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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Which Skincare Ingredients shall I use?

There are many skincare ingredients to choose from, some natural, some synthetic and some that seem to be in between! And they all come with crazy chemical names that can make you feel very uncomfortable about using them.

This can make many people retreat into the world of very basic toiletries - like going back to medieval times with results that although natural, it has to be said, are often very crude and most definitely not very user friendly for our modern lifestyles. You don't have to just smear olive oil on your face because you are unsure about using modern emulsifiers... there is a way forward.

Of course a great deal will depend upon your own ethics. If you are very very strict about using skincare ingredients in as natural a state as possible then you will definitely limit the amount of toiletries that you can use. But if you consider that even olive oil does not simply drip off the tree... it has to be synthesised or processed by human hands... if you take this kind of processing a step further you have an olive oil spread for your toast in the morning and this is generally considered to be a healthy alternative to using butter... which has much less human interferance. Well it's the same with cosmetic ingredients... some are closer to the tree than others and there is a large number of ingredients that fall slap bang in the middle!

Before I go any further I must add my own personal take on the use of synthetic chemicals as skincare ingredients - I try to avoid them as much as possible, however I believe that a large number of them are safe to use in the correct percentage in products that I occasionally use on my skin and hair. Since when we are in good health our bodies detoxify regularly, I am confident that the small amount of synthetic chemicals that I do use pose no discernable health threat to me... no more so than when I eat non-organic food at a restaurant.What you won't get anywhere on this site is claims that certain skincare ingredients cause cancer or any other health problems. Many such claims you read on the internet have no basis in science and no credible proof anywhere beyond the urban myth.
In the light of modern scientific knowledge there are regulations governing the manufacture and use of synthetic chemicals in products designed to be used on the skin or hair. When scientific proof comes to light about an adverse effect of an ingredient these governing bodies tend to act very quickly to have it removed from use.
I don't know of any cosmetic company big or small who want to poison their customers... they don't want to store up long-term problems for the future either as most of them plan to be in business for a very long time. That doesn't mean that the synthetic ingredients in their products are necessarily good for you... it just means that it can't be proven at this moment in time that they are bad for you.

I believe that it is sensible to cut out unnecessary synthetic chemicals from our lives... as much as possible. However I do not go to crazy lengths... there is no point in cutting off your nose to spite your face. If you live a very 'toxic' lifestyle or perhaps your health is generally not so good...then yes you may wish to cut right down on the use of synthetic stuff. But under normal circumstances with a healthy body there is no reason to believe that a reasonable use of carefully chosen synthetic ingredients (used with knowledge and care) would cause you any harm.

Over the next couple of weeks I hope to have time to blog about some specific chemicals/synthetic ingredients that are
found in lots of cosmetic products.

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