Today we’re going to take a look at the back of the bottle and get to know what’s really in the products we use on our skin every day.
Looking at Labels:
We are conditioned to look at labels on our food but have you ever thought about looking at the ingredients on your soap, moisturizer or makeup. Many of these products are made of synthetic ingredients that are unregulated, as are many of the claims on the front, such as natural, hypo-allergenic, and anti-aging. I want you to check your beauty products with the same scrutiny that we give the food we eat, after all everything we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies.
Let's look at an example of “green washing” products so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about. Green washing is marketing a product to look natural when there are many synthetic ingredients hidden behind the seemingly natural packaging.
When a product highlights one specific ingredient like green tea or shea butter on the front of the package it is a red flag, often times it is one of the only natural ingredients in the product. This is an example of greenwashing, it is fooling you into thinking your are buying something natural and healthy for you skin.
Here is blackhead clearing scrub with green tea, the packaging looks like a natural product, it has 100% natural exfoliants and green tea, but a closer look reveals that is is made of mostly synthetic ingredients.
Water (Aqua), Hydrated Silica, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Acetate, Glyceryl Stearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Polysorbate 60, Ceteareth-20, Carbomer, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, PPG-2 Methyl Ether, Phenethyl Alcohol, Methylisothiazolinone, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Red 4 (CI 14700), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (CI 19140).
You’ll notice that green tea extract (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract) is listed as almost the last ingredient only before the artificial coloring in this product. This indicated that there is the least amount of this ingredient in the product yet it is the featured ingredient on the label, hidden in a list of synthetics. Many of these ingredients carry a known risk of allergies, irritations, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Developmental/reproductive toxicity.
The good news is it's super easy to make your own skin nourishing face scrub like our Pumpkin Seed Oil Scrub. It has 2 ingredients, costs less than $2 and can be made in less than 2 minutes. Grab the tutorial here.
Up next we’ll discuss specific ingredients to avoid when checking your labels.
For how the individual ingredients from the green tea scrub affect your body check out EWG skin deep.