I know that it’s been a while since you’ve seen a blog post from us and I certainly have missed sharing all that’s happening here. So what have we been up to? Well, for the past several months we have been creating Chiluna’s amazing new line of Natural Body Oils. And for the last few weeks we have been working steady, perfecting those formulations and putting together the packaging. Meaning, it’s been a little crazy around here and a bit of a challenge to squeeze in some extra time to write new posts. However, we are happy to announce that we are almost there and will be launching the newest additions to Chiluna’s product line very soon – so please stay tuned for that! In the meantime, we can get back to writing and staying connected with all of you, so, on with this week’s blog!
Natural, organic skin care is a hot topic these days. The words, “Natural”, “Organic”, “Plant-Based”, “Botanical, “Paraben Free”, “Preservative Free” and “Chemical Free” are painted on labels everywhere and generally associated with safe products for consumers to use. Even some of the top brand companies are jumping on the bandwagon to offer their own version of natural and chemical-free products. Why all the hype? Because as consumers we are so much more knowledgeable about skin care and becoming more aware of which ingredients we want to put in our bodies and on our skin. We want to look good but don’t want to suffer the consequences of using toxic chemicals that are harmful to our health, just for the sake of beauty. Making the switch to natural products isn’t always easy though and it can be a little daunting to sort through what is toxic, what should be avoided, what is deemed safe and what is truly natural.
Here’s some helpful information you may want to have when choosing natural and organic skincare:
Always Read The Label. We already know that avoidance of harmful ingredients is key when choosing natural products for our skin but which ones are the harmful ones? As the understanding of the hazards of various substances is constantly developing – what was once considered “safe” has now been labeled as toxic – it’s not easy to keep up. The following list includes current names of some of the most common ingredients found in the products you will want to avoid:
Parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl)
PEGs (polyethylene glycols)
SLS/SLES (sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate)
BHA/BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene)
Chemical Preservatives (DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate)
Know that “Natural” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “All-Natural”. To some manufacturers “natural” means, “naturally inspired” and “naturally inspired” means, “our synthetic fragrance, that is loaded with nasty chemicals and smells sorta like a scent you might find in nature”. I recently came across a global brand skin care product, marketed as “natural”, only to see the word “Fragrance” (as well as other harsh contents) on the list of ingredients! According to SKIN DEEP, the word ‘fragrance’ on a product label “represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants, such as diethyl phthalate”. In today’s terms, they refer to this as “greenwashing” – don’t fall for it.
Quality ingredients. Plant oils and butters, herbal oils, aloe and pure essential oils are all great examples of quality ingredients that you want to see on the label of your personal care products. They are highly nutritive and nourishing for your skin, and more concentrated so you will be using much less of that product than the one that contains fillers. (Fillers, such as water, do hydrate the skin somewhat but add no real value to skin care products and are generally used only because they are cheap)
Full Disclosure. I have seen the words “Proprietary Blend” more often than I care to count and must admit it drives me crazy. Regardless of their reasons it feels secretive and vague and a lot like they’re hiding something. You have the right to know exactly what you are putting on your skin. Avoid products from companies that do not offer full disclosure and transparency with their ingredients.
Packaging. So you’ve made the choice to switch to non-toxic skin care products and started your search for the one that fits your skin care needs best, only to discover that they come packaged in plastic bottles and jars. Huh? But isn’t that defeating the whole purpose? We are already keenly aware that BPA’s from plastics can leach into the products we use but even the so-called, “safe” plastics can erode with the use of nonpolar ingredients (such as essential oils), ultimately corrupting the product. Seek out the natural products that are not packaged in plastic.
Skin Deep (ewg) and Think Dirty. These are so fantastic! Two free apps designed to simplify the way in which we identify toxic ingredients in skin care products and empower consumers to make their own informed choices . Currently, Skin Deep rates around 80,000 personal care products and Think Dirty is very close behind. Just scan the barcode or type in the name of the product you’re curious about and the apps will flag any potentially toxic ingredients on the label. It’s perfect, really.