The low-down on cosmetics from Au Naturel

There is growing concern in recent years over the harmful effects of unnatural foodstuffs such as artificial additives, preservatives, sweeteners, and flavourings in our food, and even of environmental pollutants.

How conscious are we of the effects of the cosmetics and toiletries we put on our bodies, and even the effects that household cleaners and detergents have on our health? Many of us are so unconcerned about the chemicals we plaster on our bodies, that we are willing to apply anything that claims to make us look younger or more beautiful.

Just because a product has proven anti-ageing benefits doesn’t mean it doesn’t also contain an ingredient that is otherwise damaging. It is estimated that women absorb 2kg of chemicals from cosmetics via the skin every year.

How much of these chemicals are harmless? Just how ‘natural’ are products labelled natural, and why do ‘hypoallergenic’ products cause reactions in some people? In truth there are no real laws defining these words. Many ‘natural’ products have barely one per cent of natural ingredients contained in them.

What about the other 99 per cent? A product can claim to be ‘hypoallergenic’ if it can show that it causes fewer allergies than a comparable standard product. This is easier than it sounds as it can simply reduce the number of colourants and fragrances, since these are the most common cause of irritations and allergies. Did you know that a major ingredient in brake fluid and anti-freeze, derived from petroleum, is also contained in baby lotion, cosmetics, and shampoo? And that some chemicals added to a whole range of products we use daily can cause hormone disruption?

What are we to do to avoid these substances? Eat organic food as much as possible, avoid fluoridated water, and use fewer chemicals in our homes and in and on our bodies. Keep informed, research unfamiliar ingredients, and use chemical-free make-up and bodycare.

For more information contact Susan in Au Naturel, Payne’s Lane, Athlone on (090 ) 6487993.


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