Personal care products that are used daily in America, like cosmetics and anti-aging creams, contain harmful chemicals that can harm our bodies. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and plays a vital role in our immune system. But many of these products have harsh chemicals that can penetrate our skin, causing negative gut effects and harming our body’s natural defense mechanisms.
It’s essential to be aware of what ingredients to avoid when choosing personal care products. Fragrance, for example, is a red flag, as it can contain many carcinogenic chemicals. Other harmful ingredients to avoid include sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, PEGs, phthalates, and triclosan.
Unfortunately, the beauty industry is not always transparent about the ingredients they use, and it can be challenging to identify harmful chemicals on the label. For instance, phthalates are often used to make other ingredients, making them hard to identify.
Have you ever heard of formaldehyde? It’s that chemical used on furniture and leather jackets. Remember, leather jackets are animal skin so in order for it to not smell and look like rotting skin they dip it into formaldehyde to preserve it. Well, believe it or not, that same chemical is commonly found in cosmetics and personal care products. But here’s the thing – it’s not always labeled as formaldehyde. It can also go by other names and derivatives, which can make it tricky to spot on the ingredient list. That’s why simply reading the label and trying to decipher what’s good or bad for you isn’t enough. We need to be aware of these sneaky chemicals and take action to protect ourselves.
I recently got a facial because I noticed some blackheads and the aesthetician recommended I exfoliate 2 times a week so of course anytime I am looking for a product, my go-to resource that I trust is EWG because they are studying these products and vetting the chemicals in it.
Thrive Market is my go-to store for healthy affordable products so I put their exfoliants to the test.
My team and I compared the following:
Fruit Enzyme Cleanser by MyChelle
Citrine Sea Purifying Exfoliation Potion from Earth Harbor
Radically Rejuvenating Facial Scrub from ACURE
Fruit Enzyme Cleanser by MyChelle: This product has the best EWG score, meaning its ingredients don’t pose health concerns.
Citrine Sea Purifying Exfoliation Potion from Earth Harbor: Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a rating for this specific product on the EWG website. However, other Earth Harbor products have ratings ranging from 1 to 3, with 1 being the highest concern for allergies and immunotoxicity, and 3 indicating moderate restrictions on use.
Radically Rejuvenating Facial Scrub from ACURE: This product has a rating of 4 on the EWG website. While it’s still considered relatively safe, there are some concerns regarding allergies and immunotoxicity, as well as moderate concerns around development and reproductive toxicity, and restrictions on use.
So the winner in this contest is the Fruit Enzyme Cleanser by MyChelle.
An interesting thing to note in the event you are in the market for skincare products, the USDA has certified organic standards that now apply to cosmetics and personal care products. This is because these products are considered food for our body, and we need to feed it with healthy ingredients. So, you may want to look for USDA-certified organic products when shopping for personal care items.
When it comes to choosing the best products, the closer and longer a product stays on your skin, the more critical it is to switch to a natural and organic option. For example, anti-aging creams and deodorants sit on our skin all day, making them a priority for switching to cleaner options.
Avoid products with chemicals that penetrate the skin, such as creams that contain penetrators designed to pull other chemicals deeper into our bodies. Instead, opt for natural fragrances, like essential oils, and clean products that are free from harmful ingredients.