Though we often seek comfort in the thought that our genes are the ones to blame for our ageing signs, such as wrinkles, we’re partly guilty for our bad skincare habits. Adopting a daily routine of cleansing, moisturising and applying sunscreen should be on everyone’s “to-do list” on a day to day basis.
Still, for the typical consumer, choosing from the vast variety of beauty products can be rather confusing, even when buying something as basic as a body care cream. The confusion further deepens when you’re looking to buy natural products. In this case, your best bet is buying from reputable stores that sell products from trusted brands. When shopping, make sure you double-check the label of the product you’re looking at so that you have an idea of what it contains; after all, you want beauty cosmetics that would nurture your skin and slow down the ageing process, not speed it up and badly affect your well-being!
Moisturising Ingredients to Look For
Moisturizing our skin is one of the main reasons why we buy creams for, so the main ingredients to look for are those that would help hydrate your skin. Also known as ‘carriers’, these are the oils you’re already very much familiar with: argan, safflower, coconut, olive, shea butter, cocoa butter, rosehip, jojoba, almond, sunflower, avocado, grape seed, hemp, and walnut. However, it’s important to know that even when you’ve found your ideal organic body care cream, that doesn’t mean you’re safe from skin irritations.
Tip: It’s necessary to choose a product that’s best for your skin type because what works for dry doesn’t do much for acne-prone skin. Once you’ve chosen accordingly, do a patch test first to check for unwanted reactions.
For instance, people with dry skin should look for humectant moisturisers rich in ingredients like glycolic acid since they improve water-retention. On the other hand, those with oily skin should stick to oils higher in linoleic acids, such as argan and rosehip – if you still want to choose something oil-based, that is.
For those with normal skin, coconut is a good option. And if you’re dealing with sensitive skin, stay away from acids. Individuals with already mature skin need moisturisers rich in antioxidants, like vitamin C, known for their ability to smoothen fine lines and wrinkles.
Ingredients to Avoid
The two natural preservatives that are difficult to pronounce and not the things you probably want in your body lotion are sodium benzoate and dehydroacetic acid. However, they are not that harmful in cosmetic products. Now, the ingredients that you definitely shouldn’t have in your body care cream are parabens, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), triethanolamine, fragrances, and formaldehyde releasers.
Parabens – These are the most popular ingredients in traditional cosmetics that are used mostly for their antibacterial properties and ability to prolong the shelf life of products. However, the bad side of parabens is that they can affect one’s hormones by disrupting their function, and even increase the risk of breast cancer. Not to mention that they are bad for the environment as well.
BHA and BHT – Though often found in both moisturisers and lipsticks, these two preservatives are dangerous because BHA affects the hormone function and poses a risk for cancer development. BHT can be devastating for the reproductive system.
Triethanolamine – Though it’s mainly used as an ingredient that helps balance the pH levels in lotions, it poses a threat to the immune system when your body’s exposed to it for a prolonged period of time. Even when using it for a shorter period of time, you could experience allergic reactions and skin dryness.
Fragrances – You may want your creams to smell nice but synthetic fragrances found in traditional cosmetics are toxic chemicals that can badly affect your organs, endocrine system, cause allergies and irritations, as well as lead to cancer. If you simply must have scented products, then look for natural fragrances.
Formaldehyde Releasers – Formaldehyde is a very notorious ingredient that doesn’t only cause irritation and burns, but it also has carcinogenic properties, and is certainly not something you’d want to have around. When it comes to cosmetics, ingredients to pay attention to are DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, methenamine, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate and imidazolidinyl urea, all of which are known as formaldehyde releasers.
There are various different organic lotions you can find nowadays, that are safe to use, would do your skin good, aren’t greasy and absorb quickly. Still, remember to be on the safe side, mind the ingredients, buy a smaller bottle if you aren’t sure about your choice, do a test on your hand first, and mind your budget. When lotions are full of organic ingredients, chances are they don’t have as long shelf life as chemical alternatives do, so take this also into account when shopping.