The Side Effects of Mother Nature: The Truth About the “Green Beauty” Industry

We all want to feel like the products and ingredients we are using on our bodies and are being absorbed into our bloodstream are healthy and not harmful. With the latest studies coming out in the media about chemicals in skincare, and what to avoid, it can be very confusing what to buy.

The main problem with the beauty industry, and skincare specifically, is the lack of standards for labels. Technically, every product has to list their ingredients on their label. However, there is no industry standard defining “all natural” on the front of the label, and having that be truthful. There is also the reality that not all natural ingredients are good for your skin.

The essential oil trend has been really exciting and interesting for people looking for natural alternatives to chemicals in their beauty products. There are so many positive benefits to these potent plant oils that you want to slather them all over yourself. Not only do they smell great, but you really feel the phycological benefits and feel confident you are doing something positive for yourself. What is not talked about much however, are the side effects that can cause allergic reactions and hormonal imbalances. Many are also not recommended for anyone with sensitive skin.

Two of the top essential oils that are commonly used in beauty products are Lavender and Tea Tree Oil. Both have been proven in medical studies to cause hormonal imbalances in both men and women when used on a regular basis. Both have been linked to chemical burns and Dermatitis. There are many plant oils that have been reported to cause allergic reactions and inflammation in the skin, such as Rose Oil, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Almond Oil, Lemongrass, Clarity Sage, Peppermint, Bergamot, Cinnamon Bark, and many more.

Vitamin-based ingredients are excellent to use on the skin, because they are needed by your body for optimum health. Vitamin B3, B5, E, C, and A are all common vitamins used in skincare that have been proven to be beneficial and non-toxic. It is still a factor to keep the percentages used into consideration for irritation reasons, especially Vitamin A, which is what Retinol and Glycolic Acid are derived from, and exfoliate skin cells.

Packaging is another important factor when choosing skincare, as oxygen and light change the potency of the ingredients. Using jars and eye dropper bottles also have a very good chance of being contaminated by your fingers, and other microscopic bacteria that can be easily transferred into the containers. An airless pump is a great way to protect your ingredients without using harsher preservatives to kill bacteria and protect them against oxidation. It’s like wearing a hat and shirt outside as opposed to using sunscreen.

Still feeling confused about what to choose for your beauty and hygiene necessities? We recommend shopping small, local if possible, with a company that is transparent about where their ingredients come from and why they choose what they use. When you choose a company with open communication, you can easily talk to the owners and formulators to get specific questions and concerns answered. We believe in community health, not big business.

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