I'm sure that if you heard your heart was inflamed, you'd feel shaken up and scared. When our skin gets inflamed we don't bat an eye because it's just acne-everyone has it... right?
Your skin is your largest organ. Seriously. Larger than the heart, the liver, the lungs, and the brain. This means we should give it the most care, even more care than we would the rest of the body.
Ergo natural products with clean ingredients. I say this because they are the most healing - without all the toxins that imbalance hormones and make you feel like absolute death.
Everything that goes on the skin gets absorbed. So we want to make sure that it's clean. We strive to eat greens and veggies to sustain a healthy body yet we unknowingly absorb chemicals through our skincare products.
Your hormonal system is your endocrine system. It includes our thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, pancreas, hypothalamus, and pituitary glands. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (also known as EDCs) include ingredients all around us. EDC's are found in food, water, and the environment.
Basically, these chemicals interfere with your overall hormonal state- and not in a good way.
Ingredients to avoid
David Suzuki is a Canadian educator, environmentalist, and co-founder of his own foundation. I like to stick to his rule of the dirty dozen. I'm about to throw you a lot of information..bare with me.
12 dirty ingredients to avoid in your skincare routine + personal products
1. BHA and BHT
"BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are closely related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives."
Basically these are both known as possible carcinogens.
"evidence suggests that high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, and prevent the expression of male sex hormones, resulting in adverse reproductive effects."
2. Coal tar dyes
"Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum. Coal tar is recognized as a human carcinogen and the main concern with individual coal tar colors (whether produced from coal tar or synthetically) is their potential to cause cancer. As well, these colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate."
"DEA (diethanolamine) related ingredients are used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy, or as a pH adjuster to counteract the acidity of other ingredients. They are mainly found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos."
"In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of DEA-related ingredients has been shown to cause liver cancers and precancerous changes in skin and thyroid." - This is going to extremely affect your thyroid hormone, setting off the liver and fluctuating hormones.
4. Dibutyl phthalate
"DBP is absorbed through the skin. It can enhance the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations, although it has not been shown to be a mutagen itself. In laboratory experiments, it has been shown to cause developmental defects, changes in the testes and prostate and reduced sperm counts. The European Union classifies DBP as a suspected endocrine disruptor on the basis of evidence that it interferes with hormone function, and as toxic to reproduction on the basis that it may cause harm to the unborn child and impair fertility."
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
"These ingredients slowly and continuously release small amounts of formaldehyde, which functions as a preservative. Formaldehyde-releasers are used in a wide range of cosmetics. Other industrial applications of formaldehyde include production of resins used in wood products, vinyl flooring and other plastics, permanent-press fabric and toilet bowl cleaners. While formaldehyde occurs naturally in the environment at low levels, worldwide industrial production tops 21 million tons per year."
"Parabens easily penetrate the skin and are suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption). Parabens can mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. In one study, parabens were detected in human breast cancer tissues, raising questions about a possible association between parabens in cosmetics and cancer. Parabens may also interfere with male reproductive functions."
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
"The term parfum (or fragrance) on a cosmetic ingredients list usually represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals. Some 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances. Fragrance is an obvious ingredient in perfumes, colognes, and deodorants, but it’s used in nearly every type of personal care product. Even products marketed as “fragrance-free” or “unscented” may in fact contain fragrance ingredients, in the form of masking agents that prevent the brain from perceiving odor."
8. PEG compounds
"PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cream bases for cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners and moisture-carriers.
Health and Environmental Hazards Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen, and it is also persistent. In other words, it doesn’t easily degrade and can remain in the
environment long after it is rinsed down the shower drain."
"A petroleum product, petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs – including skin contact over extended periods of time – is associated with cancer."
"These silicone-based compounds are used in cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. They make hair products dry more quickly and deodorant creams slide on more easily. They are also used extensively in moisturizers and facial treatments. "
"The European Union classifies siloxanes as an endocrine disruptor, based on evidence that it interferes with human hormone function and a possible reproductive toxicant that may impair human fertility. In laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of D5 or siloxanes has been shown to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems."
11. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
"Sodium laureth sulfate (sometimes referred to as SLES) is used in cosmetics as a cleansing agent and also to make products bubble and foam. It is common in shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers. It is also found in household cleaning products, like dish soap."
"it may be contaminated with measurable amounts of 1,4-dioxane, depending on manufacturing processes.
"In a study of personal care products marketed as “natural” or “organic”, U.S. researchers found 1,4-dioxane as a contaminant in 46 of 100 products analyzed."
"Triclosan is used mainly in antiperspirants, cleansers and hand sanitizers as a preservative and an antibacterial agent. This chemical can be found in a wide range of household products, including garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture fabric, paints, laundry detergent, and facial tissues, as well as cosmetics"
"Triclosan can pass through the skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption)."
To read more about the Dirty Dozen click here.
Oil for healing hormonal acne
If you're experiencing hormonal imbalances or have in the past, I know you know what I mean when I say that the symptoms are not fun. They're pretty crazy and unpredictable. After many years of using products with ingredients that strip my skin. I started trying a different method. A decade ago, we wouldn't even consider fighting blackheads with oil. However, it is unbelievable how the right oils can calm the skin's barrier to overproduce and fight clogged pores like blackheads.
In addition to consulting your doctor, there are natural ingredients that are effective in preventing and treating hormonal acne. Evening Primrose is one of these ingredients. When applied to the skin as oil, Evening Primrose balances skin and reduces flareups around that time of the month. ⠀
That’s why we included Evening Primrose in our Custom Facial Oil blends designed for those with hormonal acne.
CLEAN PRODUCTS I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
These 3 bad boys are a game-changer. Our Aloe + Willow Bark Vitamin C Serum combined with our Facial Oil is my go-to combination in the morning! I feel like my skin glows when I apply this combination after spraying the Aloe + Lime Toner which is super refreshing when you wake up!
I would personally say that The Balm is my all-time favorite product. I use it to cleanse my face at night (sometimes I pair with an exfoliator like the Jojoba + Turmeric Facial Polish) and I also slather it on before bed and wake up with my skin plump and hydrated. I even find myself using it as a lip balm!
At LARK, we really stand behind being able to read the label and understand what ingredients are going on your skin. This is important for your hormones, the consistency of your skin, and the environment, to name a few!
Do you stand behind using clean products?
Comment below and tell us why!