Natural Skin Care – The Low Down


Have you ever stopped to think what ingredients are in your favorite moisturizer? An average person will always slather, spray and rub hundreds of skincare products on our body every year in order to obtain better looking skin. Skin is like a sponge  and  it has a tendency to absorb all the chemicals that is put on it.

If you were to go by the assurances given FDA and cosmetic companies then  chemicals are perfectly safe to use.  Most of these agencies believe small quantities of chemicals do no harm to the body and hence can be applied whenever and wherever needed. However, considering the fact that an average woman consumes no less than four pounds of lipstick during her entire lifetime, along with dozens of sprays to go along with it it is important to know what effects these cosmetics can have on your health.

Though most of us use chemicals in our daily lives, not many of us realize the implications they can have on our bodies.  Research has shown  that chemicals, when used over a long period of time, tend to cause reactions in combination with other elements already present in the body. These reactions can in turn cause some problems with your health. A classic example of harmful chemicals that can have a negative bearing on our body is Phthalates. This is the chemical that is found in most artificial fragrances these days. When too much Phthalates is ingested through the skin, it can cause infertility, birth defects, feminization of boy babies, etc. In addition to this, it can even disrupt the normal functioning of many hormones inside the body.

When a company wants to release a new beauty product on the market, there has to be rigorous testing before it is allowed on sale to the public. It’s a complicated business, especially as , according to an estimate, there are about 10,500 known ingredients that are used in one way or another in different skin care products. Interestingly, 90 percent of these ingredients have not been tested or evaluated by accrediting agencies like FDA, Cosmetic Ingredient Review, etc. These facts have been established by the  Environmental Working Group.

To be fair on skin care product manufacturers, none of their products are so harmful that will cause their customers to drop dead after using them. Whether you are using a body wash or mascara, they are manufactured in a way that the harmful chemicals are diluted so they should not have a dramatic effect on your health. But as there are many complex chemicals that are known to cause severe side-effects, people tend to follow what is now called the ‘Precautionary Principle’. In other words it means that manufacturers err on the side of caution where safety is guaranteed. In the European Union alone, 1110 ingredients that were largely used in personal product segments have been banned after reports that they can cause birth defects, reproductive ills and cancer. However in the U.S. only 10 ingredients have been banned as of now.

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