The skin is the largest organ in your body and one of the most important parts of your immune system.
If you take proper care of your skin, with clean skin care products, looking young and healthy can be the most rewarding reward. But healthy skin is more than superficial.
The greatest benefit is that you are taking effective steps to defend yourself against, and possibly even help overcome, a variety of health problems.
You may have heard of probiotics and the “microbiome” in your gut. Well, there’s an equally important microbiome on your skin that’s made up of around 1,000 species of good bacteria. And that is just one of the most important components of healthy, beautiful and toxin-free skin.
Table of Contents
- 1 The 3 “Golden Rules” for Clean Skincare
- 2 Do not abuse your skin
- 3 Love Your Skin
The 3 “Golden Rules” for Clean Skincare
Here are three Golden Rules to follow when looking for clean skincare products:
1. Check ingredients
If you are looking at an advertisement for the product online, does it show the full ingredient list of the product, such as If it doesn’t show the full ingredient label, there’s typically a reason.
2. Choose only certified organic products.
Look for the USDA Certified Organic designation or a similar designation per your country that guarantees verification independent of the company.
For independent verification as USDA Certified Organic, it means the product must prove:
- It contains at least 95% true organic ingredients.
- The remaining 5% of ingredients are on an approved safe list.
- It is free of synthetic additives, including pesticides, chemical fertilizers, petrochemicals, and dyes.
- It wasn’t processed using industrial solvents or irradiation.
- It’s free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
On farms that supply USDA-certified organic ingredients, organic producers use more natural processes and materials in their growing systems. These processes contribute to soil health, control pests and weeds more naturally, and promote the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological balance.
USDA-certified organic standards prohibit the use of sewage sludge, chemical fertilizers and genetic engineering. They also require growers to preserve the integrity of organic crops and avoid contact between organic and conventional crops, and contact with banned pesticides and fertilizers.
3. Feed your skin healthy, nourishing ingredients.
So what do you want to feed your skin? Good, healthy, nourishing (and organically grown) skin food. In the section below, we’ll cover clean, safe ingredients to look for when choosing skincare products.
Do not abuse your skin
Skin abuse comes from two directions. The first and most important is inside out. The same things that are good for your overall health, like eating plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, exercise, and getting deep, restful sleep, are also good for your skin.
But that’s not the whole story. If you’re like most people in the modern world, your skin is constantly bombarded with potential toxins in the air and water. But the same things we put on our skin to protect it from these inevitable stressors can also be toxic to our skin and our overall health.
Love Your Skin
Eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of healthy fluids and avoiding excessive sun exposure can help you have healthy skin and a healthy life. And if you want to take it even further, you can feed your skin some of the healthy, non-toxic botanicals that have been shown to support the elasticity, vitality and health of the largest organ in (or in this case) your body.
Understand why Clean Skincare Is So Important
If you don’t carefully read the labels of anything you put on your skin, there’s a good chance you’re unknowingly abusing your skin from the outside in.
When applying creams, serums, makeup and other cosmetics, always remember that your skin eats what you put on it. Just like your mouth can’t consume a whole watermelon, your skin can’t eat everything that’s put on it.
The molecules must be small enough to be absorbed by the skin. For this reason, applying collagen to the skin, for example, is useless.
Collagen molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. However, many of the more than 1,400 chemicals approved in cosmetics in the US contain molecules small enough to be absorbed by the skin. And the bad news (for Americans!) is that many of them have also been banned by more than 40 other countries.
Putting problem chemicals in your skin can be even worse than eating them with your mouth.
Why? Because when you eat something through your mouth, it goes through a rather long digestive system, which includes several “barriers” whose purpose is to eliminate and eliminate toxins, mainly through the liver.
However, everything you eat can with the skin , go directly to the liver bloodstream.
Artificial Chemicals are Wreaking Havoc on Your Skin
Every day, the average woman in the US uses 12 different makeup and beauty products with an average of 168 ingredients.
Many of these ingredients are artificial chemicals.
If you look closely at cosmetic labels, even on many products that claim to be “natural” or “organic,” you’ll likely find problematic chemicals listed in the fine print.
And common sense would dictate that we know, for the same reason, that eating foods with artificial ingredients isn’t necessarily good for you.
It’s also not good for you to feed your skin anything artificial. Sure, some of these man-made ingredients can offer very short-term benefits, but the havoc they wreak on your skin and overall health can be very real.
And that doesn’t mean you’re making your skin look older than it should in the long run. It also means damaging your skin’s microbiome and compromising your skin’s ability to protect itself against toxins.
From 2003 to 2019, TEDx created and shared scientific evidence on endocrine disorders with nonprofit organizations and government agencies. They identified more than 200 potential endocrine disruptors that are still prevalent.
Many of them are found in skin care products. It can mess with your hormones, which can lead to a host of serious health problems, from irregular periods and acne to birth defects and cancer.
(And by the way, in the case of skincare, many contain penetration enhancers designed to induce chemicals to penetrate deeper into your skin… This means they can push those toxins toward your body even more aggressively!
5 Top Skincare Ingredient Offenders
There are many “worst offender” chemicals on cosmetic and personal care product labels to look out for. Listing them all here would make this article an encyclopedia of sorts.
The wisest approach, as you’ll see in more detail below, is to only select products that are certified organic by the USDA (or equivalent independent certifications in other countries) to ensure 95% or more truly safe organic ingredients.
Parabens are cheap preservatives found in many cosmetic products. But they mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. Cell division and tumor growth.
What’s included? Nobody can be sure. Companies are not required to disclose the chemicals they use to create a “fragrance” in their products. But suffice it to say, if everything says “fragrance” on the label, you’d do well to assume it’s a toxic chemical cocktail associated with allergic reactions.
Avoid phthalates at all costs. These chemicals are linked to a wide range of problems including reproductive dysfunction, congenital disabilities, asthma, type 2 diabetes and ADHD. They are used in many products like moisturizers and skin lotions to make them more fluid.
4. Triclosan or Microban
These chemicals are used to prevent bacterial growth. On the surface, you’d think that would be a good thing. However, remember; Your skin contains a microbiome of beneficial bacteria. And Triclosan and Microban don’t differentiate between good and bad bacteria. They may even contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” and other dangerous diseases.
5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is a common ingredient in a wide variety of cosmetic and personal care products. It lathers soaps and also acts as a thickening agent. But it can be dangerous, thanks to by-products in the manufacturing process that have been linked to liver dysfunction.