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Safe Beauty Products Checklist

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ribben Beauty & Skincare

Cosmetic companies spend billions of dollars to advertise and promote their products to the general public. They use celebrity endorsements, before and after photos, catchy names and bylines, kiosks in high end stores, fancy packaging and glitzy ads. All of these approaches are aimed at the emotional side of their target customers. However, none of these approaches should be your primary reason for buying one product over another.

 

Your first priority should be how safe and how useful is this beauty product for my skin and body. When you apply a beauty product to your skin you are applying it to the largest and most integral organ in your body. The skin comprises the major portion of your integumentary system which connects to every other organ in your body. It is the largest organ – weighing over 8 pounds and spread over 22 square feet.

 

It is the first defense and sometimes the only defense to protect all of your body from harm. Damaging the skin ensures you will damage your whole body.

 

In order to ensure you are applying a safe beauty product to your skin you have to be aware of the three P’s.

 

• Product Ingredients
• Processing
• Packaging

 

Product Ingredients

 

According to one study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), it has been estimated that the average woman uses around 12 skin care products and is applying 168 chemicals to her body every single day. The average man applies 85 chemicals daily. The average teen applies the most chemicals of all every day;it can be upwards of 200 per day. It is beyond the scope of this one article to list every chemical ingredient over the complete span of skin care products to avoid when reading the ingredient list. However, there are some general rules that can give guidance.

 

Do not buy a product without looking at the ingredient list. The ingredients are listed in order of volume from the highest to the lowest. If you see water or Aloe Vera (which is 99% water) in the number one or two position, you should probably avoid using it. Water is a diluting agent and potentially a polluting agent. Water requires a number of chemicals to keep it in solution. Many of those chemicals are irritating and harmful to the skin.

 

Never use a product if it contains parabens, parfums (highly toxic), or sodium lauryl sulfates. Do not use products that have PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth. These can contain cancer producing 1.4-dioxane.

 

If you see an ingredient listed and do not know or understand what the ingredient is then you should either not use the product or go to www.skindeep.com, which is the best independent data base in the country for thousands of beauty product chemicals.

 

The safest beauty products by far are those that contain NO chemicals and are formulated using only 100% botanical or mineral oils. No animal or petroleum byproducts should be applied to the skin.

 

Your skin care product should always verify that it was never tested on animals. The only products tested on animals are those that contain toxins or potential toxins.

 

Processing

 

It is during the processing procedure that the product can be severally damaged and/or infused with processing chemicals that are exceedingly dangerous to your skin and organs. Processing chemicals are never listed in the ingredient list, yet, they are usually the most toxic ingredient in the jar. It is no different than the reason a healthy meal consists of whole foods and not processed foods. Many beauty products are processed with heat which can alter and cook out the healthy aspects of even the best ingredients. It is difficult for the consumer to determine what processing method was used because the manufacturer will rarely disclose that in any of its literature.

 

However, there are a couple of areas that the consumer can look for to give some protection and guidance. If the ingredient list shows water is in the formula, then you can be sure that heat was used during the processing. That is because water does not mix with oil which is virtually in all skin care products. The only way to mix them is via a binding process called emulsification which normally requires high heat to complete the emulsification. These products should be avoided.

 

If any of the ingredients specify they are “derived from” something else, that usually means a heat and/or chemical process was used. Companies that do not use chemical or heat processing will normally state that in their literature. These are the safest and healthiest skin care products to use.

 

Packaging

 

Once the product goes into the jar or bottle that it is sold in you open up another step that can make the product unsafe. Clear bottles will expose the content to external UV rays that will almost certainly damage and toxify the product.

 

Most skin care products are packaged in plastic containers. That is usually done for three reasons. One reason is that plastic is less expensive than a high-quality glass container. The second reason is that plastic is lighter and has a lower breakage rate which is easier and less expensive to ship around the world. The third reason is that plastic is much easier to shape into exotic eye catching shapes and colors which is great for marketing and presentation. Unfortunately, all these benefits offered by the manufacturer are offset by the harm they offer the consumer.

 

Many companies that supply plastic containers will tout that they are BPA-free (Bisphenol A, a plastic-based toxin) which is stated to give the consumer the sense that their plastic is safe. The Men’s Health Journal found that is not necessarily true. BPA-free plastics can be just as toxic as plastics with BPA. Maybe worse. The plastics industry simply substituted other chemicals that are harmful and mimic estrogen thereby increasing the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and reproductive problems. Another chemical found in most plastic bottles contain phthalates, which has been linked to a 20% reduction in male fertility. The Medical Daily recently reported on a male fertility test that showed men exposed to phthalates had a 20% reduction in sperm mobility (from 57% down to 47%) which is a direct correlation to male fertility.

 

The Natural Resources Defense Council recently discovered that when it comes to tap water in the home, the FDA has tight limits as to how much phthalates can be in the water. Yet, in the case of bottled water, the bottle industry knew that it would be difficult to meet those limits because of the phthalate content in the plastics and was able to successfully campaign and get the FDA to remove those restrictions from bottled water. That means in many cases tap water is safer than bottled water.

 

Another problem with plastics is that they can be porous. Porosity allows oxidizing atmosphere to flow into the product and significantly degrade its contents even before you buy it off the shelf. When it comes to skin care products, don’t buy products packaged in plastic.

 

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