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Reduce your Beauty Chemical Intake

Friday, 11 October 2013

In modern life it is impossible to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals; it can be in the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, household cleaning materials and the products we apply to our bodies. However, it is possible to limit your exposure with simple changes to your beauty routines.

Here are our top 5 tips to help you on your way:

1. Swap your shower gel. You slather shower gel over your entire body every single day, so it makes sense to choose a natural formula that is free from toxins such as SLS, parabens and phthalates.

We recommend: Oh-Lief Natural Body Wash, which is handmade using a base of organic extra virgin olive oil and beeswax. It is naturally foaming, with no harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances or colours.

2. Switch your hand wash. Think back over the past 24 hours; how many times have you washed your hands? Too many times to count, right? Instead of lathering your hands with a chemical-laden soap or hand wash each time, put a natural, chemical-free alternative by your sink instead.

We recommend: Neom Organic Hand Washes, containing 100% natural ingredients and 71% certified organic ingredients.

3. Give your hair a break! Shampoo, conditioner, heat protection spray, styling wax, hairspray… enough already! The more products you laden on your hair and scalp, the more you increase your chemical count. Swap your shampoo and conditioner for natural formulas and minimise the amount of hair styling products you use for a few days each week – if naturally tousled hair is good enough for the likes of Alexa Chung then it’s good enough for us.

We recommend: Essential Care Gentle Herb Shampoo – the first ever shampoo to be certified by The Soil Association.

4. Go easy on the perfume. Perfume is the biggest beauty contributor to your chemical intake, with a reported whopping 250 chemicals going into any given perfume. While we’re not about to give up our Chanel No. 5, we can opt to use it more sparingly and perhaps not feel the need to spritz next time we’re just heading down to the local shop for a pint of milk. Natural perfumes are also available for those of you who want to sidestep chemicals altogether.

We recommend: Sage Roll On Fragrance Oils, available in a range of decadent scents and containing no chemicals, water or alcohol.

5. Look out for certified products. Reading the ingredient labels of beauty products can be a nightmare; chemicals and preservatives have all manner of long, confusing names and it is hard to distinguish what is safe and what isn’t. To make life easier, look for products that have been certified by governing bodies such as The Soil Association or EcoCert, as they have their own strict criteria for certified products that include the prohibited use of harmful chemical ingredients.

We recommend: The Big Green Smile, a website that sells a wide range of natural products and allows you to view product selection by those that have been certified by The Soil Association, as well as other governing bodies.
Do you have any other suggestions for limiting your body’s exposure to chemicals?


Article by resident beauty writer Jenni Retourné of Style with Substance. With a career in the beauty industry spanning almost a decade, Jenni has a huge interest in health and nutrition, believing that everything you eat has an effect both on the outside and inside.

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