Did you know that, in Europe, there are more than 400 chemicals that are not allowed to be included in beauty products? However, the United States allows many of these ingredients to be included in cosmetics. That is outrageous!
While there are at least 10 cosmetic ingredients that I personally avoid, five are particularly problematic. They include parabens, petrolatum, propylene glycol, and synthetic colors and fragrances.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives that include four classes—methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl. Many different sources list parabens as “highly toxic,” and even more disturbing is the suggestion that parabens are xenoestrogens, meaning they have an estrogenic effect on your body.
Also known as petroleum and paraffin jelly, petrolatum is a type of mineral oil that is often used to seal in moisture. This is ironic, because petrolatum actually interferes with your skin’s own moisturizing ability. Skin care products that contain petrolatum are often waxy. So, instead of your skin absorbing the product, it just sits on top of your skin clogging your pores, leading to blackheads and whiteheads, and eventually enlarged pores. This is the exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve if wrinkle-free skin is your goal.
Propylene glycol is usually a mix of synthetic petrochemicals. In fact, it is found in brake and hydraulic fluid, and is the active ingredient in antifreeze! Manufacturers often include it in makeup to hold in moisture. This is terrifying when you consider that the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) warns users to “avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing” and to “avoid prolonged or repeated exposure.” The reason? Propylene glycol has been known to cause allergic and reactions, and has also been found to break down protein and the structure of your cells.
Synthetic colors are listed as FD&C or D&C colors, such as FD&C Red 6 or D&C Yellow 8. In the case of FD&C colors, the FDA has certified them safe for drugs and cosmetics as well as food, but D&C colors can only be used in drugs and cosmetics. Strange, isn’t it? As if the chemicals in a D&C color that bar it from being used in food aren’t also entering your bloodstream and affecting your body. Interestingly, even the FDA itself recommends that most FD&C and D&C colors not be used in any cosmetic eye products, including eye creams, mascara, eye shadow, eye liners, and foundations.
Fragrance can be a tricky ingredient. For example, the label may not even say synthetic fragrance. In fact, it is more likely to simply say fragrance, perfume, or parfum. And the label “fragrance” does not mean just one ingredient; it can contain as many as 200 ingredients that will likely not be listed!
Natural Beauty Care Products
The key to avoiding these skin saboteurs and striving for chemical-free, wrinkle-free skin is to choose the best natural beauty care products available. Avoid the chemicals and look for natural skin care ingredients such as squalane, jojoba oil, and other natural oils, as well as antioxidants like green tea and vitamin C.
My personal natural anti-aging skin care system includes Ocean Actives Squalane eye cream and Arcona tea tree soap and exfoliator in the morning, John Masters rose water hydrating spray throughout the day, and Trilane anti-aging moisturizer at night. Not only do these natural beauty care products keeps my skin soft and smooth, but I don't have to worry that I am sacrificing beauty for health. And that knowledge alone is enough to keep wrinkles and worry lines at bay!
That's an excellent question. Everyone needs to start with a multi. The rest of the supplements you take really depend on what you are trying to achieve--hormonal balance, heart health, eye health, joint health, etc. It is best to discuss these needs with your personal physician.