Do you know what is exactly what you are putting on your skin? This may seem to you not a very important matter but let me tell you that you would be surprised at how much of what goes ON your skin goes IN your body. Many skincare products contain chemicals that can harm your health, our environment and even animals, but not enough of us read or understand the ingredients listed on the products we use.
Thus, what about if I tell you how to purify your skincare routine and discover the benefits of natural skincare products? Would you join me in the natural beauty community?
What makes natural and better a cosmetic?
Natural skincare products are based on ingredients that grow or occur naturally in the environment. As I told you in my blog post The Green Brainwashing Tales; they can be unprocessed or minimally processed. They must not contain synthetic chemicals or traces of it. In addition, they can be organic —which means they are produced using non-polluting methods which won’t harm the environment— and ethically sourced from fair trade suppliers. Meaning that the workers involved in the production at every stage should be treated well and respected, as should the communities where the production takes place. Other aspects we highlight in our brand is sustainability and cruelty-free; we produce natural cosmetics that are not created at the expense of our planet with sustainable —therefore renewable— ingredients like plants, and we do not test our cosmetics and/or ingredients on animals or use animal-derived ingredients which make them suitable for vegans.
You know I am passionate about producing healthy, safe and luxurious beauty products. So, let me show you the ‘behind the scenes' of the cosmetics industry.
Why use natural cosmetics?
In Australia, all soaps and many cosmetics ingredients are classified as industrial chemicals for regulation purposes unless they are absolutely natural. Let’s think about that for a minute.
The cosmetics ingredients you may be putting on your skin, and their production methods could be so toxic that they fall under the same regulation as heavy-duty chemicals used in industry.
Cosmetics, as well as perfumery, could not have become industries unless synthetic (man-made) ingredients would not have been created. Nature has its own rhythms—it takes time and effort to harvest its wonderful fruits and although these are renewable ingredients they are limited in numbers every season. Synthetic ingredients are not renewable—once we have exhausted petrol resources, we won’t be able to produce more— but for now, they can be created at any time and on a big scale. The problem with these ingredients is that they need to be regulated as their use has to be limited to specifics amounts as otherwise, they will cause harm to your health. Thus, it might be time for the skincare industry to clean up its act—especially when we have plenty of natural alternatives available.
At the end of the day, before chemical ingredients were invented, people had been using natural products to take care of their skin for thousands of years and they keep working wonders.
Are natural cosmetics better?
I deeply believe that natural skincare is better, by personal experience and for a variety of reasons. Here are just some of the benefits you will be rewarded with by switching to natural:
Healthy inside and out
The skin is designed to be a barrier that prevents toxins from entering our bodies. Most of the time it does its job extremely well. However, there are some chemicals that still manage to get through. Applying synthetic products directly to the skin obviously increases the risk of them finding their way into the bloodstream, from where they can penetrate and deliver toxins to our vital organs.
You wouldn’t eat something you knew contained harmful chemicals, so why would you take the risk of putting it on your skin? At Sonia Orts, we choose ingredients that would be safe enough to be eaten although they may not be appealing to our taste buds like our olive wax or Australian clays. That’s why we only use completely natural ingredients in our beauty products.
Does not contain toxic ingredients
Many of the ingredients commonly used in skincare products are man-made, and could potentially be harmful to our health, which is why we don’t believe we should risk using them. Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as synthetic preservatives in cosmetic and body care products since the 1920s. Since cosmetics contain ingredients that can biodegrade, these chemicals are added to prevent and reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and mould, increasing the shelf life of the product. The concern with these chemicals is that scientific studies suggest that parabens can disrupt hormones in the body and harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer. They can also cause skin irritation.
Moreover, studies have detected parabens in nearly all urine samples taken from adults in the U.S., regardless of demographic (Ye 2006). Given the endocrine disruption capacity and documented female and male reproductive harm, coupled with the potential for repeated lifelong exposure, it is clear that long-chain parabens (isobutyl-, butyl-, isopropyl- and propylparaben) should not be used in personal care or cosmetic products.
But parabens are just an example, there are other chemicals that results harmful to our body’s functions like phthalates commonly found in mainstream perfumes— a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used to help dissolve other materials. Phthalates are in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, lubricating oils, and personal-care products (perfumes, soaps, shampoos, hair sprays…).
This is why there are limitations in the use of some chemicals as well as regulations due to their potential harm.
Natural beauty and personal care products do not contain parabens, phthalates and other synthetic ingredients making them a less risky choice.
Respectful with the environment
Many body washes, soaps, shampoos and other personal care products contain surfactants, which are cleansing and foaming active agents. These are divided into four different types or categories depending on their polarity or charge: anionic (negative charge) cationic (positive charge) amphoteric (carry both charges and adapt to the environment they are used in) and ionic (no charge). I don’t want to bore you to death with chemical stuff, but I want to bring some light in relation to the bad reputation they’ve been getting in the past decade. As you can see, not all surfactants are the same.
Anionic surfactants containing sulphates —widely used in budget products to create lather, giving a stronger impression of cleaning power— are controversial due to their origin, petroleum. Sulphate is a salt that forms when sulfuric acid reacts with another chemical. It’s just a broader term for other synthetic sulphate-based chemicals you may be concerned about, such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulphate (SLES). These compounds are produced from petroleum or plants like palm or coconut. The main concerns around sulphates are:
· Health: SLS and SLES can irritate eyes, skin, and lungs, especially with long-term use. SLES may also be contaminated with a substance called 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in laboratory animals. This contamination occurs during the manufacturing process.
· Environment: Palm oil is controversial due to the destruction of tropical rainforests for palm tree plantations. Products with sulphates that get washed down the drain may also be toxic to aquatic animals. Many people and manufacturers opt for more environmentally friendly alternatives.
· Testing on animals: Many products with sulphates are tested on animals to measure the level of irritation to people’s skin, lungs, and eyes. For this reason, many oppose using consumer products that contain SLS and SLES.
Just a few reasons why switching to toxin-free natural products can make a huge difference to the environment. All our products are sulphate-free, at Atelier CD we only design cleansing formulas that contain mild surfactants that are gentle to your skin and Earth-conscious. An essential step to preserve our planet and its wildlife for future generations.
Many cosmetics are often tested on animals, causing unnecessary suffering to innocent creatures. Even if the overall products themselves aren’t tested on animals, some of the ingredients they contain might have been.
The Australian government has banned animal testing for cosmetic products, starting in 2019. However, the ban will only apply to new products, not those which are already available on the market. In addition, if any of the ingredients are used for other purposes as well as cosmetic products—and that includes a ton of ingredients that are commonly used in medicinal pomades and other oral medicines— these ingredients will still be allowed to be tested on animals. As a result, many ingredients contained in synthetic-based skincare products will still be tested on animals. The only way to know you’re using ethical, cruelty-free products is to choose beauty products that are made from raw natural ingredients or with a minimal process (N or NDM) as we do at Sonia Orts.
Gentle to your skin
Synthetic cosmetics contain ingredients that are often harsher on the skin producing inflammation, increasing sensitivity (causing redness and soreness) and even skin conditions like eczema or acne.
On the contrary, natural beauty products are gentle and kind to the skin. Think of it as the organic skin food that deeply nourishes, cleanses without stripping out the natural skin barrier and allows the skin to naturally breathe. They improve your complexion appearance, plus they feel more luxurious and genuine to your senses when applied. A delightful combination of flowers, herbs and roots to spoil your skin during your daily beauty rituals that smells divine!
However, natural doesn’t mean non-allergic. As we all know, and due to many factors we have been (and still are) exposed to, a considerable increase in allergies has occurred amongst the population. This is why we always recommend a patch test before applying any product to your skin to check its suitability. They are also natural ingredients that might be irritating to your skin dues to naturally occurring high concentrations of specific compounds like some essential oils such as lime (cold-pressed) or cinnamon among others. At Sonia Orts and Atelier CD you are in good hands, we know the right amounts, and the right combinations to offer a wide variety of natural personal care products with the safest profile that complies with the Australian regulations.
I’m passionate about helping people to discover the benefits of pure beauty and switch to Earth-conscious organic products. If you’d like to find out more, send me an email— I’d love to hear from you!
I’ve got the feeling we’re coming full circle, with more and more people choosing to use only pure, clean and mindful cosmetics for their skin, their mind and their soul. What are your thoughts?
Keep glowing Naturally!