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safe-cosmetics

Why I choose ‘safe’ cosmetics, and what that means

If you’ve purchased “natural” or “organic” cosmetics in the last…well…ever, you’ve probably wondered something along the lines of “what does that even mean?” or “who gets to claim that?” and why?

With sneaky marketing and advertising, particularly in the health and wellness category, almost considered expected these days. Who’s to really know if you’re choosing ‘safe cosmetics’ products that are genuinely safe or at least conscious?

Since I was a young lass studying at beauty school I’ve always been curious of the effects of the creams we were rubbing all over ourselves and our clients. I would frequently wonder why no one else held the same concerns. I thought, “people think so much about what they’re putting IN their bodies, why is no one talking about what we’re putting ON our bodies?” And as many of you know, this is where my journey and mission began.

While it was once widely believed, or maybe assumed, that what we put topically onto our skin is not absorbed into the blood stream. This simply is not true.

Think about nicotine or contraceptive patches. Both contain substances that work by being absorbed through the surface of the skin, into the bloodstream. That’s a pretty scary concept when you think about the amount of ‘safe cosmetics’ products we apply to our bodies on a daily basis.

It would be nice to be able to think that we can trust a label that merely contains the word natural or botanical. But the truth is that while they may have a botanical element or two inside, they often contain the same questionable ingredients as their “non-natural” counterparts.

So, what is the difference between all these grand safe cosmetics claims that companies are making?

Natural

There are currently no regulations in Australia pertaining to the use of the term “natural” in cosmetic marketing and labeling. This can make it really difficult to decipher if the products of your choice are free from nasty chemicals, which you would never consider putting on your body if you knew the potential harm they could cause.

Botanical

Botanical simply means that the product contains ingredients of plant origin. Similar to the “natural” category. There are currently no regulations to monitor the use of this word. Meaning that your “botanical” Moisturiser could contain 90% botanical ingredients, or it could contain 1% botanical ingredients. Great!

Organic

Although there are some restrictions surrounding non certified organic products, you should still be wary when purchasing products labeled with this claim. While products must contain above 70% organic ingredients, the remaining percentage could still possibly be packed with unsafe fillers.

Certified Organic

For a product to become certified organic, it must meet the stringent guidelines of a governing body that it is seeking accreditation from. There are several companies in Australia that provide certification including the ACO, OFC, NASAA, Demeter and TOP. When it doubt, look for one of these logos.

Now, this is not to say that if your products aren’t certified organic, they’re no good. There are plenty of safe, cruelty free and ethical products and companies, who don’t want to go through the long and expensive process of having their products certified organic. Confusing, I know. So what’s a girl, or guy, to do?

Knowledge Is Power

Learn your ingredients! When I first started to become conscious of what ingredients I put on my skin, I got really overwhelmed. There are so many different ingredients, how am I supposed to sort the good from the bad?

So I decided to do my homework, and came up with a list of ingredients that I would ban from my bathroom shelves. And now, years later, I’ve banned them from Botanik.

These culprits are all skin irritants, potentially harmful to our inner bodies and are known to be detrimental to our skins health. And what’s worse? You’d be hard pressed to find a product on the shelf of your local pharmacy or department store that DOESN’T contain some of these:

  • Sulfates
  • Parabens
  • Petro Chemicals
  • Phthalate
  • Formaldehyde (or formaldehyde releasing ingredients)

But it’s not all bad news! The good news is, that all of our incredible brands exclude these nasties, and replace them with skin nourishing, earth loving ingredients that you actually WANT on your body.

Over the next few weeks on the blog we’re going to be exploring these ingredients, the good and the bad. We’ll be exposing their origins and the effects they can have on your skin and body. So you too, can make an empowered choice when it comes to safe cosmetics.

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