With many foods and household cleaning products trending towards all-natural, chemical-free ingredients, it’s no wonder that cosmetic products are following suit. After all, your skin is the largest organ of your body, so if you wouldn’t eat these chemicals, you don’t want to rub them all over your skin, either. Just as you might opt for a chemical-free antibacterial household cleaner to keep your family safe from exposure to harsh ingredients, you can choose natural, chemical-free skincare products
as well. What to Avoid in Skincare Products While there is a long list of “no no” ingredients, let’s focus on three key ingredients. 1. SULFATES: Sodium lauryl sulfate is a chemical commonly found in skincare products, especially foaming cleansers, although it’s a known skin irritant. Using products that contain this harsh chemical can cause dry, itchy skin, which can lead to other skin problems including acne. 2. PARABENS: Also linked to hormone disruptions and abnormalities are parabens, which are used as preservatives in a vast amount of cosmetic products. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Working Group,Scientific American) 3. OXYBENZONE & AVOBENZONE: These are chemicals found in most sunscreens available today and have been shown to cause high rates of allergic reactions and disrupt hormone levels. In fact, the long-term effects of these chemical have even been witnessed in the destruction of some coral reefs. Researchers have linked the oxybenzone found in popular sunscreens to severe coral destruction. The chemical has also been shown to contribute to coral bleaching, which causes the organisms to lose their color. (Time Magazine)
Instead of Sulfates, Try Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine
Don’t let the length of this ingredient’s name fool you. Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine is actually a great alternative to harsher ingredients like the sulfates mentioned above. It can give skincare products that foamy or creamy consistency without causing skin irritation. If you take a look at the list of ingredients for our P.R.E.P. purifying daily cleanser, you’ll see that we’ve used cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine instead of its harsher sulfate counterparts. (Environmental Working Group)
Instead of Parabens, Try Tocopherol (vitamin E)
Vitamin E, also called tocopherol, is a very beneficial antioxidant that is naturally present in your skin. It acts as a great natural moisturizer and blocks harmful substances like smoke and pollution from penetrating your skin. Vitamin E can even help to absorb UV rays, making it a great addition to any skin care product. And because it can also act as a natural preservative to keep formulas stable, there’s no need for harmful parabens to maintain the effectiveness of your skincare products. (Oregon State University) You can find tocopherol (vitamin E) in our P.R.E.P. SPF 30 face+body lotion as well as in our P.R.E.P. SPF 15 lip gloss.
Instead of Oxybenzone & Avobenzone, Try Zinc Oxide
At the beginning of the article, we discussed the chemicals avobenzone and oxybenzone, which are two known active ingredients frequently used in sunscreen. Both can cause skin irritation and act as hormone disrupters! You certainly don’t want to skimp on your sunscreen and you don’t want to put harmful chemicals on your body, right? Luckily, zinc oxide is a natural and healthy chemical-free active ingredient in sunscreen that you can look for instead of avobenzone and oxybenzone. Zinc oxide is a mineral that can help soothe skin, prevent acne, and most importantly, reflect UV rays that would otherwise be absorbed into the skin. Our P.R.E.P. SPF 30 Face + Body Lotion takes full advantage of the amazing sun protecting properties of zinc oxide, so you can be sure your skin is protected every day while staying moisturized. (The Dermatology Review)
The Bottom Line
Harsh chemicals have no business being in your food, so why let them be part of your skincare products? The good news is that chemical-free skincare products are becoming more and more popular as the benefits of their natural ingredients are becoming increasingly well-known and accessible. So our advice? Time to ditch the harsh chemical skincare products and replace them with their much healthier natural counterparts.