Inside Scoop: The real reason behind the rise of non-toxic beauty and how to find the best products.
Non-toxic beauty, all natural skincare, DIY beauty products, plant based skincare, toxin-free skincare…. These trend words, well they’re also the future of the beauty industry!
There’s been a huge movement; what we once looked at as products that were necessary, and companies that we trusted, we’re now starting to question.
The truth is that most of us:
- hardly have any idea what’s going into these products
- are confused about the regulations behind some of these ingredients
- are starting to study the negative health implications to some of these ingredients
Myth of Cosmetics Safety EWG
“The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to require companies to test cosmetic products for safety. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. FDA conducts pre-market reviews only of certain cosmetics color additives and active ingredients that are classified as over-the-counter drugs (FDA 2005, 2010).”
So, not only are many of these products untested for safety, but many of the ingredients that are now being tested are being deemed as unsafe.
You have known endocrine disruptors, such as phatlates (disguised as fragrance on the label) being loaded into personal care products without so much of a peep from the government or the companies that are creating them. And while, the FDA and Health Canada claim that they do not have information showing that parabens as they are used in cosmetics have an effect on human health, we’re starting to see evidence that they may not be as innocent, and many companies have started to remove them from their products.
It might just take a while for regulations to change, but in the meantime, it’s no wonder that the non-toxic beauty industry is expected to see a huge spike in sales over the next 7 years and is projected to become a 21-billion-dollar industry! WOWZA.
But really though, consumers are starting to lack trust in conventional products and are becoming more educated on what they put on their body, because what goes ON the body goes IN the body.
And, a healthy skin is also a reflection of what’s going on inside, so make sure to download your healthy gut list food below.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and is a line of defense protecting us from pathogens, elements and microbes. Not only that, but it also hosts thousands of beneficial bacteria, has a large surface area that can absorb the products put on it and is one of your main detox organs.
So, keeping your skin healthy is pretty important. Especially as you see inflammatory skin conditions on the rise, it begs to ask the question:
What’s going on?
Let’s think about it this way, if you’re using conventional products with unregulated chemicals in them, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed you’re being exposed to potentially harmful substances from:
- Your bed
- Your laundry detergent
- Your soap/ shampoo/ conditioner
- The chemicals in your tap water (chlorine, etc.)
- Body lotion
- Anything you put on your hair
- Air pollutants
- Household cleaners/ dish soap
- And so on…
When you consider that each product you use in a day is made up of numerous different types of chemicals, and that the skin has the potential to absorb those chemicals right into the bloodstream, it’s a scary thought and it really adds up! What you put ON your body is incredibly important, and that’s why non-toxic beauty is on the rise!
WHAT IS NON-TOXIC BEAUTY? WHY MAKE THE SWITCH?
Non-toxic beauty products are basically just lines of skincare products that are developed by companies who choose to use botanicals (plant derivatives) as well as safer ingredients. They are usually void of the top contenders (keep reading we will tell you what those are) and have more anti-inflammatory or soothing properties, alongside plants and oils that are known to be beneficial for the skin. These products have typically been used for centuries and, unless allergic (which also happens with natural products), won’t be harmful to your body. Non-toxic beauty companies also tend to care for the environment and use green or recyclable packaging.
Not only are plant extractions better for you, but using non-toxic beauty products is also better for the planet. When you wash your skin, what you’ve accumulated in the day goes down the drain and back into our water supply. This has a detrimental effect on the water we drink and the surrounding ecosystems (see here and here).
And while non-toxic or green beauty can be a tad more expensive (but not always), it’s 100% worth the investment!
HOW TO SPOT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MARKETING TACTICS AND THE REAL DEAL
The terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ don’t necessarily mean anything
The word natural can be used by any company for any reason. There are no regulations behind using ‘natural’ on packaging, so be wary if you come across this word. Same goes for organic, in the U.S. ‘organic ingredients’ can be used on the label if your formulation contains 70% or more organic ingredients, so 30% of the bottle can be still be non-organic. In Canada, made with organic ingredients means over 95% of the product is made with organic ingredients. But just because it says organic, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you!
The molecular formula of a phthalate is C8H4O4-2 (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) these are all organic chemical compounds, but toxic to human consumption in large quantities, so just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
The best thing to do is check the ingredient label and look for (brackets) beside the scientific name for the botanical, as this will tell you what kind of plant it is. For example, the scientific name for coconut is ‘Cocos nucifera’ which is what you’re going to see on the label, but in most cases, it will be presented like this: Cocos nucifera (coconut).
If you’re confused about an ingredient on the label, download EWG Skin Deep and look up the rating of any ingredient, brand or product.
WHAT’S IN TRADITIONAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS & WHAT TO AVOID
As promised, here are the top contenders in a lot of conventional personal care products:
- Coal tar derived colours
- BHA and BHT
- Formaldehyde-releasing agents
- Silicone chemicals
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO IT ALL AT ONCE
If you’re considering making the switch, remember it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take it one product at a time as you run out. Do some research and ask for samples from companies to find the brands that fit your skin type best.
Also, you can take it slow- start with make-up, then body lotion, then shampoo and conditioner. Find a strategy that works for you. You can even keep some of your brand favs (we do that with some of our favourite conventional products such as lipstick and mascara). You can keep those products and wear them on special occasions.
In the meantime, we can get you started with our top natural skincare brand swaps here.