Why You Should Use Natural Cosmetics
Cosmetics are a common part of our everyday lives. We use them when we take a bath, when we fix our hair, and even when we get dressed up for a night out on the town.
Most men would argue that they don’t use cosmetic supplies because they’re for women, but this really isn’t true!
Table of Contents
- What is a Cosmetic?
- Natural Is Eco-Friendly
- Traditional Cosmetics Contain Harsh Chemicals
- Natural Cosmetics Are Rich In Nutrients
- Natural Cosmetics Often Contain
- Deodorant vs Anti-Perspirant
- Why Anti-Perspirants Are Dangerous
- The Benefits of Natural Deodorants
- Other Chemicals With Similar Effects
- BHA & BHT
- Coal Tar Dyes
- Dibutyl Phthalates
- Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Bismuth Oxychloride
- Hair Dyes
What Is A Cosmetic?
So what is a cosmetic? A cosmetic is any product that can be used to improve ones appearance. If it can be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or even sprayed on the human body then it is considered to be a cosmetic.
It doesn’t matter if it’s used for the hair, nails, lips or even teeth. Cosmetics are a big part of a daily routine for both men and women.
Natural Is More Environmentally Friendly
Landfills – When it comes to environmental footprints, cosmetic companies seem to have the biggest around.1
While it is not widely known, a large part of landfill waste is due to plastic packaging from cosmetics . The impact that cosmetic companies have on our environment is completely unnecessary as well as dangerous.
The plastic packaging from cosmetics are often not recycled (although they could and should be) and will end up sitting in our landfills for decades to come.
Animal testing is a cosmetic company’s way of ensuring the safety of the product before it is sold in stores. They use animals such as rats, mice, rabbits and even guinea pigs to test for different affects that can be caused by the product.
Cosmetic companies uses these defenseless animals to test for things such as acute oral toxicity, skin irritation corrosion, and even reproductive/developmental screen.
These products are often rubbed on the bare shaved skin of these animals (some are even injected under the skin).
These animals are rarely provided with pain relief before their short lives come to an end at the end of each test.2
Found in more than 200 different cosmetics, these beads that are made of plastic can damage both our water supplies and the marine life.
The fact that microbeads were designed to go down our drains makes it easier to believe that these beads were found to take up about 17,000 bits per square kilometer in Lake Michigan. Being that since they were designed to be so small, they now can pass through filters and into our lives.3
Deliberately added by producers, most of our everyday cosmetics contain an enormous amount of chemicals. These very chemicals contain toxins that are unknowingly released into our local lakes and rivers.
As a result, they harm the animals that call that piece of water home. Animals such as fish, seagulls, and even turtles are among the ones affected.
While the toxins are small and may seem harmless, these animals, such as fish, think of them as food. The fish that eat these toxins (moisture beads) are often deprived of nutrients. Sometimes these toxins get lodged in their intestines and, as a result, block their digestive systems.
So, not only are these chemicals contaminating fish, but they are killing them as well.4
Traditional Cosmetics Contain Harsh Chemicals
Parabens – Composed of several distinct chemicals (with a very similar molecular structure), this chemical can be absorbed through both skin and blood. There are some cases where it has been absorbed into the digestive system as well.
This chemical can be found in shampoos, lotions, and even eye make-ups. Parabens are known for not only disrupting the hormone function but also for increasing the risk of breast cancer among many people as well.
There are four(4) main parabens that are used in cosmetics; Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, and Methylparaben. All of the Parabens can result in reproductive toxicity, allergies, and immunotoxicity.22
Phthalates can also be found in just about anything with a fragrance.23
Most people know that phthalates are bad for you, but some are not sure why. Here are a few dangers that are caused by using cosmetics that contain phthalates that many people are not aware of.
For example, phthalates are an endocrine disruptor. As if that is not scary enough, they can also cause birth defects in pregnant women such as hypospadias.
Not only can it cause birth defects for all children, but for female babies it can result in abnormal sexual development.
It is also a cause of an increased waist circumference in adult males as well as being an insulin resistance.
While Phthalates are not always written in the ingredients, it can almost always be detected by looking for “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label.24
Triclosan can be found in many products such as; antibacterial soaps, deodorants, shaving products and even toothpaste.
Triclosan has been linked to hormone disruption and can even impact thyroid function.
Even the smallest amount of Triclosan can trigger an antibiotic resistance making it harder for you to rid your body of things such as the flu or even an ear infection.
Recent studies have declared it both dangerous and completely unnecessary. You can also find this info on the SafeCosmetics website.
These fragrances are known as ‘masking fragrances’. While fragrances’ may seem harmless, they are among the top five(5) known allergies in the United States.
They are also known to trigger asthma attacks as well as cause damage to the average persons immune system.
‘Fragrance’, also known as ‘parfum’, is often listed as an ingredient by itself. This is because manufactures are not required to tell you what chemicals they are using to scent your cosmetics, leaving you clueless and unaware of what you are smelling.
Although they are great for UV-blocking, they have the potential to disrupt your endocrine system, including your thyroid.
Benzophenone alone can cause cancer, organ system toxicity and even development and reproductive toxicity.
It is also used to prevent many cosmetics such as soaps and lotions from losing their scents, as well as color.
Oxybenzone is a derivative of Benzophenone and is one of the most dangerous chemicals as far as sun screen is concerned.
This chemical accumulates in the skin and can can lead to eczema. It is also known for decreasing fertility in men as well as increasing the chances of testicular cancer.28
Natural Cosmetics Are Rich In Nutrients
While the FDA says that the ingredients in these cosmetics are safe (and in small doses they are), these ‘safe’ products are potentially dangerous.10
The average person uses an insane amount of cosmetics a day. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, and even hairspray. The fact that we use so many makes these substances that much more harmful.
Natural Cosmetics Often Contain:
Shea Butter – Also known as Butyrospermun Parkii, Shea butter is one of the most common ingredients found in natural cosmetics.
This is because Shea butter has an amazing ability as a conditioning agent.
Not only is it an amazing conditioning agent, but a body healer as well. Containing both vitamins D and E as well as pro-vitamin A, Shea butter is the perfect all natural ingredient.
Acting as a UV protector and an anti-inflammatory, Shea butter can heal minor cuts and burns and even relieve one of the muscle aches.11
Cocoa butter is greatly known for its ability to reduce stretch marks (common for pregnant women).
As another perfect all natural ingredient, cocoa butter can also protect against skin problems such as eczema, dermatitis, and even skin irritation.
With high amounts of fatty acids and antioxidants, cocoa butter can both hydrate the skin and fight off free radicals.12
This particular tea is made from the leaves of a plant called Camellia Sinensis.
It is the leased processed of the three(3) types of tea extract. (There is white tea, green tea, and black tea.) White tea is known for its high catechin content and its amazing skin protection ability.13
Grape extract can reduce free radical damage, as well as wound healing properties. It is also used in cosmetics that treat hemorrhoids and anti-aging.14
Apricot Extract – This extract has an amazing ability to make your skin soft. It’s often used in under the eye creams because of its anti-aging properties.
It is also an antioxidant used for protecting the skin. This extract is normally meant for topical application.15
Pomegranate Extract – This extract is full of antioxidants and vitamins.
Known for it’s anti-aging properties, this extract is very common in all natural facial creams.
Pomegranate extract has a number of other well-known properties, such as: protecting against skin cancer, sun protector, cell regeneration, relieving sunburns, and even preventing wrinkles.16
And Many Others -A long list of other natural ingredients can be found in these cosmetics.
Basil is used to because of its high amounts of vitamins A and C. Bay Rum is used for its spicy scent and apple oil, which contains malic acid, which is an antioxidant and natural PH adjuster.17
Used for washing dirt off skin and cleaning; soap has easily become the most desired luxury of our time.
While conventional soap may be a common part of our daily lives, it does not mean it is good for our health.
Conventional soaps contain ingredients that are considered ‘safe’ in small doses. But what happens when you use that product everyday of your life? The once ‘safe small dose’ has now become a ‘large dangerous dose’.6
Did You Know?
There are many different types of soap you can make at home, from milk-based soaps to shea butter, cocoa butter, etc and you can scent them yourself using essential oils.
Accidental soap poisoning
Children tend to be most vulnerable when it comes to these situations. Because children do not know that soap is toxic, they are more likely to put it in their mouth.
While the instructions on the label states to keep out of contact with eyes, it isn’t necessarily that simple.
Soap coming into contact with your eyes can result in having difficulty focusing that eye or even loss of vision completely if it’s not dealt with quickly.
Why you should choose natural soap
First off, let me start by saying that I am a big fan of all soaps. Anything that can get my body clean automatically goes in the plus column. But lets get to why when given the choice, I will choose a natural soap over conventional soap every time.
For starters, most natural soaps contain ingredients that are more moisturizing than conventional soaps.
Not only are natural soaps great moisturizers, but they also offer a milder cleaning which is great for people with sensitive skin.7
To add the icing on top, natural soaps not only smell better but the ‘fragrances’ come from the plants ‘essence’. Making it completely safe, no matter how many years you use it.
Known and used for it’s ability to clean and freshening breath; toothpaste has made it’s way to being at the top of the ‘most used cosmetics’ list.8
Why conventional toothpaste is bad
Did You Know?
Toothpaste used to be made with chalk, crushed brick, oyster shells, salt or even crushed bones.
Chemicals such as:
- Water softeners
- Sodium carbonate peroxide (used to whiten teeth)
- Coloring agents
Fluoride is an active ingredient in most conventional toothpaste and ingesting large amounts of it can be potentially toxic. (Children are most known to ingest toothpaste because of the lack of known how when it comes to spitting or rinsing.)9
Why choose natural toothpaste
As a parent, it is our responsibility to make sure that we provide the safest solutions to every situation for our families.
This includes toothpaste.
The warning label (don’t swallow!) on a tube of toothpaste should be scary enough to make you want to switch to a natural alternative.
With most natural toothpaste being fluoride free, you can be sure that you are creating a safer choice for both you and your family each time you brush.
It is nothing for me to wake up in the morning and spray myself with my favorite perfume. But, I only use natural perfumes that I make myself at home because A) I know what’s in them and B) conventional perfumes purchased at drug stores or at the mall are expensive.
Besides, who wants to walk around wearing the same scent as everyone else?
Did You Know?
Perfumes have been made for thousands of years from distilled flowers, oil, essential oils, and plant extracts. No chemicals necessary!
Fragrances are also specifically exempted from the Federal Fair Packaging & Labeling Act of 1973.
How perfume can be dangerous
Most perfume (body sprays) contain secret chemicals not listed on the label, in addition to other unhealthy chemical substances. The have the ability to still linger on even after the smell is unnoticeable. Some of the most popular brands of perfume contain as many as 24 secret substances not found on the label!17
The chemicals in the wonderfully smelling perfumes can cause a number of affects on both you and the people around you.
These affects include but are not limited to:
- Hormonal system disruption
- Breast Cancer
- Rendering anti-estrogen cancer treatments
- Sexual Organ dis-function.18
Why natural is better
Using natural perfumes mean that you will no longer put other people at risk for asthma or any other potential problems because of the way you smell.
Natural perfumes are also safer for your skin as well. Even if you are sensitive to other conventional perfumes.19
Body powders are something that has been used for decades by both women and children in the United States. Parents often put baby powder on children to reduce diaper rashes and irritation.
So, what’s the big deal?
How Powders Can Be Dangerous
After a series of studies, it has been discovered that not only can body powders containing talc cause talcosis (lung irritation) but can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer in women.20
So, talc-based body powder should be avoided almost completely; there are plenty of natural alternatives out there.
The only time you should consider using a talc-based body powder temporarily is if you are dealing with skin yeast… starch-based powders will make a skin infection worse! But, if you can use a clay-based powder, use it instead.
I have spent at least 15 minutes a day since I was 13, putting makeup on.. until recently.
Now, I only wear makeup on special occasions and even then, I only wear natural makeup. Here is why.
The negative effects of daily makeup use
The upside of makeup
That is that it makes us more attractive to the opposite sex. Yes, that is all it is good for and yes, we women can be that shallow sometimes!
So, if you are going to put yourself through the pain of getting all dressed up everyday, at least you should make the switch to natural makeup.
It has less chemicals and less likely to give you all the side effects that conventional makeup does.
Did you know that it is more dangerous to put some chemicals on your skin than it is to ingest them directly? When you rub some chemicals on your skin, they can go directly to your bloodstream.
This is one reason that lotions and sun screens can be so bad.
Troubling ingredients found in lotions
Chemicals such as:
- Stearic Acid
These are all chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can irritate the skin. They are dangerous to the average person when in contact with large amounts.
The best alternative
Finding an all natural lotion or sun screen is difficult. ‘Natural’ and ‘all natural’ are not very common words found on lotion ingredient labels and even if you can find them, be suspicious until you check the list of ingredients.
That is why the best alternative to conventional lotions and sun screens are to make them yourself or find a really good brand online.
They aren’t easy to find in offline stores unless you live in a metro area, so it is important to be extra careful when making your purchases.
Washing my hair is something that I do almost religiously. In fact, it is a very important part of my daily routine. I love the feeling of having clean hair in the morning and I absolutely love the smell of my shampoo.
But, I’m not exactly a fan of the ingredients in conventional shampoo… and I’ll tell you why.
Why I changed my shampoo
What most people are not aware of is the harm that could come from using regular shampoos.
Keep in mind that some chemicals are more dangerous to rub onto your skin than they are to eat. With that being true, why would you want to intentionally rub hundreds of man-made chemicals onto your head everyday?
Here is just a short list of the most common chemicals found in conventional shampoos:
- Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
- Propylene Glycol30
A study back in 2008 showed that at the time 40% of all shampoo products that were currently shelved in stores had cancer linking chemicals.
This included normal shampoos and ‘organic’ ones as well.
With that being said, be sure to look for the label USDA organic or Oregon Tilth when purchasing a shampoo. Having USDA or Oregon Tilth ensures that the shampoo you are purchasing is genially organic.
If you can not find a shampoo that has either of those on the label, try to find one that has all natural ingredients.
While I love my hair smelling wonderfully from my shampoo; I’m not willing to risk my life or my child’s life because of a temporary clean feeling and a little fragrance.
Here are a few products you may be interested at looking at. All of these are sulfate-free!
Argan Oil Shampoo – No artificial fragrances, color, additives, or impurities, not animal testing, and no sulfates!
Tru Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo – This contains 100% organic argan oil, plus a few more organic ingredients. Check it out!
Nature’s Gate Shampoo – This has a lot of herbal extracts in it, from yarrow, borage, lavender, rosemary, sage, nettle, wild cherry, and thyme
J.R. Liggett’s Bar Shampoo – I’ve never seen bar shampoo before, have you? Not many ingredients to be found on this one!
Besides soap, there is no greater cosmetic than deodorant.
After all, deodorant is one of the basic things that keep us from smelling terrible. Well, bearable at least.
There really is no way to describe the amazing feeling you get when you are able to kill the stink of body odor with a refreshing scent of deodorant.
Deodorant vs Anti-perspirant
Why anti-perspirants are dangerous
Almost all major brands of anti-perspirants contain aluminum. For those that do not know, aluminum is a highly toxic substance. One that is commonly used in deodorants to kill microorganisms that can be found in the armpit.
Conventional deodorants & anti-perspirants can contain a number of other dangerous chemicals as well. Chemicals such as:
These can expose you to a number health related problems such as but not limited to;
- Risk of skin allergies
- Breast Cancer
- Renal Problems31
Everyone should learn the benefits of aluminum free deodorants. there are issues everyone should be aware of because it’s not just women that are prone to issues from it, everyone wears deodorant.
The benefits of natural deodorants
For example, natural deodorants actually gets rid of body odor. They do not just mask the smell like most conventional deodorants do.
Also, natural deodorants are easier to work with as they have no chemically formulated compounds.
Making natural deodorant not only a safer choice but a better choice as well. After all, nobody wants to smell you B.O.
Other chemicals with similar effects include:
These two antioxidants can cause allergic reactions and according to ‘animal testing’ a number of other problems as well. Including thyroid, kidney, and liver problems.
High amounts of BHT can also affect the reproduction of males. Not only are these two antioxidants dangerous to humans, but both are toxic to the aquatic organisms as well.
P-Phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI”, followed by a five digit number – potentially contaminated with heavy metals and even some aluminum substrate.
Both of these ingredients are toxic when it comes to the brain.
P-phenylenediamine is used in many hair dyes and are limited to only hair dyes. The darker the hair dye, the higher amount of coal tar is in it.
The main concern of this chemical is the damage it can cause to the brain, and it’s potential link to tumors and cancer.
They are found in a majority of your everyday cosmetics.These chemicals can be found in soaps, foundations, eye shadows and even sunscreens.
DEA, also known as diethanolamine, is most commonly used as an emulsifier.
TEA, also known as triethanolamine, is most commonly used as a fragrance.
Each of the compounds can cause cancer, bioaccumulation, and even organ system toxicity. This can also be found on SafeCosmetics.
As they act as plasticizers. They are also a solvent for dyes and can be used as a fragrance as well. If it is used as a fragrance in a cosmetic product, there will be no way of knowing for sure.
Dibutyl phthalates are absorbed through the skin. While it may seem harmless as it is used in a number of cosmetic products, it has been linked to things such as reduced sperm count as well as impaired fertility in women.
There are also a number of other effects that are caused by this chemical. Things such as interference with hormone function, causing harm to unborn children in pregnant women, and liver and kidney failure in young children.
These slowly release formaldehyde, which causes cancer. This same product can be found in vinyl flooring and other plastics. It can be absorbed through skin and could off-gas and be inhaled.
Not only could it possibly cause cancer, but it has the potential to irritate both the eyes and skin, as well as trigger allergies.
It is petroleum based and used as a thickener in most cosmetics. It is also used as a solvent, softener, and even a moisturizer carrier.
This particular ingredient has been linked to nervous system damage in recent studies.
It is a semisolid mixture of hydrocarbons. Because of its jelly-like texture, it is common in most skin care products.
It can also be found in makeup, shampoos, and even suntan cosmetics. Petrolatum is known for temporarily protecting the skin and in some cases, relieving the skin from minor pain due to sunburns.
It has been linked to organ system toxicity in recent studies and is associated with cancer.
This component is toxic and has the potential to bioaccumulate in aquatic organisms. It has also been known to interfere with hormone functions in humans as well as impair human fertility.
Siloxanes in your everyday cosmetics can cause uterine tumors as well as harm your immune system. Siloxanes are the same compounds that can be found in implants such as breast implants.
It is used as a surfactant and is present in most lotions and creams. It is also present in products such as bubble bath, as it gives it the foaming and lathering properties.
Sodium laureth sulfate has been linked to cancer and nervous system damage. Although the main concerns are irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs. Organ system toxicity is also a possibility when it comes to this compound.
Most often used as an absorbent and an anti-caking agent, talc can be one of the three (3) colors; white, gray or green.
It is also been known to be used to improve the feel of the product in which it is present. This product is common in face and body cosmetics, including powders.41
Bismuth Oxychloride – Synthetically prepared; bismuth oxychloride is a white or nearly white crystalline powder.
It contains traces of heavy metal and is known for giving the silky feel effect in most makeup. It is used in nail products, fragrances (So if it is present in the cosmetic, there is a chance you will never know.) and in all makeup.
Bismuth oxychloride can be ingested and inhaled but is most known for being absorbed through the skin.
While supposedly ‘safe’ in small amounts, it can still cause nausea, headaches and diarrhea. A main downfall of this compound is it contributes to infertility and reduces the sperm count in men.42
Did you know that one third of all women over the age of 18 years use some sort of hair dye?
Did you know that every time you dye your hair you are putting yourself at risk?
Did you know that cancer is one of those risk?43
The downside of hair dye
These chemicals are linked to all types of cancer. Including leukemia and bladder cancer.
Chemicals such as p-phenylenediamines, p-aminohenols, m-hydroxyphenols, and m-aminphenols.
All of which are not only being rubbed on your scalp but also being breathed in.44
While this may be the safer choice we know that it is not one that most will make.
With that being said, there are all natural hair dyes available. Ones that do not contain all the dangerous chemicals that conventional hair dyes have.
Ones that are made with herbs and plant extracts and contain no toxins. You can find most of these alternative hair dyes online.
When it comes to creams, my grandmother is the worst. She uses them every morning when she wakes up and every night before she goes to bed.
I honestly do not believe there was ever a day she did not use a facial cream. Not in my lifetime at least.
But what my grandmother is not aware of is the dangers that come along with her using her famous ‘anti-wrinkle’ cream.
The truth about creams
For example, most of these anti-aging creams are linked to cancer. Increasing cancer in all women and men that use them.
Most creams work by striping away the top layer of your skin leaving you vulnerable to skin damage cause by the sun.45
By now you should know that the best alternative to any cosmetic is an all natural one.
This is true for creams as well.
While the creams may seem to have great properties (anti-aging for example) they are not always what they seem.
The best way to make sure you are getting the best product all around is to ensure that you are using all natural ingredients, such as cocoa butter, coconut oil, etc.
You can find a number of all natural facial creams online for a great price.
Easier On Your Skin
As most natural cosmetics contains ingredients that are non-toxic and are rich in vitamins.(Vitamins such as; A, B, C and E.) Conventional cosmetics tends to break people out in pimples and sometimes cause eczema.