Since our skin is our largest organ, the products we apply to it are just as important as the food that goes into our bodies. We’re working towards using more natural beauty and skincare products at GoodnessMe Box HQ by sticking to these criteria. By Nutritionist and GoodnessMe Box Editor Melissa Fine.
1) Ingredients You Recognise
Can’t pronounce or never heard of a handful of ingredients listed on a skincare product? Put it back on the shelf and go for one containing only unadulterated ingredients you’re familiar with – like coconut oil, creamy cocoa butter (which makes whatever it’s in smell like dessert) and natural preservatives like rosemary extract.
2) A Short Ingredients List
An ingredients list as long as your arm on a cleanser or moisturiser is often a red flag for a synthetic product packed with toxins and artificial preservatives, fragrances and colours. Compare the beauty and skincare products at the health food store to the ones at the supermarket; You’ll probably find the former have less ingredients, the majority of which are derived from nature, not a lab.
Some potentially toxic ingredients that you’re likely to come across in commercial skincare products:
- Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS): This serves as a surfactant, a compound that works as a wetting, emulsifying or foaming agent. SLS is what makes your cleanser, shower gel and shampoo lather up nicely so you feel nice and clean…It’s also a component in industrial cleaning products as well as car products like anti-freeze.
- Toluene: AKA methylbenzene, this transparent, clear liquid is mainly used in petrol; It can also be found in paint, ink, cleaning products and nail polish, contributing to that chemically-sweet smell you get a whiff off as you enter the nail salon.
- Phthalates: A synthetic chemical that serves as a plasticiser (keeping plastics soft), phthalates are also found in printing ink, adhesives and paper coatings - Not to mention their role as softening agents in toiletries and makeup, and as solvents for perfume oil.
4) Edible Oils
Because we’re absorbing some of what we’re applying to our skin, I like food-grade skincare ingredients that are safe to ingest. Think nourishing almond, macadamia or olive oil, and my favourite – coconut oil; This absorbs nicely, locks in moisture and is super versatile. Use it straight-up as a hair treatment, moisturiser or lip balm. Or, get you hands on the coconut oil skincare products by Nature Balm – their Coconut Lip Balm has become a desk draw essential for all of us at GoodnessMe Box HQ.
I love coconut oil’s slightly sweet, nutty fragrance and because it’s quite solid (but still malleable) at room temperature in the colder months, it’s easy to keep a little pot of it in your handbag without spillage. It gives your skin a nice glow, too.
A natural skin product will have a shorter shelf than a mass-produced, chemical-laden one. Brands like Nature Balm are great because their products are made to order, meaning no rancid oils or funny preservatives.
Nature Balm offers a range of natural body products, fragranced using essential oils for their therapeutic properties, and free from chemicals, preservatives and petroleum, so you know what you are putting on your skin every time! To find out more head to www.naturebalm.com.au