Our skin is our largest organ. All the products that we put on our skin can easily make its way into the bloodstream and the skin on our face and head actually has higher absorption abilities than any other part of your skin.
It is so incredibly important to be conscientious about the cosmetics we use since the regulations for cosmetic ingredients in Canada and the United States are so lax. So many harmful chemicals are in the majority of products that line drugstore shelves so its important to read the ingredients and know what you are putting on your face. Parabens, for example, (a chemical commonly used as a preservative in many cosmetics and creams) has been linked in multiple studies to cancer, particularly breast cancer since it mimics estrogen.
Here is a list of the top 16 harmful chemicals (that are sadly quite common) to look out for in your cosmetics and beauty products.
- BHA and BHT
- Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as "CI" followed by a five digit number
- DEA, MEA and TEA
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
- PEG compounds
- Sodium laureth sulfate
Plus these formaldehyde releasing ingredients:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Imidazolidinyl urea
I could probably write an entire blog post just on these ingredients, what types of products they're commonly found in, and how to avoid them but that will be for another time. For now I'm just going to focus on some of my favourite holistic beauty products that are totally free of harmful chemicals.
So here's the list!
1. Organic Cold-pressed Jojoba Oil
Organic cold-pressed Jojoba Oil is a great natural makeup remover. It rocks at removing even the most stubborn waterproof mascara. Just take a little in your hands and massage it into dry skin. Then add water and wash off with a cleanser (preferably a non-foaming one).
Jojoba oil is great because it is naturally very similar to the skins natural sebum which makes it a really gentle option to use on even very sensitive skin.
It is great for oily skin too (wait, what?) because it removes makeup and impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils the way a foaming cleanser would. You may be thinking that adding even more oil would be counter productive in the case of already oily skin but if you're using products that constantly strip the skin then your skin wants to produce even more oil and it becomes a vicious cycle. But make sure that it is organic and cold pressed. If the oil has been heated up in any way it becomes toxic and will not be a great thing to put on your skin especially if you are acne prone.
Basically The only natural, aluminum-free deodorant I've tried that works really well. Others I've tried either seem to have a weird sticky texture or just not really work great. This one has a nice smell and texture but it is a cream rather than a stick or spray so you have to use your fingers to put it on! Personally, I think it's worth it.
This is an incredible makeup line created by Vancouver film and TV makeup artist, JoAnn Fowler. JoAnn kindly gifted me my first bottle of her foundation when we were working together on set in September 2014 and I've been addicted ever since. (And bonus of supporting local business for this Vancouverite!)
I love using this line (particularly the foundation) and knowing that my skin is absorbing quality ingredients like organic aloe juice, organic jojoba oil, frankincense and green tea extract. Take one look at the list of ingredients and I know you'll be impressed. Also they do not test on animals.
4. Organic Pure Lavender Essential Oil
Pure Lavender oil promotes rapid healing and can be used to reduce scaring. It is a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial and is used to reduce pain and itching. I mostly use my lavender oil to help lighten pigmentation that breakouts can leave behind, but it can also be used to treat burns and wounds while minimizing the scaring.