The 101 Guide to Natural Beauty – Part 1

Did​ ​you​ ​know​ ​that your​ ​skin​ ​is​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​organ​ ​of​ ​the​ ​body​ ​and​ a​​bsorbs​ ​up​ ​to​ ​a​ ​whopping​ ​60%​ ​of what’s​ ​put​ ​on​ ​it​?​ ​Hence why it’s super important to use only pure, natural and eco products on the inside and the out. It’s​ ​because​ ​of​ ​this​ ​that​ ​we’ve joined forces with Becky Crisp, founder of Wild Spirit Naturally, to bring you a 4 part series; The 101 Guide to Natural Beauty.

101 guide to natural beauty - Well + Happy
Becky Crisp, Wild Spirit Naturally

From​ ​the​ ​moment​ ​you​ ​rise​ ​in​ ​the​ ​morning,​ ​your​ ​beauty​ ​endures​ ​a​ ​tiring​ ​stream​ ​of​ ​assaults​ ​from​ ​the outside.​ ​The​ ​average​ ​person​ ​has​ ​applied​ ​a​ ​minimum​ ​of​ ​10​ ​products​ ​to​ ​themselves​ ​before​ ​the​ ​day’s​ ​over and​ ​around​ ​130​ ​chemicals​ ​are​ ​absorbed​ ​through​ ​the​ ​bloodstream.

Your​ ​skin​ ​is​ ​so​ ​special,​ ​so​ ​here’s​ ​all​ ​the​ ​important​ ​bits​ ​to​ ​know:

  • That​ ​amazing​ ​skin​ ​you’re​ ​wrapped​ ​in,​ ​is​ ​your​ ​largest​ ​organ.
  • Your​ ​skin​ ​absorbs​ ​up​ ​to​ ​60%​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ingredients​ ​you​ ​place​ ​on​ ​it.
  • Within​ ​as​ ​little​ ​26​ ​seconds​, ​these​ ​ingredients​ ​are​ ​swimming​ ​around​ ​your​ ​bloodstream. Everything​ ​your​ ​body​ ​absorbs​ ​and​ ​digests,​ ​impacts​ ​the​ ​way​ ​your​ ​body​ ​functions,​ ​looks​ ​and​ ​feels. Many​ ​of​ ​the​ ​toxic​ ​ingredients​ ​found​ ​in​ ​mainstream​ ​beauty​ ​products​ ​can​ ​be​ ​directly​ ​linked​ ​to:
    – Skin​ ​conditions​ ​and​ ​irritations;
    – Hormonal​ ​disfunction;
    – Premature​ ​ageing;
    – Impaired​ ​vital​ ​organ​ ​function;​ ​and
    – Tumors​ ​and​ ​cancers.

So,​ ​when​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​making​ ​the​ ​switch​ ​to​ ​glow​-inducing​ ​beauty​ ​products,​ ​what’s​ ​important​ ​to avoid​ ​and​ ​why?

Guide to natural beauty 101 - Well + Happy
Photography: Calum MacBeth

Unfortunately​ ​harmful​ ​toxins​ ​are​ ​found​ ​everywhere​ ​in​ ​mainstream​ ​cosmetics​ ​and​ ​beauty products.​ ​The mains​ ​’nasties’​ ​we​ ​need​ ​to​ ​look​ ​out​ ​for​ ​are​ ​synthetic​ ​preservatives​ ​and​ ​synthetic​ ​fragrance.​ ​Many of​ ​these​ ​chemicals​ ​are​ ​skin​ ​irritants,​ ​skin​ ​penetrators,​ ​endocrine​ ​disruptors​ ​and​ ​can be carcinogenic​ – having the potential to cause cancer.​ ​

It​ ​would​ ​take​ ​a​ ​long​ ​time​ ​to​ ​go​ ​through​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​harmful​ ​chemicals​ ​currently​ ​found​ ​in mainstream​ ​beauty​ ​products,​ ​but​ ​let’s​ ​keep​ ​to​ ​my​ ​’fearful​ ​14′.​ ​

These​ ​are​ ​the​ ​bad​ ​boys​ ​you​ ​should avoid​ ​at all​ ​costs when checking those labels:

1.​ ​​ ​PARABENS​ ​(ISOBUTYLPARABEN,​ ​BUTYLPARABEN,​ ​METHYLPARABEN,​ ​PROPYLPARABEN)

Found​ ​in:​ ​Almost​ ​every​ ​type​ ​of​ ​personal​ ​care​ ​product​ ​including​; ​​makeup,​ ​body​ ​washes,​ ​deodorants, shampoos​ ​and​ ​facial​ ​cleansers.

Used​ ​for:​ ​Commonly​ ​used​ ​to​ ​prevent​ ​the​ ​growth​ ​​of​ ​bacteria,​ ​mould​ ​and​ ​yeast​ ​in​ ​cosmetic​ ​products.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​They​ ​can​ ​mimic​ ​the​ ​hormone​ ​oestrogen,​ ​disrupting​ ​the​ ​endocrine​ ​system,​ ​which​ ​is known​ ​to​ ​play​ ​a​ ​role​ ​in​ ​the​ ​development​ ​of​ ​breast​ ​cancers.​ ​These​ ​chemicals​ ​are​ ​absorbed​ ​through​ ​the skin​ ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​identified​ ​in​ ​biopsy​ ​samples​ ​from​ ​breast​ ​tumors.​ ​Studies​ ​indicate​ ​that​ ​methylparaben applied​ ​on​ ​the​ ​skin​ ​reacts​ ​with​ ​UVB​ ​leading​ ​to​ ​increased​ ​skin​ ​ageing​ ​and​ ​DNA​ ​damage.​ ​These​ ​chemicals are​ ​also​ ​endocrine​ ​disruptors​ ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​fertility​ ​problems.​ ​Parabens​ ​can​ ​cause​ ​skin irritation,​ ​contact​ ​dermatitis​ ​and​ ​Rosacea​ ​in​ ​individuals​ ​with​ ​paraben​ ​allergies.

2.​ ​SYNTHETIC​ ​FRAGRANCE/PARFUM

Found​ ​in:​ ​Almost​ ​any​ ​type​ ​of​ ​personal​ ​care​ ​product​ ​including​​ ​perfume,​ ​cologne,​ ​conditioner,​ ​shampoo, body​ ​wash​ ​and​ ​moisturisers.

Used​ ​for:​ ​Makes​ ​your products ​smell​ ​nice.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​​This​ ​particular​ ​category​ ​is​ ​pretty​ ​scary,​ ​because​ ​what​ ​does​ ​“fragrance”​ ​mean​ ​anyway? The​ ​synthetic​ ​fragrances​ ​used​ ​in​ ​cosmetics​ ​can​ ​have​ ​as​ ​many​ ​as​ ​200​ ​ingredients​ ​and​ ​there​ ​is​ ​no​ ​way​ ​to know​ ​what​ ​the​ ​chemicals​ ​are.​ ​The​ ​label​​ ​will​ ​simply​ ​read​ ​“fragrance.”​ ​Some​ ​problems​ ​caused​ ​by these​ ​chemicals​ ​include​ ​hormone​ ​disruption,​ ​headaches and​ ​dizziness,​ ​rashes,​ ​hyperpigmentation, violent​ ​coughing,​ ​skin​ ​irritation… the​ ​list​ ​goes​ ​on.​ ​Don’t​ ​buy​ ​a​ ​cosmetic​ ​that​ ​has​ ​the​ ​word “fragrance”​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ingredients​ ​label.​ ​Look​ ​for​ ​labels​ instead ​that​ ​say,​ ​“phthalate–free”.

3.​ ​PHTHALATES​ ​(DBP,​ ​DEHP,​ ​DEP)

Found​ ​in:​ ​Synthetic​ ​fragrance,​ ​nail​ ​polish, and ​hairsprays.

Used​ ​for:​ ​​A​ ​group​ ​of​ ​chemicals​ ​used​ ​in​ ​hundreds​ ​of​ ​products​ ​to​ ​increase​ ​the​ ​flexibility​ ​and​ ​softness​ ​of plastics,​ ​or​ ​to​ ​make​ ​fragrance​ ​stick​ ​to​ ​the skin.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​​They​ ​are​ ​known​ ​to​ ​be​ ​endocrine​ ​disruptors​ ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​increased​ ​risk​ ​of breast​ ​cancer​,​ ​early​ ​breast​ ​development​ ​in​ ​girls ​and​ ​reproductive​ ​birth​ ​defects​ ​in​ ​males​ ​and​ ​females. They​ ​have​ ​also​ ​been​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​damaged​ ​kidneys,​ ​lungs​ ​and​ ​the​ ​liver.​ ​Unfortunately,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​not​ ​an ingredient commonly disclosed​ ​on every​ ​product, since ​it’s​ ​added​ ​to​ and grouped under the term ‘​fragrances’.

4.​ ​SODIUM​ ​LAURYL/LAURETH​ ​SULFATE​ ​(SLS​ ​AND​ ​SLES)

Found​ ​in:​ ​Shampoo,​ ​body​ ​wash,​ ​face​ ​wash,​ ​hand​ ​soap,​ ​toothpaste,​ ​bubble​ ​bath,​ ​mascara​ ​and​ ​acne treatment.

Used​ ​for:​ ​​ ​A​ ​foaming​ ​agent​ ​used​ ​to​ ​break​ ​down​ ​water​ ​in​ ​grease.​ ​It’s​ ​so​ ​powerful​ ​that​ ​it’s​ ​also​ ​used​ ​in concrete​ ​floor​ ​cleaners,​ ​engine​ ​degreasers,​ ​and​ ​car​ ​wash​ ​detergents.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​​This​ ​surfactant​ ​can​ ​be​ ​found​ ​in​ ​more​ ​than​ ​90​ ​percent​ ​of​ ​personal​ ​care​ ​and​ ​cleaning products​ ​(think​ anything that foams).​ ​​A​ ​well-known​ ​skin​ ​and​ ​lung​ ​irritant,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​rapidly​ ​absorbed​ ​and​ ​retained in​ ​the​ ​eyes,​ ​brain,​ ​heart​ ​and​ ​liver,​ ​which​ ​may​ ​result​ ​in​ ​harmful​ ​long-term​ ​effects.​ ​It​ ​can​ ​slow​ ​down healing, cause​ ​cataracts​ ​in​ ​adults,​ ​and​ ​prevent​ ​children’s​ ​eyes​ ​from​ ​developing​ ​properly,​ ​corrode​ ​hair​ ​follicles​ ​and impair​ the ​ability​ ​to​ ​grow​ ​hair.​ ​These​ ​surfactants​ ​that​ ​can​ ​cause​ ​skin​ ​irritation​ ​or​ ​trigger​ ​allergies.

5.​ ​PETROLEUM/PARAFFIN/MINERAL​ ​OIL

Found​ ​in:​ Baby​ ​oil,​ ​lip​ ​balm,​ ​lip​ ​stick,​ ​lip​ ​gloss,​ ​mascara,​ ​moisturisers,​ ​concealer,​ ​foundation,​ ​face​ ​powder, hair​ ​gel,​ ​body​ ​wash,​ ​eye​ ​shadow,​ ​paraffin​ ​treatments,​ ​petroleum​ ​jelly,​ ​and​ ​hair​ ​conditioners.

Used​ ​for:​ ​It​ ​seals​ ​off​ ​the​ ​skin​ ​creating​ ​a​ ​barrier,​ ​which​ ​feels​ ​slick and glossy.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​A​ ​petrochemical​ ​pollutant​ ​derived​ ​from​ ​crude​ ​oil,​ ​found​ ​in​ ​an​ ​overwhelming​ ​number​ ​of products.​ ​It​ ​doesn’t​ ​allow​ ​the​ ​skin​ ​to​ ​breath,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​essential​ ​for​ ​the​ ​proper​ ​functioning​ ​of​ ​this​ ​organ. It causes​ the ​slowing​ ​down​ ​of the skin’s​ ​function​ ​and​ ​normal​ ​cell​ ​development,​ ​resulting​ ​in​ ​premature ageing​ ​and​ ​many​ ​other​ ​health​ ​and​ ​skin​ ​disorders​ ​such​ ​as​ ​contact​ ​dermatitis.

6.​ ​FORMALDEHYDE

Found​ ​in:​ ​Nail​ ​polish,​ ​shampoo,​ ​conditioner,​ ​body​ ​wash,​ ​eyelash​ ​glue,​ ​eyeshadow,​ ​cleansers,​ ​and​ ​hair products.

Used​ ​for:​ ​Used​ ​​in​ ​many​ ​cosmetic​ ​products​ ​to​ ​help​ ​prevent​ ​bacteria​ ​growth.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​You​ ​won’t​ ​find​ ​this​ ​listed​ ​as​ ​“formaldehyde”,​ ​except​ ​perhaps​ ​in​ ​a​ ​few​ ​remaining​ ​brands of​ ​nail​ ​polish.​ ​It​ ​hides​ ​behind​ ​ingredient​ ​names​ ​such​ ​as:​ ​Quaternium-15,​ ​DMDM​ ​hydantoin,​ ​Imidazolidinyl urea,​ ​Diazolidinyl​ ​urea,​ ​Sodium​ ​hydroxymethylglycinate,​ ​2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3​ ​diol​ ​(Bronopol), Glyoxal​ ​and​ ​Oxaldehyde.​ ​Recognised​ ​as​ ​a​ ​carcinogen,​ ​it’s​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​lung​ ​cancers,​ ​Hodgkin​ ​lymphoma​, leukaemia,​ ​and​ ​myeloid​ ​leukaemia.​ ​It​ ​permeates​ ​through​ ​inhalation​ ​and​ ​can​​ ​cause​ multiple irritations. It’s​ ​banned​ ​for​ ​use​ ​in​ ​cosmetics​ ​in​ ​Sweden​ ​and​ ​Japan.

7.​ ​HYDROQUINONE

Found​ ​in:​ ​Skin​ ​lightening​ ​creams.

Used​ ​for:​ ​​ ​A​ ​skin​ ​lightening​ ​chemical.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​It​ ​inhibits​ ​the​ ​production​ ​of​ ​melanin​ ​and​ ​is​ ​a​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​cancer,​ ​organ​ ​toxicity​ ​and​ ​skin irritation.

8.​ ​MERCURY​ ​(THIMEROSAL​ ​AND​ ​MERTHIOLATE)

Found​ ​in:​ ​Ear​ ​and​ ​eye​ ​drops;​ ​may​ ​also be found ​in​ ​mascara.

Used​ ​for:​ ​The metallic​ ​element​ ​is used​ ​as​ ​a​ ​preservative​ ​and​ ​antiseptic.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​​It is known​ ​to​ ​damage​ ​brain​ ​function​ ​and​ ​cause​ ​eye​ ​irritation.

9.​ ​PROPYLENE​ ​GLYCOL

Found​ ​in:​ ​Cosmetics,​ ​moisturisers,​ ​sunscreens,​ ​conditioners,​ ​baby​ ​wipes,​ ​lotion,​ ​toothpaste,​ ​shampoo and​ ​deodorant.

Used​ ​for:​ ​Used​ ​​as​ ​a​ ​skin-conditioning​ ​agent​ ​and​​ ​in​ ​antifreeze​ ​solutions,​ ​in​ ​brake​ ​and​ ​hydraulic​ ​fluids,​ ​as​ ​a de-icer,​ ​and​ ​as​ ​a​ ​solvent.

Naughty because: ​Propylene​ ​Glycol​ ​will​ ​cause​ ​serious​ ​health​ ​conditions,​ ​including​ ​liver​ ​and​ ​heart​ ​damage, and​ ​damage​ ​to​ ​the​ ​central​ ​nervous​ ​system​ ​if​ ​sufficient​ ​amounts are​ ​absorbed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​body.​ ​​ ​There​ ​is​ ​no​ ​difference between​ ​the​ ​propylene​ ​glycol​ ​used​ ​in​ ​the industry​ ​and​ ​that​ ​used​ ​in​ ​personal​ ​care​ ​products.​ ​It​ ​has​ ​been​ ​known to​ ​cause​ ​allergic​ ​reactions,​ ​hives​ ​and​ ​eczema.

10.​ ​TRICLOSAN

Found​ ​in:​ ​Soap,​ ​hand​ ​sanitisers,​ ​deodorants,​ ​toothpaste,​ ​and​ ​cosmetics.

Used​ ​for:​ ​Antibacterial​ ​products.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​Studies​ ​have​ ​shown​ ​that​ ​triclosan​ ​is​ ​an​ ​endocrine​ ​disruptor; ​​especially​ ​thyroid​ ​and reproductive​ ​hormones,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​skin​ ​irritant​ ​​that enables​ ​bacteria​ ​to​ ​become​ ​antibiotic-resistant​.​​ ​​There​ ​also still isn’t​ ​enough​ ​supporting​ ​evidence​ ​that​ ​washing​ ​with​ ​antibacterial​ ​soaps​ ​containing​ ​triclosan​, ​provides​ ​any benefit​ ​over​ ​washing​ ​with​ ​regular​ ​soap​ ​and​ ​water.​ Antimicrobial​ ​pesticides -​ ​toxic​ ​to​ ​the​ ​aquatic environment, ​may​ ​also​ ​impact​ ​human​ ​reproductive​ ​systems.

11.​ ​COAL​ ​TAR​ ​DYES​ ​(AMINOPHENOL,​ ​DIAMINOBENZENE,​ ​PHENYLENEDIAMINE)

Found​ ​in:​ ​Hair​ ​dye,​ ​shampoo,​ ​colorant​ ​in​ ​cosmetics.

Used​ ​for:​ ​To​ ​produce​ ​synthetic​ ​colours​ ​and​ ​acts​ ​as​ ​an​ ​anti-dandruff​ ​agent.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​​Coal​ ​tar​ ​ingredients​ ​are​ ​known​ ​carcinogens​ ​and​ ​may​ ​be​ ​contaminated​ ​with​ ​heavy metals, which are​ ​toxic​ ​to​ ​the​ ​brain.​ ​They can also commonly​ ​cause​ ​skin​ ​sensitivity​ ​and/or​ ​irritation.

12.​ ​BHA​ ​(Butylated​ ​Hydroxyanisole)​ ​and​ ​BHT​ ​(Butylated​ ​Hydroxytoluene)

Found​ ​in:​ ​Commonly​ ​found​ ​in​ ​lipsticks,​ ​moisturisers,​ ​nappy​ ​creams​ ​and​ ​other​ ​cosmetics.

Used for: ​Synthetic​ ​antioxidants,​ ​used​ ​as​ ​a​ ​preservative​ ​to​ ​extend​ ​shelf​ ​life

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​They​ ​are​ ​likely​ ​carcinogens.​ ​May​ ​also​ ​disrupt​ ​hormones,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​cause​ ​liver,​ ​thyroid and​ ​kidney​ ​problems.

13.​ ​TOLUENE

Found​ ​in:​ ​Nail​ ​polish,​ ​nail​ ​treatments​ ​and​ ​hair​ ​color/bleaching​ ​products.

Used for: ​T​oluene​​ ​is​ ​a​ ​potent​ ​solvent,​ ​able​ ​to​ ​dissolve​ ​paint​ ​and​ ​paint​ ​thinner.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​A​ ​petrochemical​ ​derived​ ​from​ ​petroleum​ ​or​ ​coal​ ​tar​ ​sources.​ ​You​ ​may​ ​see​ ​it​ ​on​ ​labels listed​ ​as​ ​benzene,​ ​toluol,​ ​phenylmethane,​ ​methylbenzene.​ ​It​ ​can​ ​affect​ ​your​ ​respiratory​ ​system,​ ​cause nausea​ ​and​ ​irritate​ ​your​ ​skin.​ ​Toluene​ ​has​ ​also​ ​been​ ​linked​ ​to​ ​immune​ ​system​ ​toxicity.

14.​ ​SUNSCREEN​ ​CHEMICALS

Found​ ​in:​ ​Sunscreen​ ​products.

Used​ ​for:​ ​These​ ​chemicals​ ​function​ ​as​ ​a​ ​sunscreen​ ​agent,​ ​to​ ​absorb​ ​ultraviolet​ ​light.

Naughty​ ​because:​ ​These​ ​chemicals​ ​are​ ​endocrine​ ​disruptors​ ​and​ ​are​ ​believed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​easily​ ​absorbed​.​ ​They​ ​may​ ​also​ ​cause​​ ​​cellular​ ​damage​ ​and​ ​cancer​ ​in​ ​the​ ​body​.​ ​Common​ ​names​ ​are benzophenone,​ ​PABA,​ ​avobenzone,​ ​homosalate​ ​and​ ​ethoxycinnmate.

Natural Beauty guide 101 - Well + Happy
Becky Crisp, Wild Spirit Naturally

So​ ​beauties,​ ​now​ ​you’re​ ​armed​ ​with​ ​the​ ‘​fearful​ ​14​’ ​and​ ​wondering​ ​what​ ​the​ ​hell​ ​you​ ​can use​ ​on​ ​your​ ​largest​ ​organ?​

​Well​ ​in my next feature, I’m going to be sharing with you ​what​ ​ingredients​ ​to​ ​include​ ​in​ ​your beauty​ ​regime​ ​and​ ​why​  ​making​ ​the​ ​switch​ ​to​ ​organic​ ​beauty,​ ​will​ ​rock​ ​your socks!

 

Chelsea Parsons

Chelsea Parsons is the passionate founder of Well + Happy. A trained Kinesiologist, Yoga Teacher, NLP Practitioner and Performance Coach; Chelsea helps to inspire and educate people to live more abundant lives through high vibes, happy food and a more conscious way of living.

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