A few years ago, I got a forwarded email about the danger of lead in lipstick. The email linked to a site called the Cosmetic Safety Database where you can look up a product and see its rating in terms of the safety level of its ingredients. I started looking up some of the beauty products I regularly used and was concerned by some of the ratings. From that point, I started looking more at organic beauty products and began trying out natural/organic alternatives, especially for things I use daily like moisturiser, shower gel and body lotion.
Whilst in some cases, research is inconclusive as to the potential risks and dangers some ingredients pose, the fact that they are at all questionable is some concern in my view. These are some of the ingredients commonly found in everyday beauty products that you might want to look out for and possibly avoid:
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium laureth sulphate
- Mineral Oils
- Petroleum derivatives
These types of synthetic chemicals, some toxic, some carcinogenic, should definitely be ringing alarm bells if you consider that our bodies absorb around 50-60% of what they come into contact with. If you think about all the things you rub, smear and apply to your face and body each day and then check the ingredients of those products, it can be a bit of a scare. No need for a drastic re-stocking of your beauty cabinet but maybe you want to start replacing a couple of your heavily-used products with more natural substitutes.
Whilst I use organic products on my body and for the moisturiser on my face, I still use regular make-up and know that I could be using safer alternatives. Skincare products are a personal choice and it's a matter of trying a few different options until you find something you like using and that seems to suit your skin. For this reason it can be better to make the switch to organic products as a gradual process.
In the past couple of years, the market for natural, organic beauty products has increased and become more mainstream. The result being that there is a much wider choice of products available and at more affordable prices too. Two of my favourite on-line shops for organic beauty products are So Organic and Content (both have London-based stores too). They sell everything from bath and hair products to make-up, making it easy to be a yummy mummy the safe way.
What are your thoughts? How conscious are you of your beauty products and their ingredients? If you already use some organic products, what brands or particular products do you like?