It’s a love affair that’s been going on for centuries: I am talking about women and their beauty products.
However, is this part of a sustainable and healthy lifestyle?
With the rising trend of a sustainable lifestyle, we need to talk about the beauty industry. We spend £5 billion a year in the UK alone on cosmetics and toiletries.
We are constantly exposed to the pressure to use cosmetics to obtain a certain image, look and smell right, and the never-ending process of defying the natural process of ageing.
But are these products more harmful than beneficial for our own health and how does it affect the environment?
According to a personal care product survey of more than 2,300 people conducted by EWG and a coalition of public interest and environmental health organisations, shows that the average women use 9 personal care products each day, with 126 chemical ingredients per product.
Another study of 2,016 women done by deodorant-maker Bionsen, found that the average British woman hosts 515 chemicals on her body every single day. Do we really want to expose our self for that many chemicals each day?
But hey, it’s only our skin and hair, does it matter then?
The skin is the body’s largest organ, made up of several layers being less than 2mm thick in most places – It’s an impressive physical barrier designed to protect us from the world around us.
The outer layer of the skin can be penetrated quite well by such as oils and alcohols, which is often used in skin products to help carry the active ingredients into the deeper layers.
This means that most of our exposure to the chemicals in cosmetics is via the skin. Once the cosmetic product has been applied, absorption begins.
The majority of modern cosmetics are complex cocktails of industrial produced synthetic chemicals and are polluting both the environment and our bodies – they have in fact been detected in the human body fluids and body fat.
We wash large quantities down the drain every day which can then come back to haunt us in our water supply and accumulate in the sea and rivers.
How do we deal with this?
Go Natural and Organic
A growing number of companies recognise the concerns and are producing cosmetics that contain few or no synthetic ingredients. If you want to make a change, there is plenty of options for you out there.
Making your own products are much easier than you think and you might have most of the ingredients already.
However, there are a growing number of brands with good intentions out there and I’ll guide you through a few of my own favourites and what to look for when buying a new product.
Organic means working with nature, not against it. It means a higher level of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no artificial colours or preservatives, no routine use of antibiotics and no GM (gen modified) ingredients.
It’s a more environmentally sustainable management of farmland and the natural environment – this means more wildlife.
The standard of organic certification is laid down by European Law. The Soil Association is the biggest organic certification body in the UK and certifies over 70% of organic food and products. All organic farmers and companies are inspected at least once a year – in fact, it’s one of the most rigorous of any independent food standards audit process.
This means that the organic label is the best way for assuring that the food we eat and the products we use have been produced by a standard you can trust and trace.
Therapi Honey Skincare
Therapi is a UK based certified organic skincare brand, which creates the most amazing natural and organic honey skincare products, which benefits not only theuser but also the natural world, they are using sustainable bee practices to incorporate honey and propolis into their skincare.
Honey is well known as nature’s liquid gold, and for its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Therapi beautifully pairs honey with natural botanical extracts like rosehip oil, neroli and lemon myrtle, to keep your skin looking beautifully radiant and healthy.
Voya is an organic, seaweed-based product from Ireland. They combine pure ingredients, ancient tradition and sustainable processes to create a range of products and treatments. Seaweed naturally purifies and cleanses your skin, improve suppleness and elasticity and reduce signs of aging by moisturising, toning, smoothing and stimulate skin cells.
LA-EVA creates products with a sense of harmony, purpose and beauty. This is where senses meet skincare, art crosses with a holistic philosophy and luxury is aligned with simplicity.
This article was originally published on HBC Magazine and written by Lilo Ask-Henriksen.