What’s lurking in your skincare products?

Skincare products are great – they help soften and moisturise your skin, get rid of blemishes, exfoliate, look younger, and leave you feeling fresh, happy, and relaxed. But what if there was something hidden in them that could have not only a detrimental effect on your skin, but on your general health and well-being as well?

Endocrine Disruptors and You

You might not have heard of endocrines before, but you’ve probably heard of their more common name – hormones. Many systems in your body are controlled by hormones, and endocrine disruptors do exactly what the name suggests, they disrupt the ability of these systems to function properly. When these systems are disrupted, you become at risk for cancerous tumors, birth defects, endometriosis (where the lining of the uterus painfully grows outside the uterus itself), certain disabilities, hyperthyroidism, obesity, and even potentially premature death. (1)

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the operation of your body, and may leave long-lasting (if not permanent) effects and damage. 

How do these chemicals get into skincare products?

They are placed there by the manufacturer. Each chemical has a purpose, whether it is to change the colour or texture of the product, extend the shelf-life, or make it shiny or foamy. (2) It’s not often that the chemicals are chosen for their health benefits. 

How and why is this allowed?

Quite simply, it’s a matter of dosage. There are legally recognised and recommended levels of chemicals that can be included in products of all types, including but not limited to skincare products, household cleaners, shampoos, detergents, and air fresheners. When the chemicals are kept below a “safe” level, the products can be sold freely.

However, this doesn’t account for use of several of these products in combination, nor does it account for everyone and everybody. Each person has their own tolerance, each person has their own personal allergies.

So how can you protect yourself from this?

Finding allergens, carcinogens, and disruptors

The first thing to do is to read the label on any products you use. If any ingredient is listed which you know you are allergic to, avoid using the product. Of course, it’s not that simple to avoid everything else. 

As endocrine disruptors are chemicals, they may have long and complicated names that you may struggle to remember, or worse still, are listed differently on different packaging. A simple example of this can be something like salt, which will be listed on some packaging as simply “salt” but on other packaging as “sodium”. While salt isn’t a danger in itself, something like sodium laureth sulphate (a foaming agent) might be - are you prepared to learn a list of technical and scientific terms to decipher exactly what it is that you are putting on your skin?

Are you certain that you’re not using a carcinogen? Is one of those ingredients a hidden endocrine disruptor?

Luckily, the modern world has provided you with a solution - access to the internet via your phone. The most obvious course of action is to type the names of the ingredients into Google one by one, and see what knowledge the results bring. However, this can be time-consuming and difficult.

Jo Osborne faced this same dilemma. Confronted with skincare products that had a list of ingredients that sounded like an experiment in a scientist’s workshop, Jo developed an app called SkinNinja to take the hard work out of the task. SkinNinja is dedicated to revealing the product data that companies and experts already know available and accessible to everyone. (3) Many companies are already aware of the dangers their products might pose, but continue to sell them as they remain legal and the bottom line for them is making a profit, no matter what the cost.

Organic and Natural

You might think you are safe from the effects of any of these chemicals as the products you use are labeled “organic” or “natural”. These labels don’t mean you are safe at all, as many of them will contain chemicals or compounds that can still cause issues. Remember, something like uranium is “organic” and “natural”, but the radioactivity in it can kill you. Foxgloves are “organic” and “natural”, but are poisonous to humans - organic and natural doesn’t mean safe to use. (4)

One of the most common allergens - pollen - is natural, but anyone who has suffered badly from hay-fever will tell you what the effects are!

Be Safe

Whatever the context, it’s always a good idea to read the label before using something, especially if it's going to be in close contact with the largest organ in your body - your skin. By all means, take the time to look after yourself, but make sure that the products you are using are doing your more good than harm.

These Apothecary 27 products get the green light.

 

Antipodes grapeseed butter cleanser

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This sleek, minimalist preparation is an enchanting blend of nourishing cacao butter with soothing olive and harakeke oils. Featuring revolutionary Vinanza Grape from New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc grape seeds. Soothing lavender and blue chamomile partner to help calm sensitive skin as well as refresh and cleanse, while hibiscus bloom has gentle exfoliating action. Helps balance oil production and also boost dry and thirsty skin.

Elements of Beauty: Vinanza Grape * Harakeke flax * Hibiscus flower

Pure Plant Fragrance: Lavender

Pacifica Persian rose body butter

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The body butter helps fight signs of aging while adding deep moisture and protection. Made with nature's best moisturizers – shea butter, almond oil, safflower oil, and vitamin E, Pacifica’s paraben-free Body Butter is a skin must-have. Smell incredible with these nourishing and anti-oxidant rich ingredients. 100% Vegan and Cruelty-free


Formulated without: animal testing, animal ingredients, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, petroleum, peanut oil, triclosan, and other ingredients you do not want on your skin. (Plus all the good ingredients your skin craves)
Every true beauty knows it's what's on the inside that matters

 

Weleda skin food

If there’s just one thing you need to take with you to a desert island, it’s this little green magic tube. Skin Food is a universal saviour of dry, rough skin on faces, elbows, hands and feet – wherever you take a lot out of your skin, let Skin Food put it back in. With extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula and chamomile, in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax, Skin Food loves your skin back to its best. Suitable for vegetarians.

 

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We pride ourselves in sourcing products that will nourish and nurture your skin.  Any questions about any of the products we stock, please ask one of our friendly staff.

VISIT APOTHECARY 27 AT 71-73 WEYHILL, HASLEMERE, SURREY, GU27 1H TO PURCHASE YOUR Natural & Organic Skincare products. 

References

  1. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/endocrine/definitions/affect_en.htm
  2. https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/cleansing/products/soap-foam.htm
  3. https://skinninja.com/
  4. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/2017/06/08/safety-more-important-than-following-the-natural-is-best-trend-says-johnsons-baby/#158764ad372a