Parabens, Fragrances, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate… OH MY! In the world of skincare, makeup and haircare, it can be difficult to know if you’re putting actually healthy products on your body. Reading ingredient lists can often feel like you’re deciphering a foreign language. What’s good and what’s bad? How can you spot the real non-toxic beauty products from the fakes?
Let’s talk about what we know: your skin is porous, therefore it absorbs what you put on it. That’s why it’s critical to find products that are safe for your skin and your body as a whole. Do you want to walk around soaking up heavy metals all day? We didn’t think so…
The good news is, we’ve brought in the experts to help educate you and US on what non-toxic beauty is all about. Dr. Shuting Hu is a cosmetic scientist and founder of the clean beauty skincare line, Acaderma. Alexis Wambua is an esthetician and founder of clean beauty brand, Native Atlas.
Together, they’re here to help lift the veil on all things healthy beauty! Are you ready to learn? (picture above by Elizabeth Messina)
Non-Toxic Beauty Products: Skincare
1. One Love Organics- Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil + Makeup Remover | 2. Odacite- Bl + C Pimples | 3. Josh Rosebook- Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30 | 4. 100% Pure- Bright Eyes Mask | 5. Babo Botanicals- SPF 30 Clear Zinc Fragrance Free Sunscreen | 6. Indie Lee- CoQ-10 Toner | 7. One Love Organics- Skin Savior Multi-Tasking Wonder Balm | 8. Goop- Exfoliating Instant Facial | 9. Hurraw!- Moon Lip Treatment Balm
Q: What keywords should you look for on product labels?
A. “Free of” ingredients, e.g., free of fragrance/alcohol, because your skin might be allergic to some ingredients. -Dr. Shuting Hu
A. Certified Organic is always a great thing to look for! Even “wildcrafted ingredients” which means they are not grown with pesticides. -Alexia Wambua
Watch Out For Greenwashing!
Q: What are common greenwashing claims in beauty products?
A. Providing a lesser of two evils. Many brands will claim that they are “SLS” free. SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) is an inexpensive cleanser that strips lipids from the skin, which damages the natural skin barrier and causes irritation. While SLS is an ingredient that should be left out of all skincare products, brands will use a “less” but still harmful ingredient, such as Aluminum Laureth Sulfate, and claim that they are clean. -Dr. Shuting Hu
A. “Naturally derived” can be tricky. Sometimes very little of the product can be “natural” and they can claim that because they’ve added a small percentage of something natural. -Alexia Wambua
Q: What can consumers do to find safer & cleaner beauty alternatives?
A. It’s important to understand your skin type, and research which natural ingredients benefit your skin, based on your skin type. (dry, oily, sensitive, combination, etc.) -Dr. Shuting Hu
A. There are great websites to shop for clean beauty. You can typically find information about what they will be sure is never in their products. I love the Detox Market. All of their products are clean so you can shop worry-free. -Alexia Wambua
Non-Toxic Beauty Products: Makeup
1. Lily Lolo- Natural Vegan Mascara | 2. Kure Bazaar- Rose Milk Nail Polish | 3. Kosas- Weightless Lip Color Lipstick | 4. Alima Pure- Satin Matte Foundation | 5. Clove + Hallow- Lip Velvet | 6. Ilia- True Skin Serum Concealer | 7. Kosas- The Sun Show Baked Bronzer | 8. RMS Beauty- Lip2Cheek Cream Color
Q. What are some of the most toxic personal care products?
A. Any product with heavy metals to achieve an instant bleaching effect. -Dr. Shuting Hu
A. Deodorants and fragrance are big ones for me. You just don’t know what chemicals are in fragrances and how dangerous they can be. -Alexia Wambua
Give Us the Bad and the Good
Q. Toxic ingredients to avoid?
A. Heavy metals are a big NO NO, and corticosteroid, which results in topical steroid withdrawal. Fragrance is also not good for the skin as it induces allergic reactions, especially for those with sensitive skin. -Dr. Shuting Hu
A. Phalates, parabens, petroleum based ingredients. -Alexia Wambua
Q. Name 3-4 natural & clean ingredients people should start incorporating into their beauty routine.
A. Keep an eye out for products with mild surfactants made of amino acids (e.g. Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, or plant-derived glucoside as an alternative to SLS. -Dr. Shuting Hu
A. I love face oils with blends such as rosehip, jojoba, and Marula oil. Clay is also a really great thing to add in to really recharge the cells. Rose water mists are also a great skincare essential. Not only are they calming and balancing, but they are great as a humectant for the skin.
Non-Toxic Beauty Products: Hair + Body
1. Rahua- Hydration Shampoo | 2. Herbivore- Coco Rose Exfoliating Body Polish | 3. Plant Apothecary Wakey Wakey Body Wash | 4. Captain Blankenship- Mermaid Dry Shampoo | 5. Reverie- Cake Restorative Scalp Tonic | 6. Davids- Premium Natural Toothpaste | 7. Babo Botanicals- Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Lotion | 8. Keeko- Botanical Whitening Pen | 9. Innersense- Hydrating Cream Conditioner
We don’t know about you, but it’s about time for a major overhaul of our cosmetic bags!! We can’t wait to replace the gunk with natural and non-toxic beauty products that are actually real. Are you ready for a beauty revolution? Which products are you headed to swap out?