You are probably familiar with this saying, “you will never regret a workout”. Well, my take on this is “you will never regret investing in skincare” in good skincare that is.
Whether you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, acne, clogged pores or would like to prevent sun damage and ageing, it’s likely that you are using some products to target these concerns and improve your skin. Did you know that skincare are often packed with nasties? Anything that you apply topically eventually makes its way into your bloodstream so you really want to be researching the products that you use. It’s not optional, it’s a must!
As far as skincare goes, consistency is key so developing a routine that you stick to is necessary but selecting the right products for you, and in particular the right ingredients is extremely important to achieve results. Unless you are a trained beautician or have a background in science, you probably don’t have a clue or only limited knowledge about the ingredients that are good for you, somewhat bad and those that you should completely avoid.
The best way to start is by learning to read labels and opt for natural and organic when possible.
I agree that marketing and fancy labels can be confusing so I thought I’d give you a brief overview of what you should be looking out for when you select products. I have also included a few recommendations of Australian brands that are either natural or organic and all cruelty- free!
Natural VS Organic:
- Natural products are not certified or regulated. Companies can label their products “Natural” as long as they use a few natural ingredients although they may still use chemicals. Read the label, ingredients with the highest content come first so if you see chemicals at the top of the list, stay clear!
- Organic: to be labelled organic or certified organic, products must not interact with synthetic chemicals at any step of the production process. Such chemicals include pesticides, fertilisers, additives, radiation and antibiotics. They should only contain organic ingredients (or at least 95%). The products shouldn’t be harmful to animals and the packaging should reduce waste.
- Parabens (Methylparabens, Propylparabens, Butylparabens and Ethylparabens): it causes hormone disruption and is linked to breast cancer and fertility issues.
- Phthalates: extremely dangerous to children. It disrupts the endocrine and is also linked to birth defects.
- “Fragrance”: is a term used in the beauty industry so companies don’t have to disclose the ingredients used. It is often full of harmful chemicals.
- SLS & SLES (Sodiam Lauryl Sulfates & Sodium Laureth Sulfate): causes skin irritation and allergies.
- BHA & BHT (Synthetic oxidants): is link to liver damage
- Vitamin A (Retinol & Retinyl Palmitate): causes damage to DNA and speed up the growth of skin tumors. It is not recommended to pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding.
- Lead (metal & neurotoxin): is linked to behavioural and learning problems.
- Formaldehyde (Carcinogen): known for causing asthma and neuro-toxicity.
- FD & C/ D& C (Synthetic colours): is a human carcinogen, skin irritant and linked to ADHD with children.
- Triclosan (Antimicrobial): disrupts thyroid function, reproductive hormones and is also a known skin irritant.
- Toluene (Benzene, Toluol, Phenylmethane and Methylbenzene): affects the respiratory system, causes nausea and irritate the skin. To avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Propylene Glycol (type of alcohol): causes dermatitis.
- Sunscreen Chemicals: linked to cancer.
Please note that the side effects usually occur when these products have been used in large quantity and regularly. Not everyone is affected the same way although these ingredients are toxic and should be avoided or reduced to a minimum. Do your research and talk to your beautician, dermatologist or chemist if you have any concerns.
- AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids): to smooth, exfoliate and prevent ageing. They could be glycol, lactic, tartaric or citric acids.
- BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids): to help with acne and blemishes. You are looking for Salicylic Acid.
- Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid): antioxidant that prevents UV damage.
- HA (Hyaluronic Acid): to deeply moisturise and prevents signs of ageing.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide): contains antioxidants and anti-inflamatory properties.
- Ceramides: to fortify the skin
- Amino Acid (Peptides): to boost collagen and help with fine wrinkles. Copper Peptide is particularly efficient.
- Vitamin E: gives an extra boost to your skin.
- Curcuminoids (Turmeric): provides an instant glow to your skin and contains antioxidants.
- Alpha-lipoic Acid (also known as “miracle in a jar”): this is the ultimate anti-ageing ingredient with its ultra potent antioxidant power.
GIVE THEM A TRY: