Alternative skin care products – Benefits for you and the Planet

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Are you reconsidering your skin care products as you’re becoming more conscious of our impact on the environment? The toxins and chemicals that affect the environment also play a part on our skin and health. So it’s a given that when we make better skin care choices, everyone and eveything will benefit!

I’m sure you all know that our skin is our largest defence barrier to protect us from potentially harmful things in the environment. So it is super important to help keep this defence barrier healthy and strong by choosing products that will help nourish it. All the products that we use on our skin eventually find its way through to our bloodstream and internal organs. So it would make sense to want to take care of ourselves from the outside in as well as inside out. Doing so would not only benefit our skin but also our environment.

How do you know what products are actually good for you? With all the information out there it’s so easy to feel confused or mislead. Now I’m not saying that I haven’t been subject to this…but I do feel like I’ve looked at my skin care regime differently since I’ve learnt a bit more about what I’m actually putting on my skin. It really boils down to what you want from your products and how it affects your skin depending on your skin type. So here are a few things to guide you through choosing some alternative skin care products that’s good for you and the planet.

Read the labels – what do they really mean?

Organic: this label applies to how ingredients are farmed. So this means that these ingredients are prepared and grown without pesticides, chemical fertilisers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs). At least 70-95% of the final product has to be organic to warrant the label.

Certified organic: this label brings the product up a notch as ingredients have to be 95-99%. Which means leaving room for fewer ingredients that could pose a harm to you or the environment. The remaining ingredients are usually water or natural raw materials from regular agricultural farming.

Natural: anything that has derived from plants, minerals. Be mindful that natural products are not regulated by a governing body that the word ‘natural’ can be loosely used. So these products may well have natural products however could also have synthetic ingredients.

So just because something is natural it doesn’t mean it’s organic, but if it’s organic it’s natural and it’ll be better for the environment too. Some of you might be thinking, but organic skin care is too expensive. Well it doesn’t have to be. I’ve seen many small businesses that have great products that are affordable. If you’re up for it you can even try some easy DIY skin care at home. I’ve recently been trying out some recipes myself and will save the reviews for another post.

Consider the ingredients

This can sometimes be an intimidating task, with all the scientific names it can be too overwhelming to even bother, but knowing this is so important! I’ve recently been using this app called Yuka https://yuka.io/en/ to help guide my purchases. It rates a product from bad to excellent and tells you what the harmful ingredients in products are and how they affect our health. I use this app for many things, including food, detergent, toothpaste, soap and of course skin care. It is free to use and you can scan most things with a bar code. It doesn’t include some smaller brands in there but it has a fair few. You can also search for certain brands if you pay for premium. If you try it out let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.

Below are some ingredients to look out for in your skin care:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Fragrances
  • Triclosan
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Hydroquinone
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEGS)
  • Synthetic Colours
  • Diethanolamine DEA, Monoethanolamine MEA and Triethanolamine TEA

More details can be found on http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chem-of-concern/

What it means to choose natural and organic

Have you ever thought about how skin care products impact the environment? From how it’s made, the carbon footprint to get the product to your home, it’s packaging and waste? There are way too many things to consider and discuss, but here are a few benefits when you choose natural and organic:

  • It keeps toxins out of the water. Some ingredients used in the production of non-natural skin products eventually end up in out water ways and not only does this affect the aquatic life, it also affects the food chain.
  • Generally speaking, most organic skin care products have put into consideration the impacts on the environment. So their packaging might come in recyclable or refillable materials or better yet no packaging at all.
  • Minimises you from exposure to chemicals and synthetics. Ultimately this means your overall health will benefit as some synthetics and chemicals have links with cancers, hormone disruption, skin allergies and irritation to name a few. There are scientific articles that can say otherwise, but if you’re concerned do your research. If you’re anything like me, with sensitive skin and all, I’d steer clear because I’d rather minimise my chances of a reaction.

Ingredients to help nourish and repair

Our bodies can self-repair if provided with the right nutrients. Below are some beneficial ingredients to look out for:

  • Amino Acids
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Green tea
  • Oats
  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Tumeric
  • Aloe Vera

Just to name a few. I hope you use this information as a guide to explore what other natural and organic products that are out there that may work for you. I also found this site helpful to establish ingredients that are beneficial for our skin: https://www.sustainablejungle.com/sustainable-living/natural-skin-care-ingredients/

A final note

Everything comes down to what you want from your product as there are so many things to consider. Like your skin type, affects to your overall health and the environment. No one can really tell you what you should or shouldn’t be using, but rather you should question what you see on labels and do the investigation yourself to find out what is best for YOU.

I hope this was useful for you all. Please leave a comment if you have any other skin care tips that you’ve found helpful, let’s learn from one another!

4 thoughts on “Alternative skin care products – Benefits for you and the Planet

  1. Great article! I totally agree that the body can self-repair given the right nutrients. I personally love using turmeric and honey masks to hydrate my skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes. Once I spent $60 on a day face cream and my skin felt dry and looked dull. The beneficial ingredients you listed are truly effective and affordable. Thanks for sharing this information!

    1. You’re very welcome 🙂 Sometimes our skin just doesn’t respond well to expensive skin care, you really don’t know until you try it. Tumeric and honey masks are inexpensive with visible results, it’s a great one to use. I’m so glad you’ve seen the benefits from using home made products too!

  2. Great detailed article think you should link to the Yuka app I’ll check it out. Do you use all of those ingredients on your skin? I get the oils but do you have recipes with oats and green tea in? Look forward to more of your articles.

    1. Thanks for popping by Ethan. Here is the link for the Yuka app: https://yuka.io/en/ let me know how you go 🙂

      I have used organic brands that includes some of the listed ingredients in their products. Delicious Skin is a lovely small Australian brand whose products are all organic, vegan and cruelty free. They are completely transparent and list all their ingredients on their site http://www.deliciousskin.net/. I don’t use the products all at once, I chop and change my skin care routine every so often as my skin needs change.

      Here’s a really simple honey & oat recipe that I’ve used:
      1 tablespoon of ground oats
      1 tablespoon honey
      A splash of water to blend it all together
      Leave on your skin for 15-20 mins and rinse
      This is great for exfoliating and moisturising!

      I haven’t made a green tea mask yet but I have used green tea to soothe my eczema, it has great ant-inflammatory properties! Here’s a great article for the benefits of green tea and recipes for a face mask https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/green-tea-face-mask

      I’ve only recently started some DIY skin care so I’ll be posting about this when I’ve tried them for long enough to see results 🙂

      Hope was helpful!

      Danielle

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