Cosmetic And Bath Products: Healthy Beauty Product Ingredients

Look for these key ingredients to make sure you are getting the best products for your skin and hair care needs.

If you have browsed a cosmetic department or catalog recently, you may have noticed many beauty products boast to be “natural,” “organic,” or, “enriched.” The truth is, these words can sometimes be euphemisms for petroleum products, chemicals, and fillers.

When purchasing beauty products, look for those that have the fewest ingredients. The more ingredients listed on a product, the more fillers and preservatives it is likely to have. Some ingredients that are good for your skin that you should look for are:

Vitamin E is often found in a variety of beauty products. It revitalizes your skin and hair, and is safe to use even on sensitive skin.

Shea butter is a natural, gentle moisturizer that helps to promote your skin’s own collagen production, which is found mostly in cleansers. This is much better than using products which boast that they contain collagen, since collagen molecules cannot be absorbed through the skin.

Following close behind shea butter is cocoa butter, which improves the elasticity of skin and can help reduce stretch marks and age lines.

Aloe or Aloe Vera comes from a plant renowned for its healing and moisturizing properties. It can be found in many cleansers, creams and moisturizers.

When looking for an exfoliant, find those that contain ground almonds, mica, wheat germ or oatmeal. These ingredients will exfoliate without damaging your skin.

In astringents and hair build-up removers, look for natural citrus acids rather than chemical acids or alcohols. Citrus acids are gentler and contain their own replenishing oils, while chemicals and alcohol strip away all of your skin’s natural oil.

When choosing colors for your cheeks and eyes, look for earth tones. Earth tone makeup has a much lower concentration of dyes than pastels and jewel tones. Cosmetic dyes can be an irritant for sensitive skin.

Beeswax lipsticks and lip balms are much better for your lips than those made from filler waxes, such as paraffin. We can’t help but ingest small amounts of our lipstick each day that we wear it. Beeswax is not harmful to our system, while filler waxes made from petroleum are known carcinogens. Beeswax is also great in hand creams and soaps.

Lipsticks are also best when colored with natural minerals and oxides, rather than cosmetic grade colorants. Oxides also double as an effective sun screen, protecting your lips from harmful UV rays.

Powdered products are best when they contain cornstarch, rather than talc. While talc is not usually harmful to the skin through contact, it contains carcinogens that can be inhaled during application.

Anything labeled “water proof,” or “water resistant,” is best avoided. You will need a chemical solvent to remove it properly, and chemical solvents are too harsh for our skin. Instead, try to stick to products that are “water based,” especially when choosing foundations and face creams. They will feel lighter on your skin because they lack the pore-clogging, petroleum based oils that can promote acne and aging. Your skin needs to breathe, and anything made water proof will prevent that.

Any kind of natural oil, such as coconut, almond, or jojoba, is your best bet in skin products. Mineral oils, lanolin, and petroleum jellies, besides being known carcinogens, serve to clog pores deeply, promoting the growth of blackheads and pimples. Natural oils are lighter, gentler, and easily removed with gentle cleansing products.

Remember that these ingredients alone do not mean that a product you are using is all good. Make sure to check any ingredients of which you are not certain. However, if your products contain many of the ingredients mentioned above and lack additional preservatives and fillers, they will be kinder to your skin.

Written by M.S. Beltran – 2002 Pagewise

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