We know many of our personal care and skin care products contain chemical ingredients. From fragrance to preservatives, a single product can contain more than 20 ingredients with a large percentage being mainly chemical synthetics.
Choosing to reduce your chemical exposures is obviously a personal choice. Whether your concern is body absorption, hormone disrupting chemicals or chemical sensitivity, decreasing exposure from your skin care products requires some research and patience, but is a goal that can be achieved.
Here are some tips for reducing chemical exposures from skin care products.
Read Product Labels, Learn About The Ingredients
Learn more about the ingredients that go in skin care products. Start reading your shampoo and conditioner labels, recognize which ingredients are synthetic; which are preservatives, formaldehyde releasers, emulsifiers, and surfactants. When you can identify chemical ingredients, you are able to selectively avoid them in the products you choose and decrease your exposure.
Simplify Your Regimen
Choose some staples in your skin care regimen and keep it simple. Stick to a basic cleanser, moisturizer and sunblock. Consider using household ingredients such as rolled oats, yogurt, organic fruits like blueberries, strawberries and avocado for do-it-yourself masks and treatments. These fresh homemade treatments will contain only what you put in them without all the additional chemical additives.
A cleanser can be a vegetable or plant based, a moisturizer can be as simple as using a non-pore clogging, moisturizing oil and sunblock can be mineral based as opposed to chemical based active ingredients.
Select Products With Fewer Ingredients
One way to avoid being exposed to chemicals is to buy and use products using just a few ingredients. This requires reading product ingredient labels. Search for brands focused on consumers who are skin sensitive or allergy prone, some brands leave out commonly known allergens such as fragrance, lanolin and certain preservatives. Most important, always read the ingredient labels and inquire with the company’s customer service.
Research and stick with brands that believe in transparency of ingredients and unadulterated products. Look for companies that care not only about the ingredients they use but also where they’re sourced from. This may sound daunting, but with practice, you’ll find out which companies care and which don’t. Read the company About pages to learn their philosophy and email their customer service to inquire about specific products and ingredients used. If you don’t receive a response, contact them again. If you’re not happy with the answer you receive, or receive an ambiguous answer, probably best to not use that product or brand altogether.
Read And Keep Current
Read and learn from a variety of sources, whether be a magazine, book, website or established author. Many skin care companies maintain and post informative blogs regarding ingredients and their use. Engage in forums and related LinkedIn groups that focus on healthier living or safer cosmetics, one can definitely pick up some good threads and conversations. Whatever information you learn, research through and ask questions.
I hope these tips have been helpful or inspire you at the least to think about reducing your exposure to the chemicals in your skin care products.
What things do you do to decrease your exposure to chemicals in your skin care?