The Transition from Toxic to All-Natural Products: What to Expect
The Transition From Toxic to All–Natural Products.
Why are natural skincare products on the rise? Why are people all over the world choosing to go natural? We investigate this trend and dig deep into our need for a good formula and our desire for products that are both good for us - and the planet. And as we take our formative steps down the product development path, we ask the key question: Should our Made with You range be entirely natural? And why?
We’re creating an unparalleled micro-range of activated essentials. Find out how you can co-design your own natural skincare range with leading experts – and get it free for an entire year.
For those of you that have made the switch over from the nasty chemical-packed products to naturally-derived, or for those of you who are wanting to make the switch and don’t know where to begin - let’s be honest - one common roadblock on the path to natural beauty is efficiency. Whether it be haircare, skincare, or body care, if you’ve ever tried to hold onto your natural beauty regime for dear life and failed, you’re not alone.
The demand for instantaneous results
For one, we all live in a world of ‘now’. If one product does not supply a desired outcome – no problem, we’ll try another. And another, and another, until we one day walk into a shiny department store and see a fresh-faced genetically-blessed human with immaculate skin standing behind the Clinique counter, and suddenly we’re back to square one. With so much competition in the market and demand for efficiency, it’s hard to commit to the rollercoaster.
For the purpose of this article, think of yourself as a sponge. Your external self is there to protect you from the outside world, as well as absorb particles around you for your body’s own natural immune building responses. With our environment ever changing, our bodies are each struggling to adapt to the demands of our new lifestyles. It’s as simple as work-life balance, the constant modification and adaptation of the food we eat, the ingredients in our household and body products that have been subsidised for competitive advantage — all of which contribute to our body’s immune function.
With all the limitations to make conscious choices clouding our judgement, we often wait until either someone we know has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, or we’ve developed skin irritation like dermatitis before taking action. Allergies are the leading cause of chronic illness and a huge red flag to make a change prior to doing some more permanent damage.
Your body’s first reaction to natural skincare
When choosing to make the switch to natural or organic, in every sense, the body will naturally undergo changes while toxin build-up is released. This might be in the form of purging (not to be confused with skin breakouts), where your new product has accelerated pimple formation to clear the bacteria that is lurking underneath the surface of the skin. This process generally develops faster with products that increase cell turnover such as retinoid or hydroxy acids.
Another reason for skin purging is when the skin is attempting to return back to its normal pH range. Our skin sebum is slightly more acidic which is incredibly important to our skins health. The acid mantle on our skin surface boosts the immune system of the skin by creating an acidic environment in which harmful bacteria and fungi can’t survive. If our skin products disrupt this acid mantle, we run the risk of skin infections and irritations as it becomes more permeable to these pathogens. Ingredients such as surfactants are acid-stripping, as well as ‘alkaline’ marketed products, are the main disruptors of our skin’s acid mantle and causes dullness, chronic skin problems such as acne, flaking and dehydration, and premature ageing.
For those who are just starting out, it can be incredibly daunting to make the switch. We’ve compiled a list of top 5 ingredients lurking in your beauty products that should be avoided from the get-go:
Lead, Mercury, and other heavy metals
They’re known neurotoxins, and disrupt hormones that link to issues such as learning problems, and reproductive and developmental issues.
These are petroleum-based chemicals and known endocrine disruptors contributing to skin cancer and developmental and reproductive toxicity. These are found in over 75% of products. Avoid any ingredient ending in -paraben.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS and SLES)
Harsh skin irritants, these are often contaminated with 1,4 Dioxane and Nitrosamines, both potent carcinogens.
Just another name for petroleum, a known carcinogen. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology investigated whether mineral oil-based moisturisers might increase the rate at which tumours form. Results found the formation rapidly increased.
Fragrance / Parfum
This is the most ambiguous term on any ingredients list as it is highly unregulated. This label usually represents a complex mixture of chemicals. It is estimated 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances.
Switching to natural haircare
Haircare on the other hand, is one of the harder switches to make, as it’s easy to feel really yuck when our hair doesn’t feel squeaky clean. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, and the outer layer is called the cuticle. Our role is to protect the hair shaft – and much like our skin, protect its natural pH level.
Again, much like our skin, if we’re using shampoos to clean our hair with harsh surfactants, we’re destroying the pH level. In our current market, it’s normal to associate foaming action with cleaner hair, however it’s important to note that foaming action is due to surfactants, and that natural shampoos will have a lower foaming action in the shower.
You won’t need more product – rather it’s helping aid the production of your natural hair oils. There will be a transition period of 4-6 weeks while your hair strengthens and returns back to its normal pH level, we promise. We urge you to stick it out – you won’t regret it. At the end of it all, you’ll be washing your hair less, have natural shine, and buying less product.
Do your research. Don’t be scared of the names on the ingredients list - explore them. There are plenty of scary-looking ingredients that are just scientific names of active ingredients, and should be explored thoroughly. Take a look into our ingredients index, or EWG database.
The writings on the wall, we simply cannot compromise when creating our Made with You range. We will use only all-natural ingredients. There are far too many sensitivities, allergies, endocrine disruption issues, and potential long-term damage that synthetics can cause, and we’re simply not having it. We want clean, effective and transparent skincare that’s good for us and good for the environment. Don’t you?
Co-Design Your Activated Essentials —
Here at Noéma, we’re busy researching the best ingredients - so that we can make the best activated essentials for you, with you. We’re taking a radically new direction in skincare; we use you as the key ingredient.
By collaborating with industry experts such as naturopaths, biochemists, product specialists and formulators, our aim is to create an Activated Essentials product range with the best ingredients, formula and design.
We’re taking applications from our diverse community to contribute to co-designing an essential micro-range of products right for them. Get involved in upcoming events and workshops covering wellness, self-care and design.