As Kermit the Frog sang so long ago, it’s not easy being green.
There’s a tricky side to words like clean, natural, and even organic.
In cosmetics, unlike food, these terms are not regulated unless certified. Even then, certification can mean something or nothing, so it’s pretty confusing.
I’ll try with this post to help you to see clearly what you could do to be green with your beauty products and routine.
– Say No to Fragrance.
A loophole in international law doesn’t require companies to declare any of the dozens of toxic chemicals that a single product’s fragrance mixture could contain. Be mindful of the hidden dangers that “fragrance” or “perfume” listed on ingredients labels can pose, and always choose fragrance-free products.
– Don’t be fooled by cosmetic advertising.
Myriad creams, lotions, and potions at the drugstore and cosmetics counter make promises they could never deliver on (all the fancy products in the world will never turn the tide of ageing.)
-Eye creams, for instance, rarely vary in formulation from your basic facial moisturiser.-
My recommendation is to keep it simple: All you need is a good cleanser, toner, moisturiser, and broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin in tip-top shape.
“Everything else is just dressing”.
– BE SURE “Natural” is REALLY Natural.
Toxic synthetic chemicals are the biggest issue in the beauty industry today, so it pays to hone a keen eye when it comes to examining product labels.
For example, UNFORTUNATELY , the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated labeling terms.
A great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database website, which rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity.
– Choose Nontoxic, Recyclable Packaging.
You can never go wrong with glass because it’s recyclable and has no danger of leaching toxins into the product contained within. As far as plastics go, polyethylene terephthalate (PET also known by the recycling code #1), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE code#2), are most frequently accepted by municipal curbside recycling programs and are considered safe; polycarbonate (code#7), may leach the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A, or BPA. Polypropylene (code#5), another food-safe plastic, is also a good alternative, though less easily recycled.
Avoid containers that bear recycling code #3 and the letter “V” (which refers to polyvinyl chloride, or PVC). Dubbed “the poison plastic,” PVC poses great environmental and health hazards from manufacture to disposal. In addition to releasing hydrochloric acid, cancer-causing dioxins, and other persistent pollutants into the air, water, and land during its production, PVC also contains additives and chemical stabilisers.
– Ask Company Values.
A skincare company is more than the sum of its products.
What about its philosophy and values?
Visiting a website is always enlightening. Does the company test on animals, for example? Are they Vegan? How committed is it to reducing its impact on the environment? Could be some good question to ask.
– Choose Organic Beauty and Grooming Products.
Organic ingredients are those grown without synthetic fertilisers or pesticides (which is healthier for our planet and healthier for our bodies).
Better yet are botanicals grown using biodynamic farming methods (which go beyond organic by emphasizing an even more holistic relationship between the soil, plants, and animals).
To tell if a product is biodynamic-certified, look for a label on the packaging.
– Sidestep the Petrochemicals.
Used to make emollients for face cream or found in the form of coal tar for scalp-treatment shampoos, petroleum byproducts can be contaminated by cancer-containing impurities. A nonrenewable and environmentally unfriendly resource, petroleum barely belong in your car, let alone on your skin.
Identify it on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin.
– Stay Beautiful Inside and Out by Being Healthy.
You don’t have to resort to a flurry of potions and lotions, chemical peels, or surgical face-lifts to get fresh, glowing skin. Diet and exercise should play vital roles in your skincare regimen, as well.
Besides working up a good sweat to keep nutrient-carrying blood circulating throughout your body, be sure to feed yourself plenty of protein, healthy fats (such as omega-3 fish oils or flaxseed oils), complex carbohydrates, and fruit. Drinking six to eight glasses of water is also a boon for flushing out toxins that might otherwise show up on your skin.
– Don’t fall for exotic trends.
Every now and then, a bizarre new trend promises to be the magic bullet for all your skin care woes but ends up being downright cruel, whether to you or the planet. The use of human and cow placenta extracts is at the top of our list for being kooky and just plain crazy, especially since they contain a raft of hormones. Stay realistic and ask yourself or association if it could really works.