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Toxins in Skincare

Myths, Facts and Why Go Organic?

You wouldn't willingly put a product that contains toxins in or on your body, yet this is exactly what millions of people do several times a day. Food, skincare, make-up and everyday toiletries contain a cocktail of toxins that can cause real damage through consistent use.

The evidence is there in abundance and yet nothing is done. So it is up to each of us as individuals to take the initiative and change habits of a lifetime. Going back to nature could not be easier at The Organic Pharmacy and you do not need to compromise on quality or efficacy.

Since opening our doors, we have had so many requests to issue clear guidelines as to which chemicals to avoid and why. The entire beauty industry is based on many myths that the discerned shopper can easily spot once armed with the right facts. Since launching, The Organic Pharmacy have had so many requests to issue clear guidelines as to which chemicals to avoid and why and we're happy to share them with you here.

Here are some common myths and facts:

The main lubricants in most creams are liquid paraffin, propylene glycol or mineral oil. These are by-products from petrol refinery that are 'dumped' in huge quantities in the cosmetic industry. They are cheap and stable so do not go off easily. But they can clog pores and prevent the skin from 'breathing'. Your skin gets addicted to them and literally peels if you stop using them. Often when changing from mineral oil based skin care to a natural one, the skin detoxes itself.

Many products claim to be natural or organic but continue to use toxic artificial preservatives, colourants and fragrances. The best way to be sure, is check for yourself. Start to read labels, this way you do not have to take a sales person's word as the truth.

Most companies who use artificial preservatives say they use minimal quantities for the protection of the individual and that usage is necessary. Artificial preservation gives products five to seven years shelf-life, which is necessary when producing hundreds of thousands of bottles. The Organic Pharmacy agree that preservation is necessary but that it can be achieved naturally giving two to three years shelf-life, plenty for them and much better for you. Artificial preservatives can be carcinogenic, hormone disrupting and neurotoxic. Do not settle for preservatives just because they derive from plant origin. Methylparaben derived from a plant is still methylparaben and will have the same toxic effects.

Pesticides have only been around for the past 50 years. They are so toxic that if some of them came on the market today, they would be banned. They are proven carcinogens (give you cancer) and pollute our bodies as well as our environment. They can cause birth defects and damage the immune and reproductive systems.

Organic herbs, essential oils and cold pressed vegetable oils retain their nutrients and active ingredients to a higher degree than conventionally grown ones. The extracts are so complex that often it is not possible to identify all the constituents. The Oragnic Pharmacy's experience has shown these extracts to give superior results than their non-organic counterparts.

Carefully formulated organic skincare is so glorious to use, it acts on all the senses to bring about harmony and health beyond just the skin. The extracts are so complex that often it is not possible to identify all the constituents. The Organic Pharmacy's experience has shown these extracts to give superior results than their non-organic counterparts.

The Organic Pharmacy encourage customers to equip themselves with knowledge of toxic ingredients so they are able to easily recognise them on labels.

Here's some basics:

Formaldehyde - what is it?
It is a common preservative, germicide, fungicide and disinfectant found in cosmetics and nail varnish.

Why is it bad?
Formaldehyde has been classified as a human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

How do I look for it?
On ingredients lists it is commonly named: 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol, Quarternium 15, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hyadrantoin.

Parabens - what are they?
They are a group of chemicals used as preservatives in toiletries, cosmetics, shampoo, baby products and skin care. Parabens are popular because they are: Inexpensive, colourless, odourless & highly effective.

Why are they bad?
They are absorbed through the skin into the blood stream. They accumulate in the fatty tissues. They mimic the hormone oestrogen in the body. They increase the growth of human breast cancer cells. They have been found in breast tumours. And if that wasn't enough... They can cause excess ageing and cell damage.

How do I avoid them?
They can be called: Alkyl Parahydroxy Benzoates, Ethyl, Propyl, Butyl Paraben. Even parabens from a natural source have the same adverse effects!

Phalates - what are they?
They are a group of chemicals used primarily at concentrations of less than 10% as plasticizers in products such as nail varnishes and hair sprays and as solvents and perfume fixatives in various other products.

Why are they bad?
Research indicates they are:

  • hormone disruptors
  • known to cause serious reproductive and developmental effects in lab animals linked to premature breast development in young girls and interference with reproductive development in male foetuses.

Most at risk are children at the most vulnerable stages of their development; birth, puberty & teens.