The array of skincare ingredients to avoid can de dizzying.  Like most people, I became interested in skin because I had a personal need to fill and became educated as a result.  As a rule, much like food, the harder a label it is to read, the less likely it is to be good for you.  The EWG is a great starting point to help you look up ingredients and decide whether or not it is good idea.

Parabens, methylparaben, Isobutylparaben are antibacterial agents added to skincare products for inhibiting bacterial growth.  They were originally added for safety purposes.  Since their introduction, a study determined that they may have estrogenic properties and are therefore considered hormone disruptors.  To be fair, there are many in skincare and even in food, so parabens are not the only culprit.  Plastics, certain types, are considered hormone disruptors according to the EWG, as well as parabens. Keep this in mind as the packaging could change the formulation by leaching into the product even if a product contains no parabens as plastic often contain phthalates.  While this adds another layer to consider when purchasing a product, it may be worth your time.

Phthalates are found in formulations that contain fragrance that is synthetic and is also found in some plastics.  They are incredibly pervasive. Studies have found them in human urine and the organizations that represent them say they are safe.  A Taiwanese study did link it to early breast development in girls.  It has been found in everyday water supply and dairy products- of course, not all! And remember there are always two sides to every story.  When purchasing plastic products or products lined with plastic or BPA, look for the codes 2. 4 or 5 as these are considered ideal.  These numbers are considered less ideal 1, 3, 6 and 7.

Another item ingredient to reconsider is sodium lauryl sulfate.  Studies are mixed on this but it seems to be disruptive to the skin barrier and that is not good for you.  All that bubbly goodness may be fun but it is also bad for our Oceans, streams and rivers too.  The SLS may potentially affect the ph. over the long term and lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem.  One thing to keep in mind when selecting products is this: what you put on your skin has a great chance of entering your body. It also enters our soil and water supply too.  So, think carefully.

The Government does monitor these ingredients to certain degree and independent organizations like the EWG help too. However, one way to affect change is with your pocket book.  You can simply make purchases most likely to be safe.

At Generation Mindful we are green living company devoted to a healthy lifestyle.  What goes in your body and on it.  If you desire more information or a consultation about the products you use for you or your company, MedSpa or product line, we would be happy to assist.  We are trained in aromatherapy, have experience in the medical field, and training in cosmetic formulations and fragrances both in the US and France.


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