Natural Body & Home Care

When natural isn’t really natural

  • It may be surprising to know that some products which claim to be natural are actually not always as pure as they seem.  
  • Some compounds used as ingredients can be derived from a natural substance (e.g. coconut) but once synthesised in the laboratory are completely artificial.
  • An example is cocomidopropyl betaine which is often cited as a natural substance made from coconuts but is actually synthetic.
  • Another example is the hormone progesterone which is synthesised from the herb wild yam but the finished product does not contain any wild yam and the progesterone is a pharmaceutical drug which is sold on prescription.
  • So some products may say they are made from natural ingredients but the substances listed are actually synthetic chemicals derived from a natural product.

Switching to natural skincare and toiletry products will decrease your toxic load–and make your skin look better! Here are some of the most common ingredients to avoid in conventional skincare, plus recommendations for natural skincare you can make or buy.

The components of conventional skincare and toiletry products: 
There are literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of toxic ingredients that make their way into our skincare products and toiletries! These include:

Sodium laureth/lauryl sulfates: These are foaming agents found in many shampoos, body washes and toothpastes. These can cause eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, and possibly cancer (source).

Formaldehyde & paraben preservatives: These are synthetic preservatives that are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can disrupt your hormones and can potentially cause birth defects. Look for: butylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben on ingredient labels (source).

Carrageenan: This one is very important to note simply because it is found in many “organic” and “natural” labels! But I am convinced that carrageenan is really not good for us. In fact, a Cornucopia Institute report found that:

“Animal studies have repeatedly shown that food-grade carrageenan causes gastrointestinal inflammation and higher rates of intestinal lesions, ulcerations, and even malignant tumors.” (source).

  • Synthetic dyes: Try to avoid anything “synthetic” 
  • Artificial fragrances: Stay away from the word “artificial!”
  • Propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol (anything with “PEG” in front of a number: These can cause allergic reactions (source).
  • If you’re wondering about the ingredients on your current products, do a search on the EWG Skindeep Database to see how they score for toxicity.

Adapted from Article: Sources: