Jan 152014

Gradparents called it foodIn times we live in, more and more people are switching to what is known as organic food. Our grandparents and great-grandparents called it just – food. With all the synthetics, chemicals, artificial products in our lives, mimicking nature and lowering costs, we’ve come so far we need a term to specify food as organic: made with and by nature and with no unhealthy additives. As it once used to be. We just had to go through decades of fast, cheap, shinny looking food to realize we’ve been poisoning ourselves and our environment, which in turn, coming full circle, is poisoning us.

The same story can be applied to cosmetics. It took us some time before we realized that cosmetic products, from skin care, body care, hair care, make up, not to mention the products used for babies, are full of toxic synthetic ingredients, which are unhealthy. At first, it may seem that those small amounts of ingredients in conventional, non-organic cosmetic products, could not be detrimental to our health; but when looked deeper, we realize the cumulative ingredients amount to kilograms of these harmful ingredients.

Let’s take a closer look why you should stop using conventional cosmetic products.

Absorption of cosmetic products by the skin

Cosmetic products are absorbed into our skin, and travel under our skin into our body, into our bloodstream. A small amount of such ingredients here and there, and over time, they build a substantial amount in our bodies. And with this buildup in our bodies comes a variety of health problems. Being exposed to nail polish, nail polish remover, perfumes, any product where we inhale toxic ingredients, can have negative consequences on our health, some short term while most – long term.

Toxic ingredients can cause cancer, infertility

Parabens (preservatives used in conventional cosmetic) and phthalates are one of the most toxic and most used synthetic ingredients found in conventional cosmetics: from skin care and body care products, soaps, shampoos to deodorants etc. Toxic ingredients can cause cancer and are found to be disruptive to endocrine system (linked to obesity, especially childhood obesity). Synthetic ingredients in conventional cosmetic products can cause infertility in both men and women, and can cause birth defects in babies. Some toxic ingredients mimic the effects of estrogen, which results in girls’ premature puberty (and you’ve probably heard about animals being injected with harmful hormones for faster growth and faster profit, which have similar effect).

Conventional cosmetics and negative impact on environment

The production of these, otherwise cheap, ingredients found in our daily used cosmetic products also have a very negative effect on our environment, and subsequently – on us, again. The pollution of air and water due to manufacturing of the products made from synthetic ingredients, is very worrisome. The circle comes full once we buy these non-organic products (think of petro-chemicals, such as petrolatum), use them on ourselves, and then send them down the drain, which, again, pollutes water, soil, air. And us, all over again.

Natural, organic cosmetic products are products as they once were. Made by nature, pure and simple. The ingredients in natural organic cosmetics are all natural ingredients, from carrier oils/vegetable oils, essential oils, body butters, extracts, flower waters/hydrolates. They are derived from plants, which grow in their natural habitat, as it was intended: with no pesticides and other harmful chemicals in order to make the plants grow faster and bigger in order to maximize profits.

The reason why organic cosmetic products may be slightly more expensive than your average drug store conventional cosmetics is that the process between, for example, planting an olive tree, picking the fruits, and turning these fruits into an ingredient used in cosmetics products is done on a much smaller scale, manually with great care, is time consuming, therefore the profit is minimized for the producers of organic products, as opposed to those, who produce conventional cosmetics, full of synthetics, manufactured in factories. I often propose a question to those who complain about the prices of organic cosmetics: you’re willing to pay, say, 60€ for a designer brand facial cream, full of synthetic harmful ingredients as long as it is an “important” brand (or heavily marketed brand for 10€), but you’re not willing to pay 30€ for a facial cream, which contains nothing but natural ingredients, which not only do not harm you, but are actually highly beneficial for your skin, your health?

So, what are the benefits of using natural, organic products? Let’s take a look at a few.

Reduced allergies

Many people suffer from all sorts of skin conditions and allergies. Some may know which ingredients cause them to have allergies, but most don’t. With prolonged use of conventional cosmetic products, allergies tend to get even worse, and the allergies are then treated with more conventional cosmetic products. Vicious circle, really. While there are some people, who may not react positively to certain natural ingredients (mainly certain essential oils), most natural organic products and in general do not irritate the skin and can in fact help reduce and heal allergies brought on by conventional cosmetic products used prior. Dermatitis and eczema are such conditions, triggered by toxic ingredients in conventional cosmetic products, and can be nicely treated with olive oil and shea butter, for example.

Reduced clogged pores and acne

Clogged pores and sub-sequential acne prone skin is another skin condition result of (also) synthetic cosmetic products. Ironically, in conventional anti-acne cosmetic products, you will find ingredients which are comedogenic (clog the pores) themselves. It’s not just that conventional cosmetics products, due to synthetic ingredients, clog pores on our faces; aluminum, a toxic ingredient, found in many conventional deodorants, can clog pores and cause heavy irritation and rashes – and I am speaking from my experience on this one.
With more and more people learning about harmful conventional cosmetic products and thus deliberate choice to buy natural products, makers of conventional cosmetics products are trying to cash in by selling products, which contain a few drops of natural ingredients, and calling them natural products. Why should you buy a conventional “anti-acne” cream with a few drops of, say, tea tree essential oil, along with toxic, comedogenic ingredients, when you can just buy tea tree essential oil, or an organic cream, which contains ingredients to help you reduce and/or cure acne?

Do not damage skin

With skin conditions, allergies and acne, comes damaged skin. Using conventional cosmetic products, we try to repair the damage done to our skin by using the very products that caused the damage. Another full circle. Natural organic cosmetics actually help repair the skin damaged due to sun and toxic ingredients used in conventional products. While terribly damaged skin due to acne will not be repaired by using natural products alone, it will reduce the damage and most importantly, will not cause further damage. Natural ingredients will promote skin’s elasticity and ability to repair itself. By using natural peeling products, you will exfoliate your skin of dead cells, thus minimizing clogged pores, as well as attaining healthy youthful look – the natural way.

Minimal use due to heavy concentration

Conventional cosmetic products, which want to be sold as natural, use a few drops of natural ingredient, and are heavily diluted due to reduction of costs. We then use more of a product, thickly and heavily layering it on our skin, which leaves our skin gasping for air. Why use, for example, conventional toner with a few drops of rose hydrolate or a few drops of a rose absolute/essential oil, heavily diluted with water and mixed with toxic ingredients, when you can use pure organic rose hydrolate? Natural organic products are also heavily concentrated, with nothing but ingredients that actually work, so you don’t have to put heavy layers of the product on your skin. Your skin breathes, and – so does your wallet.

Deliver the promise

Natural organic cosmetics actually deliver the promise. There’s a huge mother nature’s arsenal of ingredients for basically every skin condition, treatment. You will find ingredients, which promote collagen and thus skin’s elasticity. You will find ingredients which promote smooth, youthful skin. You will find ingredients which treat an array of skin conditions. You will find ingredients, which protect from sun damage. They will work and they won’t harm you.

Positively affect the mood and health

And lastly, due to natural scents and effects these natural ingredients have, you will not only look better, but also feel better. Many essential oils, used for different skin treatments and conditions, also have a soothing feeling on your mood. Lavender essential oil, for example, that you find in your facial cream you use before sleep, will calm you down and help you fall asleep. A lavender hydrolate, sprayed on your pillow, would be even better.

All in all, there are no reasons why you shouldn’t use natural organic cosmetic products, and there are all the reasons why you should. We all want to look the best we can, and we can all look the best we can when we’re healthy and feeling good. Feeling good about ourselves.♥♥


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