So many brands and companies today are promoting "natural" personal care and beauty products (some of which aren't actually natural), emphasizing the presence, or lack of, specific ingredients used in the development of their goods. Many people tend to shrug that off nonchalantly, still reaching for the chemical laden ones they're used to using. They may not understand how using a "natural" product vs. an unnatural one affects them, so they simply don't care....but you should. So the question now becomes "why should I care?"
Why Natural Products?
Natural products are important because they provide the necessary maintenance for personal hygiene and care without causing health problems in the future. The problem with the majority of commercially available personal care products, like your lotions, body washes, deodorants, toothpastes, etc., is that they are formulated with toxic chemicals that are absorbed into your body upon use and stay there for years at a time, festering slowly with consistent utilization until your body gets overwhelmed with these toxins and becomes dis-eased. Tumors, cancer, acne, and eczema are just a FEW of the potential side effects of long term use of unnatural products. Wild claim right? Don't just take my word for it though. Let's look at some actual research to back this up.
Everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. A 2021 study tested over 200 personal care products from popular brands in the United States and Canada, discovering more than 100 different per-and-poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), a.k.a "Forever Chemicals" present in these products. "Forever Chemicals" don't break down and build up in the body over time. They can cause reproductive issues, liver injuries, affect growth and development, and more. One example is perfluorooctanoic acid, which according to the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, can cause cancer.
In addition to unnatural personal care and beauty products causing more serious issues like tumors and cancer, PFAs and other toxic ingredients can cause more minute but still serious problems, including acne and eczema. Not all toxic chemicals are "Forever Chemicals" like PFAs; they can be broken down and released from the body. However, the method through which these chemicals exit are what can ultimately lead to skin woes.
Excess toxin buildup within the body can overwhelm the liver, the body's primary detox organ, forcing it to call on the skin for help with detoxing seeing as that the skin is the body's largest organ and can help purge the overload of toxins much quicker than the more primary detox organs (liver, kidneys, etc.) can. As these toxins make an emergency exit through the skin, they can either 1. get stuck underneath the outermost layer of skin, a.k.a. eczema (1), or 2. cause an acne breakout; the bumps you see are the toxins fleeing from the inside of your body through the pores. Using truly organic, natural products can prevent these issues due to the lack of harmful ingredients. When you're moisturizing with REAL ingredients like raw cocoa butter and sweet almond oil, you don't have to worry about their constituents crawling inside your body and festering for years until you're in full on dis-ease mode; NATURE made these ingredients, not man.
Ingredients to Look Out For
The FDA allows a plethora of dangerous chemicals to be used in the processing of American personal care and beauty products, whereas the U.K has these SAME CHEMICALS BANNED FROM USE due to their effects on human health and the environment. Some chemical ingredients to be on the lookout for, whether banned or not, include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Polyethylene glycols (PEGs)
Good rules of thumb:
- If you can't pronounce the ingredients, DON'T USE IT.
- If you wouldn't feel safe eating it, DON'T USE IT.
- If the scent isn't naturally occurring or you actually see the word "fragrance", DON'T USE IT.
Point me to which tree a "cool rush" grows out of...I'll wait.
Going Natural: Where do I start?
If you still intend to buy big brand commercial products, I recommend you download an ingredient summary app like Think Dirty, Shop Clean. Apps like this allow you to scan products in the grocery store and give you a breakdown of the ingredients and how they can potentially cause harm with extended use. Be wary of "natural" store-bought products too, as a lot of them claim to be organic while still containing harsh chemicals and preservatives. The best option of course would be to start buying your personal care products from smaller businesses who make everything by hand with organic, earth-sourced ingredients. You don't have to travel too far; you've already found one. Every product offered here at BENE Beauty by Bri is handcrafted with REAL ingredients chosen with intention. From our cleansing lemon, turmeric, and tea tree oil face wash to our peppermint and jojoba oil beard serum, back to our raw honey and brown sugar based exfoliating scrub, we have a wide variety of organically made products for all your skin woos and woes. Even if you just want to smell good, we've got you covered with our essential-oil fragranced, moisturizing body butters, silky body oils, and hydrating body mists.
Your health is an investment, not an expense. Don't be that person who doesn't start to value their health until they're laying in a hospital bed. Make the switch to natural products now, and save yourself (and the environment) some heartbreak.
(1) Medical Medium: Liver Rescue, Anthony William