Becoming an eco-beauty

(Published in The Observer on Sunday 22 April, 2012)

Go green this Earth Day and seek out earth friendly cosmetics which are kind to your skin and the environment too.

With the call to go green ringing in our ears as Earth Day approaches its time to make the switch to earth friendly cosmetics and skincare.

The skin is the largest organ of the body – a delicate shield of protection covering us from head to toe. Much of what we put on our body is absorbed directly into our skin, yet many cosmetics, such as shampoos, body washes, creams and scrubs include ingredients which are skin irritants, while some have even been linked to birth defects and cancers.

Organic, natural cosmetics are often free of harsh chemicals such as sodium laurel sulfate, petrolatum and pthalates and are kinder to your skin and the environment too.

You don’t have to look far either to find a wide range of earth friendly cosmetics available in Cayman. Local supermarkets stock popular brands such as Kiss My Face, Jason and Avalon Organics, while Le Visage stocks the popular European brand Lavera. Not only are these products free of harsh chemicals, they also utilise wherever possible recycled and recyclable packaging to help minimize their impact on the earth.

Kiss My Face

Kiss My Face includes a wide range of earth friendly, organic skincare products, including shampoos, body washes and moisturizers to name just a few. Products are cruelty free and combine natural and organic botanicals, vitamins and oils to nourish skin and hair.

Jason

Jason includes a wide range of products suitable for the entire family such as shampoos, body washes, sun care and deodorants. Wherever possible the products avoid the use of animal by-products, synthetic colours or fragrances and harmful chemicals. Their products are also cruelty free.

Avalon Organics

Avalon Organics natural body care range is free from synthetic fragrances, phthalates, sulfates and parabens and all products contain at least 70 per cent organic content. As well as body washes, shampoos and conditioners, Avalon Organics includes a wide selection of face creams, washes and serums.

Lavera

The Lavera range of organic skincare products are certified 100 percent natural and organic, and are free from synthetic compounds, petrochemical derived compounds, genetically modified organisms and raw materials from dead animals. Like most natural and organic cosmetics Lavera are also cruelty free. They also stock a wide range of natural vegan products.

Here’s some common ingredients you’ll want to avoid:

Petrolatum

This mineral oil is mostly found in hair products where it is used to create shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. This ingredient can potentially be contaminated with impurities which are linked to cancer or other significant health problems.

Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate

Commonly labeled as SLS, this ingredient is used in most products that foam, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. SLS can be contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogenic and can be drying on the skin.

Parabens

These are used in a variety of cosmetics as a preservative. They can be found mostly in personal care products that contain significant amounts of water, such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions and facial and shower cleansers and scrubs. Parabens may interfere with male reproductive functions and have been found in low concentrations in breast cancer tumors.

Pthalates

Research suggests that phthalates disrupt hormonal systems, which can cause harm during critical periods of development. Pthalates are a frequent component of fragrances used in air fresheners, detergents, cleaning products and more.

Triclosan

Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. A suspected hormone disruptor which impacts thyroid function, triclosan has also been linked to the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and antibacterial products. Along with its negative health effects, triclosan also impacts the environment, ending up in lakes, rivers and other water sources, where it is toxic to aquatic life.

Parfum (Fragrance)

Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma, while some have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. They are also a known hormone disruptor.

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