Organic and natural skincare products are becoming staple purchases for an increasing proportion for people. Everyone has their own reason for making their change, but perhaps two main areas of concern can be located explaining why organic and natural skincare products are taking the place of traditional, often far more extensively marketed, non-organic cosmetics.
The first of the reasons is the concern over what affect synthetic products have on the environment, both in terms of their disposal once they have been used, as certain chemicals found in skincare products can wreak havoc on the ecosystems that they eventually end up in once they have passed down the drain. Triclosan, which is found in soaps, along with toothpastes and deodorants, is an antibacterial which has been discovered concentrated in marine life, to which it is known to be toxic, and also in human breast milk. A quick mention should also be made to products that actually appear, or are, entirely natural and organic, but which are owned by companies that manufacture other, environmentally harmful products. Such an example came recently with the selling out of natural favorite Burt’s Bees to a leading bleach manufacturer.
The second issue which has caused many consumers to make the change from non-organic to organic skincare products is the concern over the effect that the chemicals they contain might have on our bodies. Here we should place a subdivision between ingredients that have been proven to be harmful under testing – which we shall discuss below – and ingredients that have been identified as potentially harmful, and which have not been proven to be otherwise, ingredients such as parabens (which have been linked to cancers, causing many companies to explicitly list their skincare product ‘Paraben Free’) and Genetically Modified ingredients, which people, quite frankly, just do not trust.
One pair of ingredients that you might want to stay alert for if you are still buying non natural cosmetic products – and one that you can be assured you are avoiding by picking those organic skincare products – is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and its brother in trouble Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These two ingredients are used in industrial and mechanical processes that might not initially appear to have much to do with the activities we normally associate with skincare and cosmetics, namely in car washes, for degreasing automobile engines and as floor cleaners. Yet, they are also found in over nine out of ten of all products that foam.
Of course, just because these two ingredients are used for industrial processes does not, in itself, mean that they are unsuitable for rubbing into our hair and skin. The fact that animals placed into contact with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate experience massive damage to the central nervous system, to their respiratory system along with chronic eye damage, diarrhea, sever skin irritation and, in a sizable proportion of instances, death, might be slightly more convincing argument for avoiding these chemical ingredients and going for organic or natural products – ignoring, of course, those that try to sweeten its appearance on their ingredients list by adding the information that is a ‘coconut extract.’