Skin care, to me, has always been a vital part of wellness. More than just for vanity, the condition of our skin says so much about the body’s state of health. After all, the skin is our largest organ.
Those who know me well know that putting on make-up is always a challenge to me. It actually took me years to make brushing my brows a habit! That’s another reason why I love taking care of my skin. Because it allows me to do go barefaced as often as possible. And while I always say that what you put in your body largely affects the external appearance, it is just as important to keep a close watch on what we put on our skin or the environment we are exposed to. You have control over this by choosing the right products that are free from harmful ingredients.
What the #ReadtheLabel Challenge was all about
I received a boxful of Human Nature products through the mail. But before I even got to the goodies, I was met with a challenge to hunt for a list of ingredients in what looked like a bunch of product labels printed on the wrapper. I loved doing word hunts as a kid so this was fun for me. From repetitively trying to look for the same names (some ingredients hid under different names), I didn’t realize how much my awareness was raised. I roamed the aisles of a popular drugstore chain a few weeks later and found myself checking out fancy hand soap bottles only to put them down after seeing Parfum or things like Sodium Laureth Sulfate at the back of the label. What it taught me was to practice label-reading on cosmetic products the same way I would read the nutrition labels of packed food I would get from the supermarket.
So what are these harmful ingredients exactly? Keep a close eye on them because apparently, they are so harmful they can cause cancer.
- SLS/SLES (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate) Used as a foaming agent in soaps, shampoos and toothpaste, it damages your skin, removing natural protective barriers. These ingredients are also closely linked to cancer.
- Parabens (Propylparaben, Butylparaben and Methylparaben) A preservative linked to endocrine disruption commonly found in antibacterial soaps, detergents and toothpaste.
- Triclosan/Triclocarbon Toxic anti-bacterial ingredient linked to endocrine disruption commonly found in antibacterial soaps, detergents and toothpaste
- Pthalates/Synthetic Fragrance (Fragrance/Parfums) Suspected endocrine disruptor that masks the scent of nail polish and makes the fragrance of lotions and body wash last longer
- Petroleum/Mineral Oil (Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Paraffinum, Liquidum, Mineral Oil) Prone to PAH contamination (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). PAH is a carcinogen used in body lotions and body creams as a moisturizer, and in lip products as an emollient.
So what does Human Nature use to replace these ingredients?
- Coconut-derived surfactants instead of SLS/SLES
- Anise and Corn preservatives instead of parabens
- Sunflower Oil instead of mineral oil or petrolatum
- Sugarcane-derived alcohol to fight bacteria
- Citronella, Lavender and Lemongrass Oils instead of synthetic perfumes.
So just what did I realize upon taking the #ReadtheLabel Challenge? It’s that your food philosophy should apply to your choices of skin and home care products. Plant-based, no-fuss and cruelty-free. What’s YOUR philosophy?
Learn more about Human Nature and its products HERE.