Understand the label


We all go the beauty shops, browse the shelves full of gorgeously arranged and packaged products, claiming to use natural or even organic ingredients and in my consumer shoes I am sold!

However, turning over the product and reading the ingredients list, do you understand all the ingredients on the label? Is it a list of things that you can’t pronounce? This is very important as the longer the list of names you have never came across before, the more chance there are nasties you don’t really want on your precious skin.

Generally, and simply put, the fewer ingredients, the better for your skin. So look out for labels with only a few ingredients that you can understand.

This is mainly "a watch out" guide, as there is so much more information out there for anyone who would like to find out more. What you definitely don’t want in your skincare routine:

Phenoxyethanol, a form of paraben, a chemical preservative commonly used in skincare products ranging from facial and body cleansers to moisturisers and make-up. It can cause effects that will demonstrate over a long period including skin dermatitis, complications if reproductive and nervous systems.

Aluminium, this a neurotoxin. It is most commonly used in anti-perspirants. It has a link to breast cancer, can cause endocrine disruption and some studies show that the average person will consume, absorb and eat 3 pounds of this stuff in their lifetime … wow! Think of that next time you reach for your anti- perspirant spray.

Formaldehyde, this chemical is human carcinogen and is directly linked to leukaemia, skin and pancreatic cancers. It is typically found in nail polish, eyelash glue and hair smoothing/straightening products. Watch out as it is normally listed as ‘released from preservatives ‘under different names like Broponol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Hydroxymethylglycinate, DMDM Hydantoin, 5-Bromo-5-Nitro-1 or Quaternium-15.

Tetrasodium EDTA, another carcinogen and it actually eases the penetration of other chemicals, big concern. If you spot this on the label, I would put the product quickly back on the shelf

Dioxins, known to disrupt the endocrine system, with strong links to cancer. They won’t be listed on a label, but are often part of antibacterial agents like triclosan or sodium laureth sulphate, watch out for non-organic cotton menstrual products as most cotton nowadays is genetically engineered, sprayed with pesticides and treated with bleach

Toluene, found in dyes, paint, glues etc. and sometimes in nail polish or hair colouring products under names like benzene, methylbenzene and phenylmethane

Plastics, recently getting better in all our products and many producers are now using plastic that is recyclable and not leaking all the nasties into our skincare. However, it is still the most used packaging for beauty products. If you have an organic garden, would you place it in the middle of chemical rubbish dump? This is what is plastic packaging for me with regards to beauty products. Go for glass if you can.

So please keep checking the labels and above all, keep your long-term health in mind. Many of these nasties will do damage over a long period of time, as they are present in our products in minute levels deemed safe for human use (if only).

And why not to try to make your own beauty products. It’s so easy to do, you will have fun doing it and will know exactly what goes into it as you put it there! I have shared an Instagram post about making your own blusher as an example, go check it out!

Happy shopping x