Over the last decade more and more of us have learned the importance of putting clean, whole foods in our bodies. We’ve also begun to learn the importance of what we put on our skin, which is our body’s largest organ. Knowing the ingredients in our skin care products is critical so that you choose nutrient rich, all natural products that will heal, protect, rejuvenate, and nourish your largest organ.
A single plant or vegetable oil can contain omega fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins A, C and E and flavonoids. All necessary for healthy skin and hair. Silicones, while not harmful contain nothing. What would you rather have as an emollient on your skin?
It can be a little trickier to understand skin care ingredients than it is to understand the labels on our food products. Often products that highlight natural ingredients, can in large part contain anything but.
So How Do You Know What is Really Natural?
This can be a challenge if we just pay attention to the highlighted ingredients. Say for example a product says it contains calendula, an amazing ingredient that we love at Calli Essentials. A closer look at ingredients can show it listed a few of the following ways:
- Glycerin and water and calendula officinalis extract
- Propylene glycol and water and calendula officinalis extract
- Butylene glycol and water and calendula officinalis extract
All three contain a solvent that is used to extract the nutrients from the plant and make it soluble in water and all three are humectants (draw moisture to your skin). The difference is glycerin is vegetable derived and the “glycols” are petroleum by products with varying ratings from EWG (Environmental Working Group). Glycols are cheaper and have a longer shelf life than glycerin extracts and therefore tend to be used more. Products often have multiple extracts and if they contain glycols and you are using multiple products; you are exposing yourself to more and more chemicals.
How Good is Your Natural?
Carrier oils are hugely beneficial in your natural skin care. There are so many with a multitude of different benefits. So, if for example you have a product that contains rosehip oil, jojoba, grapeseed or evening primrose to name just a few it is pretty simple to figure out right?
The challenge here is much more difficult. If we see a product that contains an “organic oil” that would seem to be good. But for example, organic evening primrose would appear as:
- Oenothera biennis
What is not required to be disclosed is how the oil is produced:
- Cold pressed, extra virgin
- Refined and deodorized
Organic simply refers to how the plant was grown. But if it is refined and deodorized, it’s not only been subject to high heats and filtering but also chemicals including bleaching. This allows for much more oil to be produced and for a very long shelf life. Both of which is advantageous especially to large companies, but the goodness is largely removed.
Companies that used cold pressed, extra virgin definitely have a shorter shelf life. But, you are getting all of the amazing benefits that nature intended. At Calli Essentials we always use extra virgin / cold pressed and we small batch our products, that are meant to be used in a reasonable amount of time; and we sell consumer direct, so shelf life need not be an issue.
The last ingredient we often see is the preservative and this too is important to consider. Well, undoubtedly some preservatives will cause a product to last much longer, these can often be the most toxic ingredient in your skin care. You want to look for preservatives that are whole foods approved or approved by the EU.
Last Word About Safe vs Toxic
Well, we can google ingredients to see if they are safe. Largely you will find sites that state the FDA guidelines and quotes or blogs from North American professionals that in turn quote these guidelines. But think about this; there are 1,328 chemicals that have been banned by most European countries that are deemed safe for use in skin care in the USA.
So take a close look at what’s in your products, do your research, look for ingredients that ideally are EU approved. You can always choose Calli Essentials where we continue to research and use best in class natural ingredients.