This guest post is by Emma of Escentual.com.
Choosing natural and eco-friendly skincare and makeup is easier than ever with the abundance of brands now available. Deciphering exactly what constitutes “natural” and “eco-friendly”, however, is slightly more difficult. Natural brands tend to promote products that contain a high level of natural extracts, and are premised upon simple formulations that include only the necessities which are sourced from the natural environment. Eco-friendly brands are slightly different in that they are more focused upon the ethical sourcing of their ingredients, together with ecologically responsible packaging and shipping. Look out for brands that include information about their carbon footprint, or information about the sourcing of their ingredients and packaging.
Many brands profess to be natural, but there is no clear gauge for measuring what percentage of natural ingredients a product must have before it can be labelled as such. It is important to read the ingredients lists of products if you are looking to buy something more eco-friendly. If you are buying natural products due to a skin complaint, a very general rule of thumb is the shorter the ingredients list, the less likely it is to irritate the skin with a profusion of additives.
Mineral makeup has become increasingly popular in recent years as it professes to be more healthy and natural for your skin than conventional makeup. Whether this is true or not is a big source of contention, but there is one universal truth: where liquid foundations have a long and often unidentifiable ingredients list, mineral powder foundations are far more scaled back, leaving out preservatives, parabens, mineral oil, fragrance and chemical oils. This makes it a great solution for those who suffer from skin irritation, as they are less likely to react to the product with the exemption of those various additives.
Commonly avoided additives are parabens and SLS. Parabens are preservative chemicals that inhibit the growth of bacteria in skincare, hair care and makeup products, which makes for a much longer shelf life. Though widely used, parabens are somewhat controversial as have been known to subtly emulate the hormone estrogen, which may cause problems for women. Though it has not been irrefutably proven, many choose to avoid parabens altogether as a precautionary measure.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is another disputed chemical additive, though is more common in cleansers and shower products than skincare and makeup. The surfactant function of SLS provides deep cleansing action and is harmless for most skin types, but it can be harsh on skin that is prone to sensitivity. Look for soap-free and SLS-free products if you suffer from dry, itchy and red skin. If the problem continues, seek advice from a dermatologist.
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