Parabens

The Hidden Dangers of Natural Skincare

The switch to natural skincare seems to be a most logical thought since they are free of parabens, preservatives, and other skin-loving nutrients… or so we think.

Most women who have solely transformed their skincare routine find that cystic acne, milia, and a variety of other skin disorders are the price they have to pay. But why is this the case?

Although we usually blame this as an allergic reaction, or simply due to the harsh nature of most skincare products, there is a bigger explanation on why this is happening so frequently.

RELATED: The Dangers of Mineral Makeup

Why do these reactions occur?

Statistics show that anything you put on your skin enters your blood stream within the first 20-30 seconds of contact. While we all can’t escape using products sans-preservatives or harmful chemicals, it is important to take note of your skin type, and which ingredients don’t agree with the skin you’re in.

The hidden reality with natural skincare is that they actually contain larger molecules which the skin finds difficult to break-down. As a result, they usually sit on top of the skin, and cause additional irritation, redness, and dry patches. These molecules are larger than usual because they contain no preservatives and don’t react the same way as other products.

How can you tell if a product is 100% natural?

A large amount of harmful ingredients are often concealed under different names. Toxic synthetic chemicals are found in a number of natural products, and this could be the route of all your negative skincare reactions. Even the words ‘natural’ and ‘all-natural’ don’t mean that your skincare products are free from harmful chemicals. If you’re unsure of what an ingredient means, it’s always ease to ask the salesperson, or simply look it up! There is a large beauty and skincare community online which makes it easy to identify common problems and how to tackle them.

Invest in skincare which uses natural preservatives instead of harmful chemicals. These include hops oil and grapefruit seed oil which are both certified organic. These products are free from synthetic chemicals, and are substituted with a natural counterpart.

What are some harmful ingredients found in natural skincare?

Nanoparticles

The tiny particles are often found in natural sunscreens, lotions, moisturisers, and certain makeup products. Upon contact, there are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, and can cause long-term damage since they are mostly untested.

Parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben)

These just a few different variations of common preservatives which are used to prolong the life of skincare and beauty products. While their safety is always at the centre of dispute, they are added in most products to subside the growth of bacteria, and keep products looking and feeling brand new.

Triclosan

Similar to the use of parabens, they are used mostly to act as an antibacterial agent in skincare cleansers and toning solutions. Despite being named as a probable human carcinogen, it is still widely used in the beauty and skincare community, albeit under different alias.

Which ingredients offer the best benefits for skin?

Anything with plant-based essential fatty acids (EFA’s) will be the best product on any skin type. Antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, and E are all natural and won’t give your skin any nasty side effects – ever! They are also antibacterial, and will keep any unnecessary dirt from seeping into your bloodstream.

Image via ZenMed

January 8, 2015

Do Natural Makeup Products Actually Work?

If you’re looking for a 12-hour mascara which requires no touching up but is also free from ingredients such as petrochemicals – you must be dreaming? Natural products are free from harmful chemicals which could cause terrible breakouts, block pores and even cause premature ageing, but this also means they won’t stick to the skin as well either. So how exactly do natural makeup products work, and what are they made from?

No dangerous chemicals

Natural makeup products are a popular alternative to conventional brands since they aren’t made with dangerous chemicals. Recently, chemical preservatives such as parabens and triclosans have been associated with cancer and the hormonal or endocrinal system which is directly linked to the circulatory system in the human body. If you want to go natural always read the ingredients on the label, and try to avoid parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene and fragrance.

Better for sensitive skin

If you suffer from regular breakouts or sensitive skin, making the switch to natural cosmetics seems like a no-brainer. Big brands pump their products full of ingredients which can irritate the skin, resulting in unwanted rashes and sensitivity. Synthetic preservatives are used so products have a longer shelf life, which ultimately has the ability to disrupt the skincare regime of some consumers.

Safe ingredients

Although natural makeup products usually have a reputation for not working as effectively as their big-brand counterparts, there are many up-and-coming cosmetic brands which are proving this theory wrong. Australian brand INIKA has one of the strictest ingredients criteria of any makeup company. Every single product in the natural cosmetic collection is certified organic or vegan, halal, and cruelty-free. Instead, natural ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, tamanu oil and shea butter are just a few ingredients used in the natural cosmetic range. Not only is INIKA makeup 100% natural, but it’s used in various magazine editorials and is well known for its flawless coverage and long lasting wearability.

Where to buy natural makeup?

Foundation

There are a number of different foundations which safe and chemical-free which won’t harm your skin. Pressed or loose powder foundations are simple and effective since they don’t require much product to conceal any imperfections, and they won’t clog your pores.

We recommend: Eco Minerals Flawless Mineral Foundation In A Jar, $33

Eye liner

A staple in everyone’s makeup kit, a black liquid liner is not only easy to apply but the staying power should be undefeated. Opt for a super-fine brush if you’re just starting out, since this will make it easier to achieve a signature cat-eye flick.

We recommend: Jane Iredale Liquid Liner, $21

Blush

An essential part of your everyday makeup routine, blush can instantly give the entire face a much needed pop of colour. Not only does a neutral/pink shade suit all skin types, but the light formula is highly pigmented and won’t require any additional touch-ups either.

We recommend: INIKA Mineral Blush – Rosy Glow, $45

Mascara

Mascara is an absolute must-have since it works effectively to make eyes look wider and brighter with just a few applications. Simply curl your lashes before and after you apply mascara, to make them last longer.

We recommend: Josie Maran GOGO Natural Volume Argan Mascara, $22

Image via Suplementos Deportivos

July 13, 2014

5 Things You Need To Know About Natural Cosmetics

With more and more women becoming conscious about the ingredients used in cosmetics, the demand for natural cosmetics is on the rise. There are more natural beauty products on the market than ever before. But are all natural and organic products the same, and are you getting what you expect when you buy a product labelled ‘natural’? We look at the truth behind natural cosmetics and which natural cosmetics brands we use everyday.

1. Natural cosmetics come in different categories

Yes, even when brands scream ‘natural’, the cosmetics may be widely divided as those containing some ingredients collected from nature; the all-natural products having every single ingredient sourced from nature; cosmetics made with organic ingredients (where ‘organic’ represents a standard of products); and cosmetics made with 100% organic ingredients. While we tend to believe that natural cosmetics will not have any chemical components, that’s definitely not always true.

2. Cosmetics and labels

There are no hard and fast rules so far as labelling cosmetics are concerned. So even if that lipstick contains a hint of strawberry flavour, it may be labelled as ‘natural’.  Different agencies around the world certify cosmetics as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ based on different sets of criteria. So whether the organic cosmetic you bought contains 100% organic components can only be decided from an analysis of the ingredients.

3. Check to see what you’re actually getting with natural cosmetics

Concerned about parabens and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)? Plenty of ‘natural’ beauty brands and products still contain parabens and SLS  so don’t assume a product with the words ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the label is free of all those questionable ingredients. Also, check to see if your natural cosmetics contain fragrance – while you may love the smell of that lip gloss, fragrance in makeup is mostly always synthetic, even if it’s labelled as aromatherapy.

4. Natural cosmetic certifications

How do we know that cosmetics we buy are natural and chemical-free? A good way to know is to check for accreditation with noted certification agencies. In Australia, Australian Certified Organic is an agency that checks cosmetics and their ingredients with its world-leading certification scheme Cosmetics Organic and natural Standard, COSMOS.  Check with Australian Certified Organic to see if your natural cosmetics brand is everything they say they are.

5. Truth about mineral makeup

If you thought your expensive and branded mineral makeup is pure and natural, then you may be in for a surprise. While mineral beauty products include ingredients such as natural minerals, remember that minerals have been part of the cosmetics industry long before the ‘mineral makeup’ concept swept the market. Also most cosmetics include chemicals to increase their shelf life, and mineral makeup products are no exception. Mineral makeup products can also contain synthetic minerals which may cause irritation and allergic reactions. So before you reach for the latest mineral foundation or bronzer, do your research first.

Some of our favourite natural cosmetics brands include Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics, Ere Perez and Organix. What are your favourite natural cosmetics brands? 

July 26, 2013