Organic Skin Care Blueprint:
The 5 Essential Components
"Organic Skin Care Blueprint:
The 5 Essential Components Of Every Skin Care
Product And The Natural Ingredient Alternatives"
You can use this guide as an ingredient checklist when you next purchase organic body care, skin care and hair care products. You can also use this guide as a blueprint to make your own home made herbal skin care products. Ok, let's get to it.
All skin care products, both synthetic and organic, contain these 5 components: emolliments, humectants; emulsifiers; surfactants and preservatives. This organic skin care guide will give you a "heads-up" on the natural alternatives to the commonly used synthetic chemicals.
Function: serve a dual purpose, they prevent dryness by protecting your skin (acting as a barrier), and act as a healing agent.
In theory water is the best emolliment, but because it evaporates quickly it is ineffective. Synthetic emolliments are occlusive i.e. they coat the skin like a plastic wrap and do not allow it breathe, this causes skin irritation for many people.
Another danger with synthetic emolliments is that over time they can accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes leading to severe problems later in life. And to top it off, they are also non-biodegradable, causing a negative environmental impact.
On the other hand, natural emolliments used in organic skin care solutions can actually nourish the skin by metabolizing your skin's own enzymes. They are readily biodegradable and are safe enough to eat!
Synthetic Emolliments To Avoid
|Type ||Example ||Effect: MSDS Source |
|PEG compounds ||PEG-45 Almond Glyceride ||May contain the toxic by product Dioxane. |
|Synthetic Alcohols ||Isopropyl Plamitate ||Can cause allergies and dermatitis |
|Hydrocarbons ||Mineral Oil, Parrafin, Wax, Petrolatum ||Contain carcinogenic and mutagenic properties and can cause chemically induced acne. |
|Silicone Oils ||Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Copolyol ||Clogs the skin and causes tumors when painted on lab animals. |
Organic Skin Care Emolliments
|Type ||Example |
|Plant Oils ||Jojoba, Avocado, Rosehip, Shea, Cocoa and Jojoba Butters |
Function: To keep your skin moist.
Like many synthetic emolliments, conventional hemuctants also form a suffocating film on the skin to prevent moisture loss. The synthetic humectants commonly used are industrial strength detergents and slovents that actually strip away your skin's natural oils and leave a rough and pitted appearance.
Some synthetic humectants such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Propylene Glycol actually go one step further and penetrate the skin membrane. They are called "penetration enhancers."
Illegal Hijacking Of Your Bloodstream?
Do these "penetration enhancers" illegally hijack your bloodstream via your skin membrane? This is a very hot topic in the cosmetic industry at the moment. Well first let's get a few things straight.
Fact 1: As we mentioned earlier any chemical that penetrates your skin membrane is classified as a drug by the FDA. These types of products (like nicotine patches and topical hormonal applications) come under much stricter regulations as a result.
Fact 2: Many cosmetic companies do in fact use "penetration enhancers" like the above mentioned Propylene Glycol. These chemicals are specifically designed to penetrate the skin membrane. They then clear the way for other more potentially dangerous toxins (like carcinogens and mutagens) to enter your bloodstream unhindered.
Source: For evidence of this direct from the US FDA's own rule book go to How the US FDA Allows Your Bloodstream To Be Illegally Hijacked for more information.
Conclusion: Cosmetic corporations that sell you skin care products containing these "penetration enhancers" (90% do) are in fact breaking the law as it is written by the FDA.
Semi Natural Humectants
Some organic skin care makers tout the benefits of Collagen, Elastin and Keratin as a humectant. Whilst they are compatible with human skin and deposit a protective film, they are usually extracted from animals and in doing so violate their own "cruelty free" policy.
Many "anti aging" skin care companies would also have you believe that your skin can use these animal proteins to rejuvenate and replace aging cells. This is nonsense! The size of these animal molecules, even when broken down are far too large to penetrate human skin. Even if they could get in, they would be immediately be rejected a foreign matter and attacked by the immune system.
So, what are the best natural ingredients for this important role? Legitimate research indicates that "Natural Phospholipids" from Lecithin are beneficial humectants. They attract air and water from the surrounding air and as a result naturally hydrate your skin. They do this without preventing normal cellular function like the synthetic variety.
Recent studies have also showed that topically applied Natural Phospholipids can also restore the barrier function of the skin, protecting it from harmful chemicals and bacteria. These natural hemectants are a necessity for any serious organic skin care regime.
Synthetic Humectants To Avoid
|Chemical Compound ||Health Effect |
|Propylene Glycol ||Causes skin irritation and contact dermatitis. |
|Ethylene/Diethylene Glycol ||Causes skin irritation and contact dermatitis. |
|PEG Compounds ||May contain the carcinogenic by product Dioxane. |
|Ethoxlated Sufactants ||May contain the carcinogenic by product Dioxane. |
|Synthetic Alcohols ||Have been shown to cause allergies and contact dermatitis. |
Organic Skin Care Humectants
|Type ||Source |
|Natural Phospholipids ||Lecithin |
|Panthenol ||Pro Vitamin B5 |
Function: Designed to hold two ingredients together that don't normally mix.
This emulsification process can be done through a physical substance (like wax) or a physical action (shake well before use!).
Synthetic emulsifiers are usually a combination of of petroleum and hydrocarbon derivatives. As mentioned previously, these chemicals are carcinogenic in nature.
The surprising thing is that natural emulsifiers, while doing a much better job can easily be obtained from various nuts, berries and leaves to enhance your home-made organic skin care solution.
Synthetic Emulsifiers To Avoid
|Type ||Example ||Health Effect |
|Alkoxykated Amides ||TEA, DEA, MEA, MIPA compounds. ||Can undergo nitrosation to form nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens. |
|PEG Compounds ||PEG-45 ||May contain the carcinogenic by-product Dioxane. |
|Synthetic Alcohols ||Sorbitan Stearate, Laurate, Palmitate, Oleate ||Known to cause contact dermatitis and allergies in lab animals |
Organic Skin Care Emulsifiers
|Candelilla ||Carnauba ||Jojoba |
|Rice Bran ||Xanthan Gum ||Quince Seed |
Function: Designed to dissolve oils and hold dirt in suspension so it can be rinsed away with water. Mostly used in skin cleansers and shampoos.
There are two major classes of surfactants used in synthetic skin care products:
1) Ethoxylated Surfactants: The chemical reaction required to mix Ethylene and Propylene Oxide together has a serious side affect, that is they can be contaminated with Dioxane, a potent carcinogen.
Time Saving Tip: This class of toxins is quite easy to pinpoint. They are listed on labels as either ending in -eth (Laureth) or contain the phrase PEG (Poly Ethylene Glycol) or PPG (Poly Propylene Glycol).
2) Amides: These are listed on labels containing the term TEA (Tri Ethanol Amine), DEA (Di Ethanol Amine) and MEA (Mono Ethanol Amine).
Why are these chemicals hazardous? Well, all compounds containing TEA, DEA and MEA undergo nitrosation with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.
As is usually the case there are natural alternatives that do the job much better and safer than synthetics. Natural Saponins (foaming agents) gently cleanse the hair and scalp without stripping away the natural oils. These natural surfactants are a core component of any organic skin care regime.
Synthetic Surfactants To Avoid
|Chemical Type ||Health Effect |
|Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate ||Potential human carcinogen. |
|Ammonium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate ||Potential human carcinogen. |
|Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate ||Potential human carcinogen. |
|Sodium Lauroyl/Cocoyl Sacrosinate ||Potential human carcinogen. |
|Cocomidopropyl Betaine ||Potential human carcinogen. |
|TEA ||Potent carcinogen when mixed with Nitrosamines |
|MEA ||Potent carcinogen when mixed with Nitrosamines |
|DEA ||Potent carcinogen when mixed with Nitrosamines |
|PEG ||Potent carcinogen when mixed with Nitrosamines |
|Quanternium -7,15,31,60 ||Potent carcinogen when mixed with Nitrosamines |
|Disodium Oleamide ||Potent carcinogen when mixed with Nitrosamines |
Organic Skin Care Surfactants
|Castile Soap ||Yucca Extract |
|Soapwort ||Quillaja Bark Extract |
Function: Designed to preserve (and increase) the life of a product.
Contrary to popular myth the decaying process is natural and happens with or without preservatives. In reality, preservatives serve only to delay the inevitable. Skin care products (just like food) do not and should not last forever. If left for long enough they will deteriorate and go rancid.
Chemical preservatives are generally used because they are much cheaper than (and extend the shelf life longer) than natural preservatives. Animal testing has only "proved" the effectiveness of chemical preservatives, not their safety.
Time Saving Tip: Storing your natural/organic products and recipes in the refrigerator will help extend their shelf life (naturally).
Synthetic Preservatives To Avoid
|Imidiazolidinyl Urea G(Germall 115) ||Causes contact dermatitis and releases Formaldehyde over 10°C |
|Diazolidinyl Urea (Germall II) ||Causes contact dermatitis |
|DMDM Hydatonin ||Highly toxic, causes contact dermatitis and contains Formaldehyde. |
|Methyl/Propyl/Butyl/Ethyl Paraben ||Causes allergic reactions and skin rashes. Used in a wide range of products. |
|2-Bromo-Nitro-Propane-1,3-diol ||Causes allergic contact dermatitis. |
|Benzalkonium Chloride ||Highly toxic, a primary skin irritant |
|Quarternium-15 ||Toxic, causes skin rashes and allergic reactions |
|Chloromethylisothiazolinone ||Causes contact dermatitis |
|Methylchloroisothiazoline ||Causes allergies |
|Butylated HydroxyToulene (BHT) ||Carcinogenic and contact dermatitis |
|Butylated Hydroxyanisole ||Natural Preservatives |
Organic Skin Care Preservatives
|Tea Tree Oil ||Thyme Essential Oil |
|Grapefruit Seed Extract ||Bitter Orange Extract |
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