Did you know that there is a huge difference between natural and organic?
In Europe and the UK you can declare a product natural by law, if it contains only 5% natural ingredients. This means that these products may contain artificial preservatives, fragrances, petrochemical substances and detergents, which are absorbed into the body and are proven to be carcinogenic. Organic means that the product is produced without pesticides and toxic ingredients in the soil, which is also organic, without chemical substances. Some pharmaceutical companies use some organic ingredients, but their products are based on artificial or chemical substances. However, even if a product is labeled as organic, you should pay attention to the label with ingredients and to the certificate that assure you the quality. Just naming a product organic isn’t enough. The safe product has to be certified organic and under control by a number of internationally recognized bodies such as: ECO CERT, SOIL ASSOCIATION, BDIH (Europe), BFA (Australia), USDA (USA)…
Scientific studies show that in cosmetics there are many harmful and potentially hazardous chemical substances that can be: carcinogenic, skin irritants, allergens, acne producing, cause contact dermatitis and hormone-related diseases.
Pay attention and avoid especially the following ingredients:
DEA ingredients (all ingredients with dea after the first word)
dimethicone (& other methicone ingredients)
fragrance: contains large quantities of toxins & chemicals not disclosed.
imidazolidinyl urea: releases formaldehyde, toxic laureth family (ingredients with laureth, laurate or lauryl extensions)
petroleum (petrolatum, mineral oils, vaseline)
phenonip: preservative blend of phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben & isobutylparaben
phthalates (esters of phthalic acid, such as dibutyl phthalate): found in most conventional nail polishes, hair styling products, fragrances, squeezable plastics, soft plastic baby toys, baby wipes. Not listed on products, hidden in ingredients such as synthetic fragrances & “fragrance free” products
stearic (acids & others)
talc: can contain asbestos
TEA ingredients (not tea, but rather ingredients with tea in front)
These ingredients are just some of the most harmful, but the list goes on. So if you want to avoid hours of intensive study, it is still best to look at certified organic products.
You can find on internet many sources of information about this topic. For the start I recommend you further reading such as:
Julie Gabriel: The green beauty guide
Dawn Mellowship: Toxic beauty (also a great book about toxic ingredients)
Skin deep cosmetic safety data base at: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com
On this site you find tons of information about ingredients, researches and studies of different cosmetic products and brands. I find this site extremely useful for checking the ingredients and find fresh informations.