Before the last century, all skin care, soaps, hair care and cosmetics were from plant or animal origin. It wasn't until companies figured out how to do everything cheaper with petroleum in the 1950s that things changed. This synthetic era prevails today with the most common products on the shelves containing up to 100% petroleum or palm-based chemicals.
Fortunately, you have options. You can now choose products that are more like what humans used for thousands of years rather than putting liquid plastic on your face. Modern times give natural companies the luxury of a global market where we can source rose oil from Turkey, lavender from France and sunflower oil produced locally. It is a great time for your skin!
Here are my top 5 reasons why choosing natural products is the ONLY way to go:
1. Performance - Natural skin care is like eating a whole foods diet with its long term benefits on the body. It will keep your skin firm and healthy because it is full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and other therapeutic ingredients that reverse cellular damage and inflammation. Synthetic products may offer some quick fix solutions but fail to keep skin healthy in the long run with loss of elasticity and premature wrinkles being the most common issues.
2. Toxicity - Synthetic cosmetic ingredients are responsible for polluting the body. Urine and blood samples reveal that chemicals such as triclosan, parabens, phthalates, and synthetic musks penetrate the skin and end up in our bodies. These chemicals have been found to have hormone-disrupting and cancer-causing behaviours.
3. Eco-toxicity - Did you know that one of the main causes of human damage to reefs is in the sunscreen we wear? The most common ingredients, oxybenzone actually bleaches and kills reef. Plastic microbeads are found in oceans and lakes all over the world. Petroleum ingredients do not break down. They stay in our water and soil for thousands of years and can easily make their way onto our dinner plates. Not to mention the petroleum industry itself - the drilling, the pipes bursting, and the water pollution from refineries.
4. Biodiversity - The African oil palm tree is used extensively in the synthetic cosmetic industry. Ancient rainforests all over the world are cut down to grow this one plant. Replacing an ecosystem, home to thousands of species, with a tree farm is a disaster. When you choose natural products, you are supporting an industry that sources numerous varieties of plants - both farmed and wildcrafted.
5. Animal Testing - The main cosmetic companies are still testing on animals. This includes Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Loreal. Even if one brand claims that they don't, their parent company probably does. I won't go into the details of what happens in these labs, but it is distressing to think that so many animals are made to suffer on a daily basis for the purpose of humans looking beautiful. It is senseless and completely unnecessary.
Making the switch to natural is simple and the benefits are endless. Not only will your skin look its best but you will be keeping toxins out of your body and out of our water and soil. It's the products we purchase and use on a daily basis that can make a huge impact on our lives and the future of this planet.