So you have moved out to the country, rid your house of all chemical cleaning products and you eat only pure organic produce. Your body should be clean and sparkling of health inside and out, right? Wrong! Take a second look at your vanity case, shower cabinet, make-up bag and sports bag. Read the list of ingredients on the bottle – would you believe our bodies absorb 5kg of cosmetic chemicals through or skin every year. What makes it even more shocking is that these chemicals would NEVER pass safety regulations to be ingested in our diet! So if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth why put it on your skin?
The largest organ in our body is actually on it, not in it! It’s our skin. And as an organ, it has many functions to maintain balance in our body. One of the functions is in the detoxification process, ridding our body of a harmful build up of toxins, along with our liver. Other functions include immunity, temperature regulation, a sense of touch and, to hold our structure.
Our skin has a huge capacity to absorb chemicals; this is due to the fatty component of skin making it permeable. Medicine has recognised this function and even used it to its advantage in treatments for endocrine disorders, diabetes and nicotine addiction – nicotine patches work this way. So why hasn’t anyone told us, or made it clearer, that our anti-aging cream is being absorbed straight into our blood stream! The health implications and hazards of chemicals found in beauty products have started not only to be recognised in mainstream media but also in the medical community. Many of us have now heard of parabens, petrochemicals, phenoxyethanl and sulphates. These chemicals weaken our skins natural protective barrier, making chemicals more easily absorbed into our bodies. Others are now carcinogens but what I feel, is more shocking, is the effect these products have on the reproductive system. Parabens, found in nearly EVERYTHING, are known endocrine disruptors. So they basically interfere in our ovaries, day job!
So what can we do to change this!? There is so much you can do! First stop buying mainstream cosmetics and read all ingredients! Us ladies wear make-up but why should we suffer because of it! Changing your beauty regime is so much fun and you learn amazing tricks, like how an avocado can be both a delicious snack and a tasty facemask! There is even an association in the South of France, Atelier Créa’Manie, that teaches groups how to make your own face cream! To get you started, here are a few tips;
Our skin is naturally acidic, this is to protect itself from infection due to bacteria and fungus. Sebum production establishes the pH balance and so stripping our skin of its natural oils is counterproductive. Find a shower gel that is pH 5.5 but does not contain sulphates these are like paint stripper to the skin. Plus, stripping the skin of its natural pH, increases bacteria replication and I think we all know what BO stands for! Soap is also the most aging product for our skin! If you want to maintain a healthy glow NEVER put soap near your face, this little tip is far cheaper than all those anti-aging cream!
As for our hair, sulphates again are our enemies, but we also need to know about silicones. This ingredient is responsible for our super straight, smooth coifs. But here is the truth; every wash that includes silicones means our hair is coated in plastic, making it look healthy by hiding all manner of damage! It also blocks any goodness you may do to your hair in the way of deep conditioning masks. If it is covered in plaster, how does the goodness get it? I’ll be honest with you now, giving these up, makes your hair a nightmare for about two weeks! Trust me it get better and then is gets fabulous!
Back to the sulphates – we know sulphates make our skin too alkaline! What does this do to our scalp! Its make it weak of course and a weak scalp means falling hair! A tip, mix apple cider vinegar with some flower waters and spray after every wash, you’ll soon have a healthier scalp!
All this information can be hard to get our heads around. Most think our eight-hour cream is harmless, I’m sorry to have to tell you the truth! Natural cosmetics are so important for everyone but especially for us women and teenagers! But most of all, its so much fun learning about new products!
I’ll be, with the help of my make-up artist cousin, Kim Walker, reviewing all bio cosmetic brands. Think of me as the Mari-Claire of organic make-up and skin care! Surprisingly, bio make-up is amazing, bio shampoos are fantastic and bio moisturisers leave our outsides and insides beautifully healthy!