How to Recognise Natural Beauty Products

Need a little help deciphering organic beauty products? Not everything labelled 'natural' is as nature intended.

1. Read the fine print

The ingredient list gives you all the information you need to know. If you see a lot of names that sound like chemicals – you're right! Avoid ingredients with 'eth' in the name such as sodium laureth sulphate, poly ethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene. It will contain 1, 4-dioxane, a by-product of ethoxylation which is associated with breast cancer.

2. Watch for phrases such as 'derived from'

Natural ingredients can under go chemical processing that can not only rob the goodness from these ingredients but also leave behind carcinogens called nitrosamines.

3. Look for preservatives

Parabens are preservatives used in many deodorants, shampoos, moisturisers are hormone disruptors and have been found in breast cancer tissue. Avoid products with ingredient names that include Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl & Butyl Paraben.

4. What's in a name? Plenty!

There is no standard definition for 'natural' or even 'organic'. The only way to be sure that your beauty product is truly natural and organic is look for a third party certification such as US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Australian Certified Organic (ACO)

5. Plastic not fantastic

Many of your favourite shampoos and conditioners contain silicone. Silicone does not allow the skin to breathe and can cause skin irritation. Some synthetic Silicone emollients are known tumour promoters and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Avoid any ingredient ending in 'cone' such as Dimethicone, Dimethicone Copolyol and Cyclomethicone.

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