It never ceases to amaze me the unnecessary and unhealthy junk some manufacturers put in their products. Whether it be food, cosmetics, or personal care products, reading labels and understanding ingredients are both really important to your overall health.
When I founded my online store of natural health products, that’s all it was going to be: a one-stop shop for great health products from around the globe. As I continued to make healthier choices in my life, however, I realized that personal care products, even ones that claimed to be natural, could contain a wide variety of harmful ingredients in them and that people needed to be made aware of this.
Since I believe in the whole enchilada, you can impact your health negatively if you use harmful products on your skin every day. With our skin being our biggest organ, I believe what you put on your skin is as important if not more important than what you ingest.
I realized that I not only needed to add natural personal care products to my store but educate myself so I could be of better sevice to my clients and anyone interested in taking better care of their health. That is when I started to look into ingredients.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The journey of reasearching all these ingredients was truly eye opening. I ran across a lot of ingredients that had crazy long names that I couldn’t pronounce. I instantly thought “toxic chemical” but I was wrong so many times.
When you start digging, you start understanding why certain ingredients are used in personal care products. Let’s take Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose for example. My first reaction seeing that ingredient is that it can’t be good. Well, as a matter of fact, it’s derived from cellulose, part of the cell wall and structural component of plants, and is used as a natural thickener and stabilizer.
What about Cholecacalciferol? It has a long name that doesn’t scream “natural” which makes you wonder, right? Wrong. Cholecacalciferol is a form of vitamin D, also called vitamin D3. Since it is easily absorbed by the skin, many cosmetic manufacturers use this ingredient as a skin conditioner and moisturizer, especially in SPF products. You may find it in personal care products such as facial moisturizer, anti-aging treatment, sunscreen, lip gloss, conditioner, lipstick, body wash and cleansers.
Shopping for Natural and Safe Personal Care Products
Here are a few tips to help you on your journey to safe and natural products:
- Read all product labels – Educating yourself and understanding the purpose/benefit of ingredients will help you make wiser and healthier decisions when shopping.
- Do Your Due Diligence and Ask Questions – Don’t be afraid of contacting manufacturers with specific questions about their products and ingredients. I’ve asked questions like what the source of an ingredient is (i.e natural vs synthetic) or whether a lipstick contains lead.
- Fragrance – Good or Bad? There is a lot of misrepresentation when it comes to fragrances. Many companies hide chemicals under the general term “fragrance”. Other companies, however, use essential oils as a fragrance in their product. I love essential oils and feel quite comfortable using a product that is fragranced with essential oils.
- Reference Great Sources – Visit websites like Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database with over 78,000 products, ingredients, and brands as well as manufacturer’s websites or an ingredients glossary like the one I recently posted on XLvita.com.
- Buy Products from Companies with Full Disclosure – I like manufacturers who fully disclose their ingredients list. Here are some to name a few: Andalou Naturals, Nonie of Beverly Hills, Sante and Logona Naturkosmetik, Weleda, Slimmer Silhouette, Altearah, Vibrant Health, and A Vogel.
What’s next on my list? Since I am strongly against GMOs, I am going to circle back with all the manufacturers whose products I carry and ask them if their products contain GMO ingredients. What can I tell you? I am passionate about health and providing only safe and effective products for my clients. GMOs are harmful and need to stay out of our food, home, and personal care products.
To summarize: just because an ingredient has a name that you have trouble pronouncing does not make it bad and vice versa. The key as with all things healthy, is to be educated or at least having the resources at your fingertips on how to find the information. My ingredients glossary for healthy personal care products is a great place for you to start. To your health!