Did you know that a human body is covered by around 1.8 to 2 square meters of skin? According to studies the average adult uses approx. 9 personal care products each day with something like 126 unique chemical ingredients. More than 25% of all women and one of each 100 men use at least 15 products daily. If one does the math, that makes an awful lot of potentially harmful ingredients every day. Ingredients that you won’t find in clean beauty products.
You do have a choice
Recently also larger retailers started to stock green skin care products. Why? Because they work. And because they know that consumers are looking for alternatives without parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals and other harmful ingredients. Honestly, why would one want to continue to apply ingredients to the skin that are known to be harmful, if there are products available that are cleanly formulated and perform as good as conventional cosmetic products? In the end it’s a personal choice.
How can natural skin care be effective?
Many clean beauty products are designed to support the skin in its ability to protect itself. They help the natural skin barrier to do its job properly. Unlike some conventional products that are known to weaken the barrier of the skin or have drying properties. Yes, it is true that natural products can cause irritations so you need to know what your skin needs and what ingredients to look out for and it is always recommended to do sensitivity test.
Natural and organic skin care and make-up has changed a lot over the last years. Small and independent producers have been taking their job seriously to produce clean, effective, non-harmful, cruelty-free and beautifully designed products. Plus, they are produced with heart. It is amazing to see how much work, love, responsibility, care, innovation and science these rather small suppliers put into their products. Many truly care about sustainable sourcing and packaging (which is a whole topic on its own). There are products available for almost all needs and as they contain powerful plant ingredients, you need less product for more result. Important is to find the right products to supply your skin with what it needs. This can be a truly fun journey if you get yourself some support. There are so many beautiful products out there that feel good, look good and smell good.
It is in the small print
Nice and “green” looking product tags do not always reveal the full truth as many products out there claim to be natural or green. Some do have natural ingredients but also contain useless “fillers” or potentially harmful ingredients too. This is what “greenwashing” is about. And unfortunately this means that reading the list of ingredients is unavoidable. The clean beauty market is not regulated up to now but cosmetic products require an ingredient list by law (so called INCI = International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients). The ingredients have to be stated in descending order by weight, meaning what is mostly contained is on top of the list.
A good start is also to look out for the “dirty dozen” of cosmetic ingredients. But there are more like e.g. Oxybenzone that is common in chemical sunscreens and has been linked to potential health and environmental damages. So when in doubt, get the help from apps like codecheck or thinkdirty. They are extremely helpful in checking specific products or ingredients. Another option is to turn to a professional for advice or to shop at specific stores that will do the job for you. By not only ruling out potentially harmful ingredients but by also selecting clean beauty products with ingredients that are most beneficial for the skin.