Natural Beauty

Beauty is more than skin-deep; as are the products we use to beautify and nourish our skin which absorb them. 

We are becoming increasingly aware of what we put into our bodies – acknowledging ‘we are what we eat’ – and we know eating and drinking processed products does absolutely nothing for good health and wellbeing.  

But what of the products we put on our skin?

Many big beauty brands will argue (in their own best interest) that the chemicals that have been isolated from natural resources have the same biological effects as those synthesised in a laboratory.  Although it is true that a product’s merits should be based on whether they are safe and effective, there are still a lot of reasons many of us choose to take the natural route with our skin and beauty regimes.

Top of the list are the other additives that many products include such as petrochemicals, parabens, sulphates, harsh detergents and preservatives. Another massive deterrent is a lot of beauty products are still tested on animals by cruel and inhumane methods.

Understanding what chemicals you are dealing with on a daily basis can be difficult, check out your bathroom and makeup case, unless you are in the medical profession or a biologist, deciphering the list of ingredients is almost impossible.

Even more alarming, there is absolutely no research on the effects on the human body from the daily cocktail mix of chemicals that are absorbed and ingested from; the air, our food sources, the materials we wear and live in, our household cleaning and beauty products and drinking water.

When pregnant, I was amazed at the amount of warnings from synthetic products that were deemed safe for me, but were easily absorbed into my body and organs, crossing the placenta and harming my unborn baby. 

Can our amazing livers truly detoxify and remove so much toxic junk from our bodies?

“Your skin is the largest organ in your body and is your body’s interface with the external world,” says Miranda Bond, CEO of Inika Cosmetics. “Recent studies have shown that women who use makeup on a daily basis are absorbing more than two kilos of chemicals a year into their bodies. Some of the chemicals used in day-to-day cosmetic products have been shown to produce negative effects, including skin and eye irritations, dermatitis, hormonal disruptions, respiratory stress, dizziness, headaches and weakening of the immune system. Worse still, many have been shown to be carcinogenic or have been found in tumor samples,” she warns.

Bond explains that, when a product is applied to the skin, the chemicals that can be absorbed penetrate the dermis and enter the bloodstream where they can be carried to organs and other areas of the body, while others accumulate in fatty tissue. 

“None of the chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products is fully tested and, for the most part, there is only very basic information available on their health effects,” adds Bond. “This means the magnitude of their potential adverse effects is unknown.

Many consumers are choosing not to take the risk and opting for products with natural ingredients such as vitamins and antioxidants that are proven to be beneficial for our complexions.  

Personally, I like to be able to eat anything I put on my skin. Not that I could eat my make-up, but I certainly use the same olive &/or coconut oil in the kitchen that I apply to my body and I purchase my moisturizer from a fridge. I buy from a local Brisbane manufacturer and supplier – Handmade Naturals. (based right here in Brisbane)

If you want to use toxic free makeup, Safe Cosmetic Australia is a great resource, it has been set up to assist consumers who wish to exclude harmful chemicals from the products they choose by delivering a Toxic-Free List of companies that have been independently reviewed. Their mission is to raise toxic-free awareness, promoting companies who formulate products based on natural plant and mineral ingredients.

Look out for my Low Tox Urban Retreats – mixing Yoga & Natural Health