Luxe Botanics

A botanic skincare line scientifically formulated to allow nature to nurture your skin.


Leave a comment

Luxe Botanics Discovery Kits are for sale!

Buy Luxe Botanics Discovery Kit

Each kit contains a 10ml jar of each of our 7 unique products which harness the potency of three key active botanicals chosen for their unique therapeutic benefits.

Organically grown, the natural benefits of each core botanical are enhanced by being scientifically formulated with botanic and natural ingredients, making Luxe Botanics one of the few authentically organic skin care lines in the industry.

Hydrating Marula Oil from Kenya: Serum and Pre Cleanser
Brightening Camu camu from Brazil: Serum, Moisturiser and Cleanser
Clarifying Kigelia africana from Malawi: Serum and Moisturiser

 USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong only

Buy Luxe Botanics Discovery Kit


Leave a comment

Holistic Recovery

“In order to have skin that glows and looks healthy and actually is healthy, you need to look at the whole picture and have a holistic approach to it. A lot of it is exercising regularly, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and keeping stress down.” – Allison Williams

 

I’ve always considered myself a very healthy woman with a sound knowledge of health and wellness. However, as you may have seen in my last post, even when you think you’re doing well things can change almost overnight and for seemingly no reason.

When I had my first moderate to severe contact dermatitis reaction it was a big wake up call for me – as you age, change climates, and even make minute changes in your daily routine this all adds up to a cumulative effect that often comes through in your skin as a first sign of bodily distress. The biggest thing for me in this list is age – yes I am not that old! – but we love to think we will be young forever. But things change and its best to be aware and respect your body as you age. I initially tried to heal myself with natural topical treatments, however after 2 weeks at home with very little improvement I turned to prescription medications. Of course, when you take oral steroids this seems to fix everything and your skin looks wonderful again, but when the reaction keeps coming back you have to expand your thinking to a more holistic view.

VegetablesI started keeping a diary of everything I used on my face, hair, body, what I washed my hands with, what I used in the kitchen, what I ate, what exercise I did… This became a very long exhausting list and I began to feel lost in all this data. To help me understand this experience I was going through, I met with everyone I knew who worked in the holistic health industry – from lifestyle consultants to nutritionists to doctors to dermatologists – and the conclusion was always the same: You will have to drastically eliminate things from your diet and lifestyle to find out the cause and then slowly build back up again. So I decided to make my own way and began a dairy free, gluten free, low carb clean living diet along with healthy skin loving smoothies every day followed by at least 30 minutes of exercise. For my skin I cut back to only using my Luxe Botanics products coupled with a homemade argan and rosehip oil serum and organic hair care products.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 9.41.11 AM2 months on, I will honestly say it has been hard but my skin has improved dramatically! I didn’t 100% stick to my plan the whole time, let’s face it I am human after all, so I did notice when things started to go backwards. The most important things I discovered was that I have very definite triggers: Carbohydrates and an overload of dairy make me bloat which in turn causes inflammation internally and externally; and anything with phenoxyethanol definitely triggers the dermatitis (even handwash!). Dietary things that helped to resolve this were obviously sticking to my clean eating, green smoothies with natural oils and a daily dose of cider vinegar calmed my gut and my skin. Skin care wise, marula oil became my saviour when my skin flared – it was literally like my skin was drinking it. When my skin had healed I kept up an alternating nightly regimen of marula or argan & rosehip oil. If I thought there was too much redness and inflammation a dab of kigelia calmed it down and made sure it didn’t become infected when it was peeling.

Feet walkingTo any of you out there who have gone through this or are going through this now, my only advice is to listen to your body. Try, test and learn (within reason). See what works and what doesn’t. Talk to people in the wellness community – they are a fantastic resource. And don’t be afraid to seek medical intervention if necessary. In my case it was very hard to be the face of a skin care brand when my skin was in such a dreadful state. Remember that you do change with time, climate and age, don’t get complacent.

My journey has just begun…

 

Jene


Leave a comment

A personal experience with synthetic ingredients

face eyesHave you ever woken up to itchy eyes? It’s a strange, unsettling feeling and one that greeted me on a sunny morning last week. When I looked in the mirror I was horrified to find my upper eye lids breaking out in scaly dermatitis. The delicate skin around my eyes had decided it was time to protest against a serum I had used, and the results were red, purple and angry. If you have every experienced dermatitis you will know the feeling I am describing. The worst part is that it takes days or even weeks to heal properly, with a lot of itching, scaling and peeling in between, and can cause hyperpigmentation.

I have been using only natural and organic cosmetics for many months, but after a day of particularly dry skin, and with my usual natural serum finished, I decided to pull out a hydrating serum that is not 100% natural from my bathroom cupboard. The serum contains 4 ingredients: water, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and phenoxyethanol (preservative). I figured that the percentage of phenoxyethanol in the solution was probably very minimal, so I decided to ignore that and use it anyway. How wrong I was… The result was not hydrated skin, but red, itchy skin. This is a brand that I know and trust, something I used on my skin for many years. I never use it close to my eyes – I know to avoid that. And yes, I checked and it’s still within its use by period so my reaction wasn’t caused by an out of date cosmetic. My only analysis is that after months of not using this, when I went back to it my skin was no longer used to coping with the synthetically derived ingredients in the formulation. Now I do accept that this could have been caused by food or other irritants, however I also know that I didn’t eat or do anything out of my ordinary routine last week, so I sincerely doubt that.

I’ve blogged about the potential effects of phenoxyethanol before. It’s a glycol ether that’s quite common in cosmetics these days as an alternative preservative to parabens. There are plenty of articles and blogs out there describing its ill effects, however lets focus on the research as gathered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). According to EWG[i] the use of phenoxyethanol is restricted in cosmetics in Japan, and the EU classifies it as toxic or harmful and a potential irritant. In a 2006 study it was shown to be in the top 10 most frequent allergens[ii]. There are actually quite a few studies on phenoxyethanol (usually carried out in cell lines and not on human subjects), if you want to read up on it check out PubMed[iii]. If you need any help going through the research let me know…So after reading all the research I could find, I have decided to make my bathroom entirely phenoxyethanol free. But more on that in my next blog…

Right now I am concentrating on healing. While I’ve ensured that I am only using the purest, most natural skin care for sensitive skin (Luxe Botanics being one of them), the biggest mistake I made on this journey was using a very light over the counter steroid cream (DermAid 0.5%) on day 3 which just inflamed my skin even more and I believe to have been the cause of my skin almost “burning” (see the photos below and the peeling that ensued). This steroid cream should have actually been fine as its extremely mild, but I guess in my case my skin was just too sensitive already for anything topical to be applied. When the DermAid made it worse I finally went to my doctor, and with a course of oral steroids my skin seems to be slowly recovering.

Here’s what I’ve looked like over the past 5 days:

I’ve experienced redness, itching and flaking extending down from my upper eyelid onto my lower lids, that then went on to form a thick, smooth layer of skin all around my eyes that felt just like a heat burn. And then, it peeled…

I would love to hear from you if you’ve had a similar reaction to phenoxyethanol or other synthetic ingredients – how did you cope? What did you do to heal yourself? How long did it take to get back to normal again…?

As always, read your labels, do your research and be aware of what ingredients affect your skin…

Jené

Founder + Director, Luxe Botanics

[i][i] https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704811/PHENOXYETHANOL/

[ii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16823706

[iii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=phenoxyethanol


Leave a comment

How Stress Affects Your Skin and How to Resolve It

How Stress Affects Your Skin and How to Resolve It

Women with Tomato

Have you ever had spots appear or experienced dry flakey skin when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed?

 

We don’t always think about how stress may be affecting our skin until we are literally staring at the results in the mirror.  Pimples, dry skin, wrinkles, rosacea and dull skin can all be a direct result of experiencing stress.

 

When we are stressed our body releases the hormone cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone designed to keep us safe from harm.  Cortisol sends a message to our body to shut down non-vital functions so it can focus on survival. The real problem occurs when we experience elevated levels of cortisol over a period of time.

 

High cortisol levels lead to a breakdown of many functions in the body:

 

  • Sugar levels in the blood are increased forming advanced glycation end products (shortened to AGEs). AGEs cause a breakdown in vital proteins for skin health like collagen and elastin.
  • High cortisol levels dramatically decrease the skin’s ability to produce hyaluronic acid, a natural moisturizer, which can lead to dry skin and wrinkles.
  • Cortisol can also cause an increase in oil production, which leads to oily skin, acne and breakouts.
  • There is a breakdown in the skin’s protective barrier[i], leaving your skin susceptible to rosacea, rashes, infection and inflamed acne[ii].

 

As you can see, cortisol and stress wreak havoc on our skin. But how can we prevent the effects of stress and repair any damage that has occurred? The good news is that we can take a holistic approach to heal and protect our skin.

 

Proper Nutrition

BlueberriesA diet that is anti-inflammatory and high in nutrients will hydrate your skin from the inside out and support the healing process. Eat organic food as much as possible and include plenty of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables—colorful vegetables, dark leafy greens, sea vegetables and low sugar fruits like berries are all wonderful.

 

It is also important to focus on gut health. A damaged gut can lead to nutrient deficiencies and inflammation in the body, which shows up on your skin. Consume plenty of probiotic rich foods like coconut water kefir or milk kefir, sauerkraut, fermented vegetables and organic yoghurt.

 

Skin-loving Supplements

 

By consulting a holistic practitioner you can determine which supplements will be most beneficial for you. However, everyone’s skin can benefit from including the following supplements in their diet:

 

L-glutamine

Often called the Fountain of Youth, this important amino acid promotes muscle strength and strong bones. In addition, it also helps to heal the lining of the gut wall. By supplementing with L-glutamine your body won’t have to use up its own stores (which decrease with age), which can result in muscle weakness and dry skin.

 

Collagen

Oral collagen supplements can help to smooth and firm the appearance of your skin. Look for supplements that also include hyaluronic acid and astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant.

 

Chlorella and Spirulina

Chlorella is a powerful algae, which acts as an internal cleanser, binding to toxins, protecting your cells and neutralizing free radicals[iii]. Less toxins results in clearer skin. Spirulina is a blue-green algae and a nutritional powerhouse.  This nutrient-dense food contains essential amino acids, iron, protein, B vitamins and vitamins C, D and E.  A true nutrient boost for your skin.

 

Mindfulness and Relaxation

 

By actively managing our stress levels we can dramatically improve the quality of our skin. Deep breathing calms our nervous system and reduces stress levels. By practicing mindfulness we can bring our focus into the present moment, easing worry and tension. Physical exercise, yoga and walks in nature are all activities that bring balance to our system, improving our ability to cope with daily stressors. Less stress means clearer, more youthful-looking skin.

 

Good Skincare

 Ceramic PotYour skin will require specific nutrients and ingredients designed to calm any inflammation and provide extra hydration.  Use a high-quality, non-toxic skincare with botanical and natural ingredients that rejuvenate your skin.

 

Antioxidant rich oils, like Marula Oil, that are high in omega fatty acids can protect, heal and intensely hydrate your skin. The good news is that, thanks to these omega fatty acids (linoleic and oleic acids)Plant-based and natural ingredients will be kind to your skin and help it to heal, repair and soften.

 

Our skin is our largest organ and it will reflect our emotional and physical health. The best way to prevent and heal from the effects of stress is to make yourself a priority. Practice self-care daily with good nutrition, relaxation and exercise.

And importantly, honor yourself by using high-quality, botanical and natural skincare.

 

As always, it is important to do your own research to discover what approach works best for you.

 

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

References

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/skin/effects-of-stress-on-your-skin

[i] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11176661

Psychological stress perturbs epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis: implications for the pathogenesis of stress-associated skin disorders.

[ii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2045620/
A nervous breakdown in the skin: stress and the epidermal barrier

[iii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23865357
Investigation of the effects of Chlorella vulgaris supplementation on the modulation of oxidative stress in apparently healthy smokers.

[iv] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26528587
Safety and efficacy of Sclerocarya birrea (A.Rich.) Hochst (Marula) oil: A clinical perspective.

[v] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20013815
Sclerocarya birrea (A. Rich) Hochst. [‘Marula’] (Anacardiaceae): a review of its phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology and its ethnomedicinal uses.


Leave a comment

A healthy skin routine – why you should have one

I just love that feeling when you wake up and know you have a day at the spa ahead of you. You begin to imagine the massage, the facial, the steam room, the mud bath, the pool, some healthy food, and hopefully a glass or two of champagne with your best girlfriends. That was how I woke up this weekend – full of excitement and looking forward to relaxing. We spent 4 hours in a fantastic spa, surrounded by nature and the occasional peacock, enjoying being pampered and lazing by the pool. When it was time to make our way to dinner, we showered and commenced the inevitable skin care routine that would help us continue to look fabulous into the evening.

 

My first shock came when I realised I was the only one who had brought a full suite of skin care products. So naturally, I offered to share. I convinced one of my friends to try my hyaluronic acid serum – fantastic for plumping the skin – and then our Luxe Botanics Camu Brightening Serum – to help maintain that healthy spa glow. She happily applied them and then began to walk away. I called after her: “don’t you want any moisturiser?” She replied, almost laughing: “you want me to put on another layer?” I found myself staring back at my friend in disbelief – she wanted to go out without any moisturiser on?

 

In that moment I realised that even my friends, who hear me talk about skin care all day long, didn’t really know what to use or how to use it. This moment explains so clearly why I do what I do and why it makes me happy. I want women to become wellness conscious, not just with their health, but also with their skin. To that end, and inspired by the recent Sarita Coren article on Ayla beauty, I want to explain a few things I believe are key to good skin care:

 

Cleanse

Cleansing well is the first step to good, healthy skin. And I don’t mean over cleansing – there are many brands out there that will tell you that you must double cleanse, but honestly this is 90% marketing in the hopes you will need to buy more product sooner. The only reasons to cleanse twice are if your skin is horribly dirty (think playing in the mud) or if your cleanser isn’t working well for your skin. Most of the time you need a pre-cleanser along with a normal cleanser. This is because pre-cleansers have a different function to normal cleansers – generally they are used to gently remove makeup, oil and dirt from your skin while still preserving your skins natural barrier. Your normal cleanser is then used to cleanse deeper into the pores and provide a clean base to start your next step.

On a side note – many people advocate using a toner to rebalance/ balance your skin after cleansing. Personally, this is not something I have seen any benefit from. I honestly believe if you are using the right cleanser, which shouldn’t strip or dry out your skin or remove your natural barrier, then you shouldn’t need a toner.

 

Exfoliate

This is my favourite part of my skin care routine for the simple reason that after I exfoliate, my skin feels like it did before teenage acne attacked me.

There are 2 major categories of exfoliants, each with a different use:

  • Abrasive (the ones you can feel the scrub, think of jojoba beads, rice bran, etc)
  • Enzyme (the ones that tingle – AHA (glycolic acid), BHA (Salicylic acid), other fruit/ plant based acids)

Abrasive exfoliants are used for superficial exfoliation – like when you need your skin to be super smooth for that date – and are more like a polish. If you have irritated or acne prone skin an abrasive is not recommended as it can inflame the skin even more, and generally people with acne tend to over exfoliate. However, a gentle abrasive is good for dry skin

Enzyme exfoliants are used for deeper exfoliation and these sometimes can take days before your skin will peel. They can be used for all skin types, as they are non-abrasive, but should still be used with caution until you know which type works for you. I’ve left a glycolic peel on too long before and ended up looking like a peeling lizard 3 days later. Not a sexy look.

If you have very sensitive skin you may skip exfoliation products all together and rather use a delicate sponge or facial brush, however if you are willing to try a product start with a gentle enzyme exfoliant.

Exfoliation is important because not only does exfoliation leave the skin feeling smooth and soft, but it also clears away dead skin and stimulates repair. So don’t skip it!

 

Preserve

The most important step after cleansing is applying the right serum. This all depends on your age, skin type, time of day, what you plan to do that day, where you live, what time of year it is, etc. However, it’s important to target 2 key areas with your serums:

  • Hydration (hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, caprylic/ capric triglycerides, natural oils)
  • Protection (Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, green tea, retinol, resveratrol, ferulic acid)

You can alter the strength of these ingredients in your serums accordingly but investing in serums that cover these 2 key areas will do wonders for your skin. In varying strengths and combinations these will address everything from oily to dry, dull to uneven, ageing and wrinkles.

 

Hydrate

Hydration is the key step in keeping your skin balanced. However, this is also the step most of us get wrong. Either we over or under hydrate. And we forget that this needs to change based not only on the seasons or travel, but also day to day. I am especially guilty of this.

Throughout my years of acne I assumed that the more hydrated my skin was, the oilier it would be, so I used the lightest moisturisers I could find. When in fact, it was actually oilier because I was depriving my skin of vital hydration and it was desperately trying to compensate by over producing natural oils. You will also find this happening when you use stripping acne products such as those containing benzoyl peroxide (who honestly thought applying peroxide to your skin was healthy?). The “aha” moment came for me when I was in a dermatologists office, on yet another round of roaccutane, wondering why my skin wasn’t getting any better. We together figured out that I was using too little hydration to support my skin. Once I upgraded my serums and moisturisers my skin calmed down completely.

Conversely, when I have had IPL in the past I’ve been told to layer on the hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, vitamin C and heavy moisturisers to facilitate the healing. But every time I do this I end up with more closed comedones than I started with. I have learnt that the key is to intensely hydrate in the first 2-3 days – after that I need to take my skin back to a more moderate routine.

 

Protect

This last step cannot be missed! Sunscreen is your best friend and the soundest investment you will make in your skin. I’ve heard every excuse for people not using sunscreen – ranging from “I don’t like the texture” (so try a different brand) to “but I work inside all day” (First of all I hope you get to see some sunlight in your day, but even if you’re outside for less than 30 minutes sunscreen matters, and not just on sunny days). Sunscreen is the most cost effective way to preserve your youth and your skin health. I worked for years in melanoma clinical trials and it was severely depressing to see so many preventable cases of skin cancer.

 

Overall, remember that your skin has mood swings too – it can go from dry to oily and back to dry multiple times in the day depending on your environment (aircon, humidity, cold), stress levels, exercise levels, diet, and many other factors. The best thing you can do for your skin is analyse it every day and then decide what to apply. Take time to review your skin and learn what works best for you.

The Luxe Botanics Team

 


Leave a comment

Eyes wide shut – A review of skincare ingredients

 

I recently went on a reconnaissance mission… I decided to go to my local beauty store to investigate some of the products available. As I walked into the store I felt at ease and at home, surrounded by familiar brands. I browsed the shelves for a half hour or so, picking up the bottles, reading them, putting them gently back. But as I read the ingredients lists I slowly realised – the quality of the skincare brands I had come to know and use over many years, was not as high as I originally thought it was.

 

After spending months researching products and ingredients for our Luxe Botanics skincare range, coupled with 20+ years of experience with various skincare products and my scientific post graduate training, I believe I have a broad understanding of the ingredients used in skincare. And what truly upsets me is that a wonderful formulation can be utterly ruined by the inclusion of even just one undesirable ingredient.

 

Here’s a list of ingredients to avoid. I know its long, but I encourage you to read it all, take it in, digest it, and then go rummaging through your bathroom cabinets…

 

Parabens

Parabens are usually used as preservatives in cosmetics and beauty products. They are things like: methylparaben; propylparaben; benzylparaben and butylparaben. Just look for anything in your skincare that ends with the word –paraben. Parabens are so ubiquitous in our beauty, skincare, haircare, body care, cosmetics, deodorants, toothpastes, and even in our food and drinks that in a recent study by the Environmental Working Group; all 28 participants tested positive for methylparaben and propylparaben. [i] Parabens have been blamed for allergies and skin sensitivity and they also act on the estrogen pathways potentially having effects on the reproductive system. [ii]

 

Phthalates

These are one of the most toxic and can be found in so many things in your bathroom and around your home that it may surprise you: beauty products such as nail varnish, hair spray, most things with a synthetic fragrance (many beauty products); cleaning and kitchen products with a synthetic fragrance; air fresheners; and plastics around the home such as kitchen bowls, food wraps, children’s toys, and most vinyl. They are used to soften plastic and also help beauty formulations to moisturise and be absorbed into the skin. Phthalates are regulated as pollutants but only some are banned by some states of the USA and the European Union. [iii] Phthalates have been shown to affect the reproductive system in both men and women, and have also been linked to allergies and asthma. [iv] Look out for: dibutyl phthalate, also called DBP; diethyl phthalates, also called DEP; and butyl ester. Phthalates have made headlines in recent years, leading to LÓreal discontinuing its use in products sold in the European Union.[v]

 

Cosmetic fragrances/ parfum

Cosmetic fragrances are a synthetic blend of compounds to make something smell like something natural. However, in many cases there are phthalates and/or other undesirable synthetic ingredients included in this fragrance mix.[vi] Often these are associated with dermatitis, allergies, and respiratory distress. [vii] Most regulatory agencies allow cosmetic and beauty companies to simply state “fragrance” or “parfum” on their ingredients list when such a synthetic mix is use, often because this is considered a proprietary or confidential formulation.[viii] [ix] [x] [xi]

 

Sulfates

Most of the time you will see this referred to on labels as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) or ALS (ammonium lauryl sulfate). Sulphates are responsible for that foam you get in your facewash, body wash, shampoo, bubble bath, hand wash, and many other things around the house. [xii] It’s been known to irritate the skin and eyes – so next time you get shampoo in your eyes and it hurts, read the ingredients list. There are also concerns around organ toxicity. [xiii] Some companies claim SLS is natural as it comes from coconuts, and this part is true, but the potential side effects on your skin and overall health prove that even something natural can be harmful if manufactured incorrectly. [xiv]

 

Triclosan

Commonly found in detergents, antibacterial soaps, toothpastes, face wash and deodorant, triclosan has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and it may also disrupt thyroid function. Look out for things like “keeps [you/ food] fresh for longer” or “odour fighting/ eliminating”.[xv]  The American Medical Association has recommended against using triclosan as it may lead to antibiotic resistance. [xvi] In 2013 the FDA released a statement requiring manufacturers of antibacterial products to prove that they were safe and more effective than plain soap and water in an effort to protect consumers from unsafe products. [xvii] The industry has been slow to respond, however some companies like Avon have begun to phase triclosan out of their products.[xviii]

 

DEA

DEA (diethanolamine) is commonly used to help our beauty products feel creamy – so is generally found in moisturisers and sunscreens. Similar compounds such as cocomide DEA (from coconut oil) and lauramide DEA (from lauric acid) are found in cleansers and shampoos. It has been blamed for skin and eye irritations and allergies, and high doses have been implicated in certain cancers.[xix] Other common DEAs to look out for are linoleamide DEA (from linoleic acid) and Oleamide DEA (from oleic acid).[xx]

 

Formaldehyde

If you remember your biology dissection classes you will know what this is and what it does to living tissue. Formaldehyde is another common preservative and antiseptic – but often under a different name. This is because there are many ingredients that, once absorbed, release the formaldehyde compound slowly over time. Good examples are: Bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidzaolidinyl urea, quarternium-15 and hydroxymethylglycinate. [xxi] It is a known human carcinogen that has a suggested link to certain cancers.[xxii]

 

Petrochemicals

These are perhaps the most ubiquitous and yet unknown of all the undesirable ingredients in our homes. It’s quite hard to fathom just how many ingredients come from a petrochemical base. Petrochemicals in your products often breakdown into a chemical called 1,4-dioxane, which has toxic effects on the kidneys, neurologic system, and the respiratory system.[xxiii] One study from the Environmental Working Group suggested this compound could be found in 22% of cosmetic products. [xxiv] Look out for: Oxybenzone, phenoxyethanol, benzene, toluene, paraffin wax, mineral oil, polyethylene glycol (PEG), butyl- anything (butylparaben, butylene glycol, butyl alcohol), ethanol and ethyl- anything (ethyl alcohol, ethylene glycol, EDTA), propyl- anything (propylene glycol, propylene glycol, propyl alcohol), and methyl- anything (methyl alcohol, methylparaben, methylcellulose).[xxv]

 

Hydroquinone

To all you ladies out there trying to achieve an even skin tone and perhaps a lighter complexion – look out for hydroquinone in your products! This is literally bleach. It’s also found in hair dyes and fragrances.[xxvi] It’s been shown to have very strong links to organ toxicity, cancers and alters immune function.[xxvii]  Other names include anything benzene or benzediol or hydroxyphenol.

 

I hope that this list makes it easy to understand what to look for in your favourite products.  Note that it is by no means an exhaustive list but I’ve tried to include the most common ones. However, I also urge you to weight the risks and benefits of each and to decide for yourself if you wish to continue using products that contain some of these ingredients. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database is a great place to start your research. Here’s a simplified version of their information which you may find easier to absorb: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/

 

As always, research for yourself and make your own decisions for you and your family.

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

All references are below for you if you want to (or can stomach!) to read more:

References:

http://www.webmd.com/children/environmental-exposure-head2toe/personal-care-products?page=4

http://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals/cosmetics-chemicals-concern

http://www.madefromearth.com/harmful-ingredients-skincare-products.html

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2008/05/cheatsheet-phthalates https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/are-parabens-and-phthalates-harmful-in-makeup-and-lotions/2014/08/29/aa7f9d34-2c6f-11e4-994d-202962a9150c_story.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253722/

Endnotes:

[i] http://www.ewg.org/sites/humantoxome/chemicals/chemical_classes.php?class=Parabens

[ii] http://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals/cosmetics-chemicals-concern

[iii] http://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals/cosmetics-chemicals-concern

[iv] http://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals/cosmetics-chemicals-concern

[v] http://www.madefromearth.com/harmful-ingredients-skincare-products.html

[vi] http://www.ewg.org/research/not-so-sexy

[vii] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702512/FRAGRANCE/#

[viii] https://www.cosmeticseurope.eu/using-cosmetics-colipa-the-european-cosmetic-cosmetics-association/labelling-.html

[ix] http://www.hsa.gov.sg/content/dam/HSA/HPRG/Cosmetic_Products/CCU_GUIDELINES_July_2014_v1.pdf

[x] http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/item.phtml?itemId=991380&nodeId=bc99acd6d65486648e8b52d47269ed7a&fn=Ingredients%20labelling%20on%20cosmetics%20-%20Supplier%20guide.pdf

[xi] http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm388821.htm

[xii] http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—sodium-laureth-sulfate/

[xiii] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706110/SODIUM_LAURYL_SULFATE/

[xiv] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/13/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.aspx#_edn6

[xv] http://www.ewg.org/research/teen-girls-body-burden-hormone-altering-cosmetics-chemicals/cosmetics-chemicals-concern

[xvi] http://www.ewg.org/research/ewgs-guide-triclosan

[xvii] http://www.ewg.org/release/new-fda-rule-antibacterial-soap-important-step-more-action-needed

[xviii] http://www.ewg.org/release/consumer-pressure-leads-avon-phase-out-antibacterial-chemical

[xix] http://davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—dea/

[xx] http://www.cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/cocamide-dea

[xxi] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/

[xxii] http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet

[xxiii] http://www.healthisalifestylechoice.com/what-is-1-4-dioxane.html

[xxiv] http://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2007/02/08/ewg-research-shows-22-percent-all-cosmetics-may-be-contaminated-cancer

[xxv] https://blog.cocoonapothecary.com/2010/06/25/get-petroleum-out-of-your-bathroom/

[xxvi] http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703041/HYDROQUINONE/#

[xxvii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21164074