As a firm believer in keeping things as simple as possible I am in the process of ditching the whole bathroom cupboard full of ‘stuff’. By stuff I mean chemicals… I’ve long toyed with natural products and gone natural whenever I can. The difference in my skin when I go natural, and when I increase my nutrient levels, is extraordinary – I was pretty pleased when my beautician told me I had beautiful skin and I don’t THINK she said it to butter me up….incidentally if you want to give your skin a huge plumpness boost try upping your dose of Vitamin C. Personally I need 4-8gm per day during the winter. Anyhow…
Recently Moo Goo skin care sent me some samples to try and they were AMAZING. I may have good skin but my scalp is a mess; too many years of dying my blonde hair dark obviously…erm my mousey brown hair to blonde I mean. One wash with their shampoo and conditioner and my scalp was markedly less irritated. Once I added in their scalp cream my scalp felt like it could breathe again. I have now thrown out all of my other shampoo’s and am even aiming to learn to make my own dry shampoo (the godsend product for all busy mum’s!).
Anyhow, there is a stack of information around about chemicals in skin care but where do you start? A few years ago I worked on developing a skin care product range based on Manuka Honey and the project seemed to be never-ending! It was a minefield of unwanted and unused chemicals with contraindications but the chemicals are popular for two reasons:
1. They are generally cheaper than natural ingredients
2. They work better in manufacturing terms – more stable, longer lasting and mix better with other ingredients
We had a team of very experienced product development specialists so I know how complicated the process is and how confusing it can be for us consumers too. Do you know what is actually wrong with these chemicals? What are they doing to your skin? Or more to the point your body…
Anything we put on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream!
It then has to be processed by the liver. Ergo (I really wanted to say that word today!), more toxin overload that the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin, ironically, have to deal with.
One of these chemicals is called methylisothiazolinone (MI) and it is found in water-based products like liquid soaps, hair products, sunscreen, cosmetics, laundry products and cleaners as well as pre-moistened personal hygiene products and baby wipes . The irritated skin can be red, raised, itchy and even blistery, appearing much like a reaction to poison ivy. The three most common areas affected by the allergic reaction include the face, from using soaps and shampoos, the fingers and hands, from handling the wipes, and the buttocks and genitals from using moistened flushable wipes. Often this rash is on children’s faces….what do we do with their precious little faces? Clean them with baby wipes (I’m guilty of this too!). The best online resource is Skin Deep where you can search for different ingredients.
How can you avoid chemicals in skin care and what can I use instead?
- Reduce the number of products that contain MI and other chemicals eg parabens. sodium lauryl sulphate, synthetic colours or fragrances, mineral oils or GE modified plant materials.
- Find quality replacement products that are natural:
- Coconut oil is a great skin product; it can replace make up remover, moisturiser – some people find its too oily for daytime use but its the perfect night moisturiser and you can use it around the eye area during the day.
- Make your own washing powder like my friend Clare over at Penny Wise Mummy does (and I need to get around to doing!).
- Use natural skin care products like Moo Goo Skincare or Comvita Manuka Honey Skincare
- Make your own baked goods and all other recipes from scratch as this reduces the toxic overload on the body.
- Use natural bath products instead of soaps that are quite drying
- Add dry skin brushing to your beauty regime which is not only good for your skin but for clearing your lymphatic system
- Make your own baby wipes or make up remover wipes
If you’re like me and have meant to get around to doing these things for years or have only managed a few or simply gotten out of the habit I totally get it. Life gets in the way! Perhaps you could try just one change per month; that’s do-able right?
What do you think of chemicals in skincare? Do you think it matters if you use natural or not? Have you had a reaction to baby wipes or any skincare products?
1. Allergy to moistened wipes rising, says dermatologist
Disclaimer: Moo Goo Skincare sent me samples to try but did not pay for any feedback and my opinion is my own based on using the products on my own skin
Image courtesy of: White House Black Shutters