Even “natural” cosmetics can contain strange-looking ingredients that leave us wondering if they really are safe to put on our skin. The reason for this is that your skin is your largest organ and what you put onto your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream, as if you had eaten and digested it. It is important to understand exactly what you are feeding your skin with and ultimately what is being absorbed by your body.
Natural skincare throughout the ages
Historically, when looking for ways to cleanse and moisturize their bodies, women turned to foods found in nature. It is only natural that they used what they had in abundance in their environment. Cleopatra famously bathed in sour donkey milk to exfoliate and hydrate her skin. The ancient Greeks used honey and olive oil to moisturize and lighten their skin. In India, the Ayurveda philosophy was to avoid putting anything on your skin that you cannot eat. Beauty rituals included body and face masks made with turmeric, chickpea flour and milk. To treat acne, they used neem leaves, sandalwood and turmeric mixed with yoghurt.
Before the growth of the cosmetic industry, women continued to look into their pantry to create their own skincare recipes. Avocado, honey, lemon, olive oil, nut oils, raw eggs, ground seeds and flours were all used to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and lighten the skin.
The use of harmful chemicals in cosmetics
However, as the cosmetics industry boomed throughout the 20th century, the inclusion of harmful chemicals in cosmetics became widespread and largely unregulated. The use of homemade natural skincare fell by the wayside as multinational cosmetic companies grew in popularity. Many chemicals used in cosmetics were cheap and derived from the same chemicals used to clean industrial equipment and stabilize pesticides! The use of harmful cosmetic ingredients like petrochemicals, dangerous preservatives like formaldehyde became commonplace.
Studies now prove how incredibly harmful these synthetic ingredients are for our health. A study published in the Journal of the American Cole of Toxicology, Volume 2, No. 7, 1982 states that “research has indicated SLS may be damaging to the immune system especially within the skin. Skin layers separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties”.(1)
Parabens have been shown to promote aging of the skin. A study found that “methylparabens decreased the proliferating ability of keratinocytes and changed the cell morphology” over one month of daily applications of methylparaben containing formulations.(2) Keratinocytes are the predominant cell type in the epidermis that control the process of cell renewal—methylparaben was essentially halting this process of rejuvenation.
Why put yourself at risk by using skincare products that contain dangerous synthetic ingredients? At Xtend-Life we believe in avoiding any ingredient that is potentially toxic or harmful to the body. Our aim is to harness the wisdom of the ages by using natural ingredients and intensifying their effectiveness using the latest technology.
Why natural and organic cosmetics are more effective
Cosmetic companies that use synthetic ingredients sell these harmful chemicals as effective solutions to fight aging. However, the truth is that natural and organic cosmetic ingredients are superior in their effectiveness. The power of natural ingredients lies in their ability to address the root cause of your skin issues to promote repair and rejuvenation at a cellular level, while working in harmony with your skin’s natural processes.
On the other hand, synthetic ingredients can create a dependency on the product and disrupt the skin’s own hydrating and regenerating processes. They can mask the root cause, and in fact make your skin react in the form of breakouts and dryness when you stop using them.
At Xtend-Life we only use the most nourishing natural and organic cosmetic ingredients that support your skin’s own rejuvenating processes. For example, clinical studies show that the Xtend-Life Kanapa™ formulations smoothed and reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in as little as six weeks. Our effective, natural and organic skincare products contain a much higher concentration of active ingredients than chemically-based products and these ingredients promote long-lasting changes in your skin.
Understanding the names of cosmetic ingredients
If you want to avoid harmful chemicals in your skincare, it is important to understand the list of ingredients in your products and to identify what is natural and what is synthetic.
The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI)
The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, INCI, is an international system designed to standardize the labeling of cosmetic ingredients. The INCI naming system is used worldwide and it makes it easier for consumers to identify ingredients.
If a skincare product uses natural ingredients, these ingredients need to be labelled according to the INCI guidelines. However, this can lead to confusion at times. For example, under the INCI guidelines, all types of Vitamin E must be labelled as tocopherol, whether it’s natural or synthetic. Unfortunately, the INCI labeling does not require that companies make this distinction.
Harmful cosmetic ingredients to avoid
To help you learn more about which harmful chemicals to avoid, the UL, a global independent safety science company, has published the following list of ingredients to avoid due to their proven adverse health impacts:
- 1,4 dioxane
- Coal Tar
- Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives
- Ethanolamine Compounds (e.g. MEA, DEA, TEA)
- Lead and heavy metals
Harmful chemicals that are toxic to your body shouldn’t be in your skincare products. At Xtend-Life we only use natural, safe and effective ingredients that work in harmony with your skin's own processes to produce long-lasting results. In fact, we want you to use natural and organic skincare products that are safe enough to eat.
In good health.
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