Ingredients matter

2 February ’18 Ingredients matter

Our skin’s ability to absorb is actually a gift.

Every single ingredient matters to me. When nature has provided such a bounty of natural gifts, why would we need to use anything artificial?

Can I ask a favour? Would you mind having a wee rummage through your bathroom cupboard? Pull out all of your favourite cosmetic, skincare and personal products. Great… Now flip them over and attempt to decipher the ingredient list. What the *#*%??

That was me eight years ago. As I sat there staring down at the incomprehensible ingredient lists I had an epiphany. I morphed myself into a label detective, dissecting the contents contained within many of our most well-known, most expensive and trusted skincare brands. Unfortunately, what I discovered was that I had been lied to.

The sad truth is, an overwhelming portion of the self-care products on the market today, contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients that are extremely harmful to our health. Toxins, irritants, hormone disruptors and carcinogenic compounds that overload our liver, that often rather than preventing, actually cause premature aging! It all just seems so loco to me.

The more I learned, the more outraged I became and worse than this, many products that were claiming they were made from ‘organic’, ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ ingredients, were filled with just as many chemicals and harmful ingredients as their regular counterparts.

As a consumer prior to this experience, it had never occurred to me that skincare companies would knowingly produce a potentially dangerous product without a warning label attached. So, where does that leave us? Well, my lovely ladies, all I can say is that knowledge is power.

The products we use on our face and body do penetrate our skin and do work their way into our bloodstream, FACT. Which means that you are literally eating your skincare products. You only need to understand the way a nicotine patch works to understand this fundamental truth.

I can now proudly say that I no longer blindly purchase products based on glossy advertising, fancy packaging or celebrity endorsements. I read the label.

In my humble opinion, cold creams are often the worst offenders. To give you a brief overview, most skincare available today contains a high volume of water. Now in order to prolong the shelf life of water, you must have a preservative. In order to mix water and oil, there must be an emulsifier, otherwise, water and oil will separate, and in many cases, a thickener is often required to improve the ‘feel’ of the product. This is not including alcoholic extracts, parabens, petroleum, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and carcinogens… the list just goes on and on.

In this equation, for me, the oils are the only active and most beneficial ingredient. The water may dilute, allowing the ingredient to spread more easily, but this, in my humble opinion, is where the benefits end. Without water, we can create products that require no preservatives, and also allow for the creation of more concentrated and potent products, because there is no dilution.

Synthetic ingredients do not give life to your skin… they are like packaged food, lacking in life force and vitality, and this is exactly how we begin to feel.  

If we look at skincare in the same way we see our food, we can then begin to feed our skin the nutrients it needs to thrive. Nutritionists recommend that we eat a wholefood diet because they are foods that are closest to their natural state. The more refined and processed food is, the fewer nutrients it contains.

Whole plant vitamins and nutrients are more easily recognised and absorbed by the body. Skincare is no different. When I am choosing oils, they must be wild harvested in a sustainable way and/or certified organic. Extraction must be cold pressed to ensure it retains its raw, whole and unrefined state. This preserves the vitality of the plant and every last drop of its nutrients.

At the end of the day, it feels good to buy products with integrity, where our well-being and the health of our planet are a top priority. Remember – if a label looks like a code from planet Mars, it probably isn’t good for you, honey…

Three cheers for conscious consumerism!

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