It's no news that conventional makeup is bad for your skin and health! Armed with knowledge, you can make the best buying decisions possible when it comes to your beauty products.
Before we start to dig in, it’s important for you to have some background on how the beauty industry works.
The beauty industry is one of the most unregulated industries. According to the FDA’s website, the “FDA does not approve cosmetics.” They go on to state that it is the “responsibility of cosmetic manufacturers to ensure that the products are safe when used as directed on their label or under customary conditions of use.” With no approvals needed before a cosmetic enters the market and with no one really looking after cosmetic and personal care companies, you can see where the opportunity would present itself to use sub-par and artificial ingredients in the name of convenience (ability to easily mass produce readily available products) and profitability. Cosmetic companies have been allowed to put ingredients in products, that recent findings show cause negative health effects, like cancer, endocrine disruption, skin irritation, etc.
A bit shocking, huh?!
By now, most of you are well aware of the benefits of eating whole, unprocessed foods. You notice that your body functions better, you have more energy, your sleep is more restful, and hormones begin to regulate themselves. You recognize the significant impact of what you put IN your body. Thats fantastic! Sadly, some of us tend to neglect these same standards when it comes to our personal care products; however, what we put ON our bodies is equally as important.
Caution: We're about to get science-y regarding how products that are put ON your skin get IN your body.
Your skin is one of the largest and highly intricate organs you have. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis, and it consists of five different cell layers. The top cell layer is the stratus corneum, and we are going to focus on it for a minute. When products are applied topically to your skin, a healthy stratus corneum can absorb 20% of its volume. Once a substance has passed through the stratus corneum, it is fully systemically available and is toxicologically relevant . As the product sits on your skin longer, more ingredients pass through the stratus corneum and make their way through the body. This is why things like birth control patches and topical anesthetics work.
Remember those nasty ingredients that conventional makeup is made of? Well, they are now in your body!
A damaged stratus corneum has a higher absorption rate for topically applied products, chemicals, etc. . Because it’s damaged, it is weakened and not functioning at full capacity. What damages the stratus corneum, you ask? Well, things like alcohols and detergents found in topical products break down the lipid barrier. Lipids are natural fats that keep the outer layer of skin healthy and moisturized. The topical products surround the stratus corneum, making it weak and increasing absorption rates. Also, if our lipid barrier is not functioning properly (due to topical product damage), our skin will become dryer and more wrinkles will appear, causing premature aging—GASP! (Insert explicit words here!)
Did you hear that? Conventional products can promote aging!
Another way ingredients from products are absorbed into the body is via hair follicles. One study showed that the absorption rate of caffeine for hair follicles was nearly ten times higher than that of the stratum corneum . Also, water causes an increase of permeation of the skin. So the lotion (and chemicals in it) that you slather on your body right after your shower, when your skin is damp, can pass through your skin barrier and into your body much quicker. Not to mention, whenever water is added to a product, you MUST add a preservative to keep bacteria from growing. Preservatives come in various forms, and most are synthetically made. There are several natural ingredients that have proven themselves with preservative-like qualities. These mainly come in the form of essential oils that don't cause damage.
So now what?
It's so eye opening to realize that what we have been putting on our skin all these years affects our health so much! But not to worry, with brands like Araza, you can rest assured that our products are made with skin-loving, nourishing ingredients, like healthy fats, organic plants, and natural earth minerals intended to feed and heal our skin and protect our internal health.
If you have any questions, give me a shout! Im always happy to help!
- Tibaldi R, ten Berge W, Drolet D. Dermal Absorption of Chemicals: Estimation by IH SkinPerm. Journal Of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene [serial online]. January 2, 2014;11(1):19. Available from: Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 23, 2016.
- Liu X, Grice J, Roberts M, et al. Hair follicles contribute significantly to penetration through human skin only at times soon after application as a solvent deposited solid in man. British Journal Of Clinical Pharmacology [serial online]. November 2011;72(5):768-774. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 23, 2016.
- Phuong C, Maibach H. Recent knowledge: Concepts of dermal absorption in relation to skin decontamination. Journal Of Applied Toxicology [serial online]. January 2016;36(1):5. Available from: Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, Ipswich, MA. Accessed February 23, 2016.