Why Do We Go Green
by Lam Nguyen
A month ago
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It is living and breathing.
Anything we rub onto our skin will be directly absorbed into the bloodstream. This wouldn’t be so unsettling if all the skin care products we have available to us were perfectly natural and chemical free!
While women are thought to be the heavy users of personal care and cosmetic items, unknowingly applying an average of 500 chemicals on their faces/bodies every day, the Environmental Working Group reports the average adult uses about 9 personal care products daily. Besides the obvious chemical is ridden perfumes/colognes, and hair dyes, this list of products include soaps, shampoos and conditioners, body creams/lotions, make-up (lipstick, mascara, etc), shaving creams, and toothpaste (to name a few). The majority of companies are still using testing on animals, or use animal byproducts. Not to mention, the average woman spends an average of $650 yearly on beauty products! The most disturbing factor of all, only 11% of 10,500 chemical ingredients in beauty products have been tested for safety. 1 in 13 women is exposed every day to ingredients through their personal care products that are known or probable cancer-causing chemicals, and reproductive toxins.
So how can we reduce our exposure to such harmful products? Simple – go green. We are constantly finding vegan, eco-friendly solutions and alternatives to improve the environment as well as ourselves, why not give our skin the same treatment?
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the products you currently use. Women – I’m talking all make-up items, all hair products, all face washing/care products, deodorant, nail polish, perfumes, lotions, self-tanners, as well as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. Men – take a look at your colognes, moisturizers, shaving creams, aftershaves, as well as deodorants, toothpaste, mouthwash and especially lotion because that’s what we use many times a day.
The Environmental Working Group advises that consumers avoid any products that carry any of the following ingredients (listed in order from most hazardous to least):
1. Coal Tar: We are essentially ingesting crude oil when we use products carrying any form of coal tar! A known carcinogen, it is most commonly found in dandruff shampoos and anti-itch creams. Coal-tar based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1, or FD&C Green 3 can be found in some toothpastes and mouthwash (If you are a vegan, these dyes may contain animal pigments). Aside from cancer, FD&C can also cause several health problems, including behavioral and learning problems.
2. Hydroquinone: Commonly found in skin lighteners, facial moisturizers, and hair dyes, Hydroquinone is a neurotoxin and is allergenic. EWG lists it as a possible carcinogen, and mutagen.
3. Aluminum: Listed as toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic. Aluminum is most often found in nail polish, eyeshadow (as a color additive), as well as in deodorants.
4. Triclosan: Filled with dioxins (which are highly carcinogenic) this chemical can weaken the immune system, cause birth defects and decrease fertility. Often used in antibacterial products (including deodorant, soap, dish-washing liquids, etc), toothpaste, and cosmetics.
5. P-Phenylenediamine: Also known as 1,4-Benzenediamine, p-Phyenyldiamine and 4-Phenylenediamine, this is the chemical that gave hair dye a bad name. A potential carcinogen, it can also damage your nervous system, cause lung irritation, and cause severe allergic reactions.
6. Lead and Mercury: Lead, a neurotoxin, has been found in several beauty products, including lipstick, toothpaste(hydrated silica), foundation, as well as sunscreen! Mercury can be found in a cosmetic preservative called thimerosal (used in some vaccinations – possibly linked to increased rates of Autism) and has been linked to nervous system toxicity, as well as reproductive, immune, and respiratory toxicity, according to the EWG’s skin deep guide.
The EWG further advises staying clear of numerous other chemicals (The orange alert list), some of which can create the formation of carcinogenic chemicals called nitrosamines. Health issues, tumor growth, reproductive problems, hormone disruptors, and organ malfunctions are just some of the negative effects these chemicals can have on the body; Parabens, Triethanolamine (TEA), and Benzyl Alcohol to name a few.
Animal ingredients are commonly found in personal care products because they are quite often cheaper than synthetic and vegetable-derived ingredients. Slaughterhouses have found an easy and profitable solution to disposing of the byproducts of the billions of slaughtered animals every year by selling them to food and cosmetics manufacturers. On our website, you can all the products which are cruelty-free and don’t use any animal ingredients. Green Ferns have generated a line product for vegans and everyone want to go green with us.
After analyzing your current health/beauty care line up, consider the following:
Any products you currently use (whether the daily use or once and a while) that contain ANY of the above-mentioned chemicals, throw out immediately!
Products that are free of animal byproducts and the 6 blacklist ingredients but do however contain several Orange alert ingredients, use up but do not buy again!
Many products claim to be “natural” or “organic”– but be wary – this often means that synthetic ingredients have been added as well as additional chemicals and additives. When it comes to skincare products, ALWAYS read the ingredients list. And Green Ferns is the favorite brand that offers natural vegan skin care products that you looking for.