There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive beauty product and having it fall short of your expectations.
The wrinkle cream that made you break out… The shampoo that dried out your locks… The hand lotion that gave you a mysterious rash…
The truth is, most conventional beauty products are riddled with chemicals that not only age and irritate your skin, but that are known to disrupt hormones, cause cancer, and even create neurological problems.
As you gear up for holiday shopping, wouldn’t it be nice to know which skin, hair, and makeup lines are worthy of the health-conscious women on your gift list (including yourself)?
The Beauty Industry’s Dirty Little Secret
From shampoos and hair products to lotions and makeup, the average woman exposes herself to about 500 chemicals before she even leaves the house in the morning.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret about that anti-aging mask or eye cream you’ve been buying for years: The very ingredients that are purported to erase lines or lighten brown spots actually wreak havoc on your skin over the long-term. Chemicals in most beauty products age you in the end, making for a saggy and dull complexion.
That’s probably not the look you were going for, was it?
While you don’t necessarily have to replace the entire contents of your beauty bag right away, knowledge is power.
Watch out for these top offenders on beauty product labels:
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
SLS is a lathering agent that’s found in most soaps, shampoos, and cleansers. Originally used as an industrial-strength detergent, it’s one of the most irritating skin cleansers on the market. It also strips the skin of its top protective layers, allowing other toxins to be absorbed more quickly into the body.
class of chemicals, parabens are preservatives that can cause serious disruption to the endocrine system. They have also been linked to reproductive problems, allergies, and immunotoxicity.
An anti-bacterial agent, triclosan has been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and affect thyroid hormones. Products that have the phrase “anti-bacterial” on them usually contain this chemical.
Another skin-irritating preservative, formaldehyde is also a carcinogen. It’s found in many shampoos, nail polishes, hair gels, and liquid baby soaps.
The synthetic chemical compounds that make up “fragrance” in any given product can affect the skin, the immune system, and even fertility. Fragrance is also one of six categories of neurotoxins – toxins that affect your brain health.
This skin-bleaching agent can act as a carcinogen, and may disrupt adrenal gland function.
Better Beauty Gift Picks – For Every Woman on Your List
As you budget for that Black Friday sale or other holiday shopping, I challenge you to put more thought into your beauty purchases this year – whether they’re for you, your aging mom, your picky little sister, or your not-so-green best friend.
Here are a few of my favorite brands that offer clean, quality beauty products for every woman on your list:
For The Stylish and Sophisticated:
1. In Fiore. A flower-based beauty line, and the owner is a homeopath. Sexy, chic products that are based in essential oils, floral waters, and herbal infusions.
For the Woman Who’s Tried Everything:
2. Suki. Completely natural skin and beauty products that actually fix stubborn problems like acne and rosacea. Fruit- and plant-based ingredients that smell and feel amazing on your skin.
For the Hair–Obsessed:
3. 100% Pure. This line keeps my hair smooth and soft, without damaging chemicals and fragrances.
For the Nature Girl:
4. Intrinsic Organics. Handmade in batches in Northern California, Intrinsic Organics’ products include luscious body butters, scrubs, and moisturizers.
For the Beauty Queen:
Do you have a natural beauty product you love? Have questions about ingredients? Share your responses in the comments below.