrate, nourish and rejuvenate skin cells.
Offering up healing benefits ranging from the fungus-fighting, stress busting, mood enhancing to the anti-bacterial varieties, essential oils are often the potent ingredients that provide many beauty, body and lifestyle products with their soothing and healing benefits.
Essential oils are good for both physical and emotional health, and when applied to the skin they become a holistic therapy that treats the mind, body and spirit. Essential oils can balance hormones, calm anxiety and depression, strengthen your immune system, ease congestion, reduce pain and inflammation, improve digestion and encourage a restful nights sleep.
Aloe Vera: Often added to organic products for its soothing capabilities making it great for treating rosacea, skin rashes, and helps to heal sunburns. It also contains bacteria-fighting ingredients that fight inflammation, redness and itching.
Contains 75 potentially active ingredients including anti-inflammatories, vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, lignin and salicylic acids. These are what gives aloe its signature anti-microbial and antifungal properties that make it a “photodynamic therapy” for healing skin.
Pomegranate + Berries: Are nourishing antioxidants that work at repairing the skin and improves wrinkles, diminishes fine lines and helps even out skin complexion.
Coconut Oil: More popular than the other organically derived oils, coconut oil is becoming one of the most common ingredients in natural skin care. Coconut oil nourishes and improves the lipid content of skin cells. Used on the skin, coconut oil heals fungal infections, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. It also penetrates the roots of hair follicles, protecting hair from environmental damage. When used on hair coconut oil also protects from head lice and heals dandruff.
Shea Butter: Shea butter is derived from the nut of the African Karite tree and is often blended with natural oils in moisturizing products. Shea butter is known for its soothing anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to fade scars, heal burns, rashes, and eczema, as well as to diminish skin discoloration and wrinkles.
Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter is also blended with oils and used as a moisturizer. Cocoa butter is made from the cacao bean, which grows along the Equator. Cocoa butter is a natural antioxidant preservative, and increases the shelf life of products it’s added to. Cocoa butter relieves psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis and also protects skin from environmental elements.
Mango Butter: Mango butter, derived from mango kernels, is perhaps the most effective natural moisturizer. It contains a much higher concentration of fatty acids than shea or cocoa butter. Mango butter also contains natural antioxidants and large levels of vitamins A, C and E. Mango butter is added to many natural anti-aging products because it promotes cell regeneration.
Tea Tree Oil: Distilled from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, it is added to many products for its antiseptic properties. It can be used as a replacement for the toxic triclosan used in chemically laden products like hand sanitizers and toothpastes. Tea tree oil is also an antifungal and antiviral, and a common ingredient in all natural acne treatments.
Rosehip Oil: A deep nourishing oil that is a rich antioxidant that assists with the regeneration of skin cells. Used for scar reduction, eczema, burns and wrinkles. Great for anti-aging.
Calendula: Certified organic calendula helps to improve circulation and protect the skin. It also helps calm red, irritated skin and is an absolute lifesaver for those suffering from psoriasis
Chamomile: Just as chamomile instils a sense of calm when consumed as herbal tea, it also demonstrates similar calming properties when incorporated into skincare
products. Chamomile is known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory
properties, which makes it a vital inclusion in skin care products that aim to
calm red and irritated skin and treat conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
Phytoplankton: A new and exciting addition to natural beauty products, Phytoplankton refers to any sea living plant. The high level of omega 3 fatty acids present in phytoplankton makes it a perfect addition to moisturizers. Phytoplankton also contains a high concentration of bioflavonoid and riboflavin antioxidants, enabling it to diminish lines and wrinkles and smooth skin. Phytoplankton also contains UV blocking compounds that protect the skin from free radicals and aging. The zinc in phytoplankton helps to treat acne, while other properties of the ingredient help to heal eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
For every chemically laden beauty product available to consumers there is a natural, healthy alternative. Familiarize yourself with the health benefits provided by all natural ingredients to find a product perfect for your personal skin type.