Did you know that only 11% of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have been assessed for safety? Or that 20% of personal care products contain chemicals that are linked to cancer? Or how about the fact that the average woman will ingest a whopping 4 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime?
The chemicals in many cosmetics aren't just hazardous to your health, they’re also hazardous to the health of our planet. The packaging of cosmetics can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. And toxic chemicals in cosmetics get washed down drains and end up in oceans, damaging ecosystems and killing aquatic species.
There are so many reasons to go green but thanks to sneaky marketing it can be tough to decipher the truly green products from the posers. Below are 10 guidelines to help you do just that.
Check the Company’s Moral Code
Before buying a new product visit a company's website and see how their values stack up. Do they test on animals? Are they committed to reducing the environmental impact of their products?
Have they signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics (a vow to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives)? Most companies with strict moral codes share these with their clients, so if a company’s website doesn't mention any of the above, move on.
Make Sure it Really is Natural
Unfortunately, there is no regulatory body that monitors the use of the words “natural” and “all-natural.” Many companies slap these titles on because it’s good marketing, but their products are loaded with toxic synthetic chemicals.
Check the ingredients and choose the products that contain ingredients from nature and not from a lab. I also recommend you visit the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site - it rates the toxicity of cosmetics and personal-care products on a scale of 0 to 10.
Unlike “natural” the word “organic” is regulated and only products that meet the strict requirements of the USDA will have “USDA organic” on their labels. When you see this on the label you can be assured that the ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, genetic engineering, preservatives, sewage sludge and irradiation.
If you want to take things one step further and actually help the environment with your purchases, look for a “Demeter certified biodynamic” stamp of approval. This certification means the botanicals in your product we're grown using biodynamic farming methods that benefit the environment.
Always Buy Fragrance-Free Products
Companies aren’t required to declare chemicals used in a fragrance mixture and many fragrances contain dozens of hidden chemicals. An example of a commonly included toxic chemical that is hidden is phthalates; they are highly allergenic and linked to sex hormone imbalances, reproductive issues, cancer, and many other health issues.
Every chemical you apply to your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, so I advise you to check the label and if it contains a fragrance, don't buy it.
Choose Non-toxic Packaging
Avoid containers that have the letter “V” or recycling code #3 on it. These symbols refer to PVC which is extremely hazardous to the environment and your health. The safest container is glass but those can be hard to find. The next best options are polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is labeled as recycling code #1, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is labeled as recycling code #2. Both are considered safe and are recyclable in most municipalities.
Get Beautiful Skin from the Inside-Out
Your skin is a reflection of your health and the best way to get gorgeous, glowing skin is to work from the inside-out. Eat a wholefoods based diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and moderate amounts of beans and legumes, nuts and seeds.
Eliminate or vastly reducing your intake of animal foods because they are inflammatory and loaded with toxic estrogens which can lead to inflammatory skin disorders such as acne. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to flush out toxins and keep your skin moisturized.
Finally, if you are serious about slowing down the signs of aging, take Stem Cell Strong. Stem Cell Strong is a complete body rejuvenation formula with over 30 superfoods and herbs that slow the aging process by helping the body create new, healthy cells.
Petrochemicals are a common ingredient in cosmetics, they are non-renewable and toxic to both the environment and your health. If you see the following petrochemicals on the label avoid the product: paraffin wax, mineral oil, petrolatum, toluene, benzene, polyethylene glycol (PEG), diethanolamine (DEA), ethanolamine (MEA), butanol and any ingredient with ‘butyl’ in its name.
Most creams, lotions, and potions make promises they could never keep - aging happens at a cellular level from within and no topical ingredient can stop it. Besides which, using too many products can aggravate the skin, dry it out and clog pores - making it look worse. Keep it simple with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and mineral-based sunscreen. Also, check how many ingredients the product contains; often times the ones with the least ingredients are the most natural.
Make Your Own
Making your own skincare products is the best way to know what is in it and to ensure it is completely non-toxic. Plus it saves you money and it reduces your environmental impact, especially if you reuse your containers. You can make a moisturizing, anti-aging face mask with honey and cocoa; a toner with green tea (keep it in the fridge) or diluted raw apple cider vinegar (6 to 1 ratio); and a moisturizer with coconut oil (so long as your skin is not acne-prone).