How to Choose Seamless Beauty Products for Your Skin It's often said that beauty is skin deep, but choosing beauty products should be a decision that goes far below the surface. There are thousands of products on the market containing a multitude of ingredients, making it difficult to discern what is good from what is potentially harmful. Now, is the perfect opportunity to reassess what's in your cabinet and start viewing beauty as a health choice, not solely a cosmetic one. The Big Toss First things first. Set aside the time to really get acquainted with what you have been putting on your body. Consult the Environmental Working Group Cosmetic Ingredient Safety Scale and stick to those products that are rated 4 or lower, preferably with a green rating. You can even use the EWG app to scan barcodes from your phone, which makes it incredibly easy to get a handle on what is safe and what isn't. Toss anything that contains potentially dangerous chemicals. Don't think twice. Also, pay attention to the shelf life of your products. You wouldn't eat foods past their expiration date, and the same goes for what's in your beauty cabinet. Organic products typically expire in six months, and those with preservatives are safe for about two years. If you can't remember how long ago you opened that eye crème or moisturizer, say goodbye. Know Your Ingredients Once you've identified the products that need to go, you'll want to find replacements that use healing botanical oils, naturally occurring enzymes and other non-toxic substitutions. By taking a closer look at the products you're using, you'll start to become familiar with the ingredients that are red flags. A few to be on the lookout for, along with risk-free natural options, include the following: Oxybenzone, Octisalate, and Homosalate Wearing sunscreen should be part of your skincare regimen year round, but doing so is especially important in the warmer months as you spend more time outside. There are two types of sunscreens, chemical and mineral. Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like Oxybenzone, Octisalate and Homosalate, which are absorbed into the skin, and eventually the bloodstream, where they can interfere with normal
hormone production. For a longer-lasting solution, try a mineral sunscreen formulated with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide that will offer broad spectrum protection and soothe your skin with no irritation. Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate These popular Vitamin A derivatives have proven to be effective anti-aging solutions, but they are often used incorrectly, which can reverse benefits. Retinol and Retinyl Palmitate promote the shedding of old skin cells and generation of new ones. During this process, skin becomes vulnerable and prone to the elements, including the sun. Because of this, products containing these ingredients are never suitable for daytime use – even if they contain sunscreen. To enjoy the sunny days of spring and summer without worry, look for natural vitamin A alternatives like Moth Bean Seed Extract to accelerate skin renewal, support natural collagen production and tighten pores. Parabens, Methyl Paraben, DMDM Hydantoin By now, you've probably heard about preservatives called parabens and their possible link to breast cancer. Parabens mimic estrogen and, according to a recent Berkeley study, these toxins may be even more dangerous at lower doses than previously understood. Some naturally derived ingredients such as Bitter Orange, Tea Tree, Burdock Root and Honeysuckle act as safe alternatives, keeping your cosmetics stable over time without the potentially dangerous consequences. Petroleum Byproducts Petrolatum has been used as a heavy duty moisturizer for more than a decade and can be found in its pure form of petroleum jelly as well as an ingredient in other formulations. It works by creating a nearly impenetrable barrier between the skin and air and water. Because petrolatum is a byproduct of crude oil, it is at risk for exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to cancer in some studies. Petrolatum byproducts such as Dimethicone or Silicon are also commonly found in skincare products. Natural alternatives include Castor Oil and Beeswax, as well as more recently developed substitutes like biodegradable cold-pressed Broccoli Seed Oil and Meadowfoam Flower Seed Oil. They do the trick just as well and are Earth friendly. Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate When it comes to your face, it's important to ensure your cleanser is doing the job. However, many face washes use harsh sulfates that can irritate the skin. Instead, try Sarcosine, a biodegradable amino acid found in muscle
tissue. Not only will it be gentle on your skin, you'll benefit from a sudsier experience. Soak It All In Once you have your new natural face treatment (natural skin cleanser, natural skin moisturize and natural face serums) in place, your skin, and your whole body, will thank you for it.