Skin Irritation, Allergies, Sensitivities & Preservatives –
Long unpronounceable names, acronyms, synthetic chemicals… can you feel the love yet? Yes we are in the cosmetics aisle in 21st century Europe.
Irrespective of where one lives, we are all surrounded by unseen enemies, quietly infiltrating themselves, getting under our skin and into our blood stream, body and vital organs.
Yes you guessed it – we are talking about synthetic chemical preservatives. Whilst good at deterring bacteria, mould and mildew from our hand creams, face creams and deodorants – these preservatives produce one unintended consequence – we are bathing in a chemical soup, a man made cocktail of all sorts of synthetic potions – which one natural organism, namely us – may find hard to cope with and process.
Skin Care Jungle
Some people are more sensitive them others – and suffer sensitivities. Others find that they have allergic reactions to all sorts of mysterious items added into the vitality giving shampoo or moisturizer they just bought. Then there is growing concern about how certain preservatives in fragrances can disrupt the balanced functioning of hormones within the body. It’s a jungle out there.
What’s more as exposure to all these un-natural additives builds up over time – you end up with cases like that of the worlds largest family run company, Johnson & Johnson paying out in February 2016 $72 million in damages in a case linking use of talcum powder with cervical cancer in women. Overall sales for Johnson & Johnson worldwide were $65 Billion in 2011 – that’s gives you an indication of the scale of the issue.
Then there are MI and MCI’s – which sound like secret agents, approved to be used in stronger concentrations in the EU in 2005 as a preservative in cosmetics, now recognised as being responsible for causing more cases of allergic reaction.
Present in many cosmetics such as makeup, cleansers, shower gels, shampoos, moisturisers and sun creams. It is also found in some brands of moist toilet or “baby wipes”. Surprisingly some products, which are labelled as “sensitive”, “natural” or “organic” may also include these preservatives.
Of course all this has led to an upturn in business for dermatologists who are increasingly faced with patients who have developed redness, burning or stinging sensations, flaking or crusting of skin, whilst simply seeking to be clean and healthy.
Natural & Organic Skin Care
So let’s go natural you say, yet even that may not be straight forward – with many items labeled “natural” possibly having up to 30% synthetic chemical content.
OK, so lets go Organic then! Even here things have been witness to some murky goings on over the last decade as the industry has sought to define and regulate itself with all sorts of nonsense occuring in the early days, with many dubious beauty brands making organic claims about their products.
As the market has slowly matured third party independent verification from a reputable organic trade institute or standards agency has helped sort the wheat from the chaff – organisations like Ecocert or the Soil Association.
Additionally, labeling is becoming key – with 100% INCI declarations of ingredients and often verification of the bio-organic purity, potency and toxicity of the constituent raw materials – being increasingly referenced in supporting the credentials of the company actually producing the product.
Reputation of company, recognition of customer wishes and respect towards the environment are being taken seriously by some companies. Some are setting a trend whilst others fall from grace. The philosophy of the guiding minds in any organisation ultimately sets the level of the bar.
Even the cleaning of the production line machines between production runs becomes important – is it undertaken using natural, toxin free, synthetic free compounds – or are we just using any old chemical to clean the equipment with. It all plays into and colours the final story.
How do ‘Use By Dates’ Help in Skin Care
Then the debate can move to the issue of Use-by-Dates. What do they tell us about what we hold in our hand or see on the shop shelf.
Of course there are natural preservatives that could solve the issue of synthetic ingredients used within skin care cosmetics to prolong there life.
However, it does also reduce the shelf life of a product from a few years to a maximum of around six months and once the product has been opened, it often needs to be used within 70-90 days, as that which is natural will tend to oxidate once opened and in use.
You cut an apple in half, it goes brown, same with a banana or avocado. Naturally, they oxidate. So to be sure we are choosing pure toxin free Mother Nature in our face creams and deodorants – we have to keep that in mind.
These truely natural ‘Use By Date’ timelines – can in themselves prevent many truely pure, natural, organic products ever making it into High Street shops, as High Street Chains often prefer products that can survive in their supply chain and warehouses for maybe up to 36 months or more, ..…before we eventually walk into a shop to make our purchase. Then when we get the product home it might say 12M or 24M on the label – meaning that’s how long it’s good for – from opening. Imagine….24 more months! – how toxin free can that be?
So with all the noise in the neighbourhood we might just need to ask one question: What’s the use-by on this product? Perhaps the answer given might tell us all we really need to know!
So it follows that some brands are delivered direct, bought on-line and shipped direct from production to your door, cutting out all the supply chain import, export, warehouses, stock rooms and shop shelves.
Go naturally & organically – be pure, natural and fresh.