Natural Inspirations

natural body care

Exfoliating the Facts About Body Care Products

Julie Ekelund2 Comments

Why Should I Use Natural Body Care Products?

As a co-founder of Natural Inspirations, I'm asked this question all the time. In fact, it was the question I first asked when a friend's cancer diagnosis made me acutely aware of what we put in and on our bodies. It prompted an appreciation for the shift in body care products to natural. From her diagnosis to treatment to recovery, I learned many eye-opening things, including that up to 65% of what we put on our skin can be absorbed into our bodies. Yikes!

Now, think of how many body care products you use a day -- everything from cleanser, moisturizer, body wash, to lotion, deodorant and toothpaste.  Mine totals up to 11 products; how about you? Well, research shows that the average woman uses nine personal care products a day, with 126 chemicals.*  Think about using these products every day. For years. The toxins can build up in our body and can have a negative effect. So the chemicals in our products matter and can make a difference in our health!

My friend's cancer diagnosis served as a catalyst for trying a whole range of natural products. While I felt better about what I was putting on my body, the products themselves weren't as pampering as my then go-tos. The body washes didn't lather, the lotions were runny, the body crèmes didn't sink into my skin, and everything was sticky! I wanted products that had the "good" ingredients with an equally good (read: luxurious and indulgent) experience. It seemed like eliminating the "bad" ingredients in my body care products was going to force me to use products that I didn't like as well. Instead, I put my skin in the game, so to speak, and devoted my days to creating what I couldn't find: natural body care products that pamper.

How Can I Find the Best-For-Me Natural Body Care Products?

Through our Natural Inspirations blog, we'll help you wade through the pros and cons of the choices we have when choosing body care products.  Hopefully the information shared will help you begin to make healthier choices!

Our mantra at Natural Inspirations is "Indulge in the good...Eliminate the bad." What exactly does that mean? It's pretty simple. Use products that contain the fabulous botanical ingredients that nature has to offer, and eliminate the harsh toxins. Here is a list of the top ingredients to avoid in your body care products, and why:

EDTAs

A stabilizer used in cosmetics to prevent ingredients from binding with other ingredients to cause unwanted changes to a product's texture, odor and consistency. Though clinical data indicates that disodium EDTA is not well absorbed by the skin, it has been shown to enhance the dermal penetration of other ingredients contained in the product making it easier for undesirable ingredients to enter your body.

PARABENS

Often shown on an ingredient list as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, or butylparaben, parabens are a common synthetic preservative in beauty products.  Continued use of parabens as preservatives has been linked to hormone-disruptive activities, breast cancer, and skin irritation and there are studies that suggest possible carcinogenicity.

PEGs

The abbreviation of polyethylene glycol is a mixture of compounds. They function in three ways: as emollients, emulsifiers, and as vehicles that help deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin. Because of this penetration enhancing effect, PEGs make it easier for undesirable ingredients to enter your body.

PETROCHEMICALS

Petroleum based substances covering a wide array of chemicals. Some of these chemicals can cause photosensitivity and skin problems by creating a chemical barrier that prevents skin from "breathing."  This leads to chapping and dry skin.

PHTHALATES

These chemical plasticizers that soften plastics are also found in beauty products (shown on the ingredient list as diethylphthalate (DEP)) where they stabilize the fragrance, increase spreadability and enhance absorption of skin care products.There may be a relationship between phthalates and adverse effects on human reproduction or development as well as cancer.

SULFATES

Also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), these chemicals dissolve the oils on your skin which can cause a drying effect. Used for their foam-building abilities, they cause eye irritation, skin rashes, and allergic reactions.

SYNTHETIC DYES

Labeled FD&C or D&C, they are used to make a cosmetic “pretty”, synthetic dyes are linked to skin allergies and sensitivities.

To learn more about body care ingredients, check out our Ingredient Glossary.

Every week, I hear a new story from a friend, customer or retailer who has chosen to make the change to natural ingredients by trying Natural Inspirations. I'm amazed at the positive impact the right ingredients can make in how our skin reacts.  Small changes can make a big difference! To see for yourself and inspire others, be one of the first 10 people to share this post on Facebook and I'll give you a sample to experience the Natural Inspirations difference!

*2009 Environmental Working Group Study