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Skincare Questions and Answers

Skincare Questions and Answers

The best thing is to check the ingredients and ensure they are free from harsh preservatives, synthetic chemicals and anything that you know you are allergic or sensitive to.  We believe that choosing genuinely natural or organic products (look for certification) will help you to avoid these harsher preservatives and synthetic chemicals.

If possible, purchase a trial or sample size and do a patch test because even products with pure ingredients may contain something you are sensitive to. To perform a patch test, apply a small amount of the product to a non-inflamed area of skin in a discreet place - either behind the ear or the inside of your elbow are good places.  Then wait for 24 hours.  If you have no reaction (an itchy, raised or red area) the product is likely to be suitable for you.

Many people have chemical sensitivities; asthma, allergies and the like.  So use products that are free from synthetic chemicals.  You can also get anti-allergy sprays and water filters for your home.  A really good resource for everything from cleaning fluids to anti-mold products, allergy sprays etc is https://www.healthy-house.co.uk.

If you are not sure if your skin is sensitive, it probably isn’t.  Those with sensitive skin suffer regular irritations, dermatitis, eczema flare-ups and the like.  If you are sensitive your GP may refer you to a skin specialist to test for allergies, but with NHS budget cuts, he or she is only likely to do this if you have severe problems.  There are many skin clinics that perform these tests, but you would have to pay privately.

Also, if you are worried about a particular product, you can do your own patch test. To perform a patch test, apply a small amount of the product to a non-inflamed area of skin in a discreet place, either behind the ear or the inside of your elbow are good places.  Then wait for 24 hours.  If you have no reaction (redness, itchiness or swelling) the product is likely to be suitable for you.

If you are prone to teenage acne, there are many things you can do to help, but nothing will totally prevent the occasional break-out, as this could be due to hormonal changes going on in your body and will end naturally once your hormones are balanced again.

Cleanse, using a simple cleanser like our Purifying Cleanser.

Cleansing thoroughly is essential. Don’t skimp! Bacteria love to feed on the oil your body’s sebaceous glands naturally produce, including on your face.

Oil production increases during puberty. Washing helps eliminate that oil and thus the bacteria.

Do cleanse thoroughly again after sports, and any other ‘sweaty’ activity.  Cleanse gently, but thoroughly, don’t scrub.

Don’t forget to tone.  This closes the pores after using warm water and will help to minimise the possibility of you developing open pores, as you get older. Good toners are the Clarifying Toner. Follow with a light moisturiser & gel for acne. This will help keep your skin hydrated and guard against pollution.

Check out our Purely Natural Gift Set which includes a foaming cleanser, calming toner & light 24 hour moisturiser. 

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/keep-it-simple-natural-face-products

If you skin is looking glowing and healthy and you have no skin problems, irritations, flare ups or inflammation, then it is probably fine.  However, I would recommend converting to natural or organic skin products that are free from synthetic chemicals.  This is because skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs chemicals into the blood stream through the skin, as demonstrated by skin patches used to deliver drugs.

However, if you are experiencing any problems with your skin then you may need to change your skin routine and probably your skin products too. Firstly, give your skin a break. If you are sensitive to a product you are currently using and start using a new product immediately, you may mistakenly think the new product is causing sensitivity too.

So do nothing but cleanse with warm water and a soft cloth for a week and then patch test a new product before using it on your face. To do this, apply a small amount on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear. Leave for 24 hours and check for any signs of irritation such as redness, itchiness or a rash. If you have no reaction, then apply to your face as directed. If you have really sensitive skin, then wait a week after trying one new product before introducing another.

Everybody’s skin is different, so you need to find a solution that will fit in, not just with your skin-type but with your lifestyle. It can be difficult to get an unbiased professional opinion on which products you should use, as most beauticians, certainly on beauty counters in shops are there to promote their own goods, and your local beautician will have her own favourites too.

Look for quality, honest, natural skin products that are transparent about the quality and their ingredients.  Word of mouth from friends who have similar skin types to you are also helpful. Some brands also make small trial sizes, allowing you to test a variety of products to find the right ones for you without splashing out on the full sized products.

Read the labels and look at the ingredients.  Unfortunately there are currently no laws about the labelling of products ‘natural’ and ‘organic’.  Manufacturers are allowed to call themselves ‘organic’ with just 1% organic ingredients, and the remainder could be full of synthetic chemicals.  The Soil Association, amongst others, is lobbying hard to get this changed.


Here is some links to our best selling moisturisers:

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/skincare/products/light-facial-24-hour-moisturiser-natural

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-miracle-worker-face-cream?_pos=1&_sid=94ff7a9d3&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/search?q=day+cream

We are sorry to say – no.  Products labelled hypoallergenic may still contain quite strong preservatives and other ingredients that you may react to.  It all depends on your skin type and what you are allergic too.  Be vigilant, read the labels, especially the ingredient lists and avoid anything with parabens or Methylisothiazolinone. Check make-up labels too! If you know what you are allergic or sensitive too, then you can avoid it. If however, you have sensitive skin but are unsure of any specific allergies, we would advise you to do a patch test of any new product first before applying it to your face to ensure it works for you. Anyone can be sensitive to any ingredient!

Many different things can cause your skin to react: food allergies, contact with something that you are sensitive to, even excessive heat or cold.  For example, you may be sensitive to the washing powder you are using, your shampoo, or any other personal product. Commonly, your skin may turn red, itch and crack. Symptoms vary depending on what you are allergic to and how you have been exposed to the allergen. Always consult your doctor if symptoms are severe or persistent.

Choose a body wash that is free from sulphates and has some moisturising factor in as well if you skin is also dry.  There are many types of sulphates and quite a lot of controversy about whether they are harmful or not.  However, if you have sensitive skin it is certainly best to avoid Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) which are most commonly found in body washes and shampoos due to their high foaming factor.  Wherever possible choose a natural product,


Try out natural & organic body wash

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-moisturising-body-wash?_pos=2&_sid=109046320&_ss=r

The best thing is to check the ingredients and ensure they are free from harsh preservatives and chemicals. This will be easier if you choose natural or organic products. However, even products with pure ingredients may contain something you are allergic to. so purchase a trial or sample size then do a patch test.  To perform a patch test, apply a small amount of the product to a non-inflamed area of skin in a discreet place (behind the ear or the inside of your elbow are good places), then wait for 24 hours.  If you have no reaction after this time (no swelling, itchiness or redness) then the product is probably suitable for you.

Here is a basic list of ingredients that we tend to avoid and you may wish to as well. You certainly wouldn’t want to eat or drink them so it is probably wise not to put them on your skin either. Remember, what you put on your skin is absorbed into the body. Think skin patches!

Many countries have now banned parabens, but these are still allowed in UK and USA.

  • Parabens (Methylparaben/Propylparaben/Butylparaben/Ethylparaben) – a preservative ingredient that mimics oestrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptor. Found in nearly ALL breast tumours.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)– has recently been linked to a rise in cases of eczema and dermatitis. Some professionals including many doctors would like to see a ban on its use in personal care products.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)– is a surfactant (detergent), which is a foaming agent, found in cosmetic products and used as an industrial cleaning, chemical (used to degrease engines!). It is has the potential to cause irritation to skin.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) & Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)– same as above. Derivatives of SLS may vary slightly in mildness BUT the general action and effects are similar.
  • Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate– an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. Can cause allergic reactions.
  • Titanium Dioxide. You may be surprised to find this here, but I have always been allergic to it and now increasing evidence is pointing to it’s possible dangers. Kumazawa, et. al. in their study, “Effects of Titanium Ions and Particles on Neutrophil Function and Morphology” concluded that cytotoxicity (danger to the cell) was dependent on the particle size of titanium dioxide. The smaller the particle size, the more toxic it is). This conclusion is relevant to the consumer because of the cosmetics industry’s increasing use of micronized pigments in sunscreens and colour cosmetics. Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are used in sunscreens because they are colourless at that size and still absorb ultraviolet light.
  • Zinc Oxide. Also contains Nano-particles. EWG says, “The potential negative environmental effects of Nano scale and conventional zinc and titanium should be carefully studied and weighed against the environmental impact of other UV blockers. Sunscreen ingredients have been shown to damage coral, accumulate in fish and the environment and disrupt hormones in fish and amphibians (Buser 2006, Danovaro 2008 Giokas 2007, Kunz 2004, Kunz 2006, Weisbrod 2007).

For all sunscreens, including Nano scale zinc and titanium, there is an urgent need to carry out thorough environmental assessments so that regulators have the data they need to begin to control hazards associated with widespread use of these and other chemical ingredients in personal care products.”

  • Mineral oil (e.g. paraffinum liquidum) – a petroleum derived ingredient, used as a skin emollient, no proven effectiveness, often found in so called ‘aqueous’ creams. NICE have agreed that this can cause irritations despite the fact that creams containing this are still prescribed for skin conditions.
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)– this can be from a natural source but it’s usually a synthetic petrochemical mix
  • Artificial Fragrance or Parfum– an undisclosed collection of chemicals due to being protected by Trade Secret Laws but it is associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory issues and potential effects on the reproductive system. When we have ‘fragrance’ on our ingredients it is always from essential oils.
  • Artificial Colours– These are labelled as FD&C or D&C on the label, followed by a colour and a number. Worth noting that Carmine (aka Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4 C.I. 75470 or E120) is derived from boiling insects!
  • DEA(diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • Formaldehyde– common ingredient in nail polish and Brazilian Blow Dry. It is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives, including diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, and sodium hydroxylmethylglycinate. Linked to irritation of skin, eyes and lungs.
  • Urea– excreted from urine and other bodily fluids so may be derived from animals, if you are vegetarian/vegan you will probably chose to avoid. Can also be a synthetic ingredient.
  • Triclosan– antibacterial agent and preservative, persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. Linked to skin irritation.
  • Phthalates (DBP/DMP/DEP) & bisphenol A (BPA) – mainly used as plasticizers and have raised health concerns. Tests on animals have shown plasticizers and BPA affect reproductive systems. They act as endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals, mimicking sex hormones in the body.
  • Talc– can be contaminated with asbestos fibres, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer.
  • Japanese Honeysuckle– often regarded as a controversial ingredient “natural paraben”, more research is needed and within “green” community online opinion is divided over the safety of this ingredient.
  • Phenoxyethanol –as above divided opinions over the use of this ingredient. Often used as a replacement for parabens. Certainly better than parabens and I am still undecided on this one. Not considered potentially carcinogenic but may cause skin irritations in sensitive people.
  • Lanolin– extracted from sheep wool and a product of the oil from their glands. It is used as an emollient in skin care products and regarded as an allergen with no proven effectiveness. (look out for E913 on food labels)
  • Emu Oil– a popular ingredient in Australian skincare, it is a by-product of the meat industry, the emu is killed for it’s meat and the oil is obtained from fat on the emu’s back.
  • Silk– Silkworms (caterpillar stage of the silk moth) spin cocoons when in their pupal stage, silk thread is extracted from the cocoons by placing in boiling water, which kills the silkworms.
  • Shellac– natural polymer derived from lac beetles found in nail polish & food (look for E904)
  • Bee Venom– Bees are given a tiny electric shock as they enter the hive, which we are told is not enough to kill them. I imagine some would die of shock. However, it puts them in a bad mood so they will release venom. The bee population is already under threat without this.
  • Keratin– Protein from horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals are popular in hair products. There are alternatives derived from fruit and nuts.

Beyond Organic Skincare uses none of the above ingredients.

Many people these days have skin sensitivities, even to the purest natural ingredients. A simple patch test will help identify if you have any allergies or intolerance to a product before beginning use.

On the skin of the inner arm where the elbow folds, apply a small amount of the product.  Leave for a few hours or overnight.  If you experience no reaction then it should be safe to use.  However, if there is any redness, irritation swelling, itching or burning, do not use it.

Most certainly.  It has to be more ethical if you are not killing bees with pesticides and ruining the soil with fertilisers. No organic products can contain growth promoting hormones either, which are bad not only for the animals but for us to in the long run as we get a build-up of these trace hormones in our own systems.

Additionally, most organic companies are very environmentally aware and use recyclable packaging, reduce waste and the use of plastics, carbon waste, etc.

How do I know if a product is certified organic?

Most companies that hold organic certification state this clearly on their website, indicating which products are certified and which are not. They are understandably proud of this, so are not going to hide it!

Also, there is usually a logo on their products displaying ‘certified organic’; although in a few cases there may not be room for this logo or symbol.  Our Seabuckthorn Range is certified with Organic Farmers & Growers in the UK and this is the symbol we display on our certified organic products:

This is a question we get asked a lot .

An apple, or carrot is natural. It has not been man-made or synthesised. However, in the growing process it may have been sprayed with chemicals to protect it from diseases, keep off bugs, or fed with chemical fertilisers to increase yield.

An organic apple or carrot has had NO chemicals sprayed on it and the soil it is grown in has not had any chemical fertilisers added to it.

Yes, it is more expensive to grow the organic way, but chemical avoidance in our diets is increasingly necessary as we begin to understand how the build-up of these toxins affects our bodies.  We can also help the planet by not killing bees, which is what some of these insecticides can do.  Neonicotinoids, for example, are a relatively new class of insecticides that impact the central nervous system of insects. If it hurts bees, it also hurts us!

Do not forget the skin is the largest organ of the body – so what you put onto your skin goes into your bloodstream (think skin patches).  It is therefore equally important to use organic products where possible on your skin.

Are organic skin products as effective as other products?

It depends on the ingredients, in the same way as it does with traditional products.  Where the ingredients are good and the product is well formulated, then we believe that organic skincare can actually be MORE effective than traditional products.  This is because the skin ‘recognises’ a natural product and accepts and absorbs it more readily.  So the organic skin product can feed the skin much better. It's a bit like the difference between feeding your body a diet packed with fresh, natural ingredients versus feeding it with highly processed, chemically laden sweets!

Are organic products automatically GMO free?

YES they are!  A product CANNOT be certified organic if it contains any GMO ingredients.

While on this subject, beware of ‘NON GMO’ labels.  Whilst they DO guarantee a maximum of technically less than 0.9% GMO, they do NOT guarantee that they are free from synthetic chemicals.

Sadly, it DOES cost more to produce organic food and raw ingredients.  It is not a case of the manufacturer being greedy. Firstly, if converting to organic farming from a previously non-organic farm or field, it can take a few years of soil testing until the certifying organisation passes it as organic.  Not only are organic farms typically smaller than conventional ones, but they also, on average, take more time to produce crops because they refrain from using the chemicals and growth hormones used by conventional farmers. Yields may also be reduced as no chemicals are employed to manage pests and diseases, so some plants may succumb to these. Production-oriented government subsidies reduce the overall cost of crops, but organic farmers cannot take advantage of these.  Organic farms not only produce less and take longer to produce, they also have to pay the certifying body an annual fee for their organic license. This means organic ingredients are, inevitably, more expensive that their non-organic counterparts. In our case, we pay much more for our raw organic ingredients, and then in turn we have to pay the certifying body for OUR certification as well.

Using organic means a better planet. It means higher levels of animal welfare, no GMO, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment – this means not just more bees but more wildlife.

Firstly, I believe that genuinely organic skincare works better than non-organic as it is more readily absorbed into the skin, than formulations that are predominantly made up of man-made chemicals.  Your skin and body ‘recognise’ the natural goodness and react – almost saying, ‘Yes please, we like this!'  However, some companies do think ‘organic first, efficacy later’ and do not spend the extra on research and ingredients that really nurture your skin.

At Beyond Organic Skincare we have always put performance of our products in the first line of importance.  Thus we say: ‘Purity with Performance’.

Do remember what you put on your skin goes into your system.  You only have to think how effective skin patches are to realise this.  You wouldn’t eat an apple that had been sprayed with glyphosate.  The same should apply to what you use on your face and body.  And don’t just think about skin creams – think about your whole personal care regime – shampoo, deodorant, hand wash, shower gel – these are all going into your system, when your body is warm from the shower and your pores are open.

However, buyer beware– there is no legislation preventing manufacturers labelling their products ‘Organic’ when they may just have 1% organic ingredients and the remainder can be full of nasties – including parabens.

So DO take a little time and look at the ingredients – or look for Certified organic products.

I have been shocked looking around Health Food Stores to see that the labels and marketing sometimes fool even the dedicated owners in these wonderful places.  I have found ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ products containing some of the worst ingredients.  Many of these are banned in Japan and other more enlightened places, but unfortunately the UK and USA still insists that parabens are ‘safe’ in small levels despite the fact that 98% of breast tumours contain parabens!  However, none of the global organic standards allow the use of parabens.

Organic Skincare Benefits

What are the benefits to you and your skin and the world of using Organic Skin Care Products as against traditional products?

Firstly, you are avoiding all the harmful chemicals that penetrate into your system through the skin.  You know how well skin patches work – well skin products penetrate the skin as well, together with any chemicals in them.

In fact, some say putting chemicals on our skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat, enzymes in the saliva and stomach break down what’s ingested and flush it out of the body. However, chemicals on the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream without any filtering. Just imagine what the cumulative effects of long-term use may do.

With some of these skincare ingredients linked to cancers, allergies, neurological disorders and reproductive issues, it’s really time we started reading labels on everything we buy.

Secondly, not only are you avoiding chemicals but you are actually feeding the skin as nature intended.  Nature put everything we need on this planet.  Think how you usually find dock leaves growing close to stingy nettles – so the cure is next to the sting!  Products that are close to nature are absorbed and tolerated by your skin so much better than synthetic ones.  Your skin will lap them up and will start to develop a healthy glow.

The Dark Secrets Of “Fragrance”

Also the synthetic fragrances found in most traditional products could have almost anything in them.  As perfume is recognised as a ‘trade secret’ the manufacturers do not have to declare what they contain, they merely have to put on the ingredients label ‘fragrance’.  This loophole is very disturbing.  Natural and organic products only use essential oils.  They may not smell the same as traditional potions – but they are far, far, better for you.

Organic Manufacturing Processes Make A Big Difference

It is not just the raw ingredients that are so much better for you.  The processing and manufacturing is also much cleaner and more earth friendly.  It is a ‘soft’ manufacturing process and certainly has no irradiation of the end product or the botanical ingredients. The products are also Fair Trade.  Then, further down the chain the packaging is recyclable and also earth-friendly. What’s not to like?!

Organic Skincare Helps Our Planet

Thirdly using organic means a better planet. It means higher levels of animal welfare, no GMO, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment – this means more bees wildlife!

You are choosing a better world as well as a healthier body when you choose organic.

Hello my lovelies!  We are celebrating Organic September, Clean Living and Clean Beauty this month.  Clean Living is the ‘buzz word’ of the moment – so I thought I should write about it.

Clean Living is very similar to Organic eating with the exception of cutting out gluten (more about this later!).  Essentially it’s about eating fresh, natural food from your farmers market, eating products that are in season.  In fact eating the way our Grandparents used to before the advent of ‘chemical farming’.  Sorry! when I say ‘our’ grandparents (I am ancient) – I mean those born in the early 20th century!  They didn’t have to worry about probiotics, a healthy gut etc.  It all came naturally from their food and lifestyles.

Likewise Clean Beauty is all about using products that are chemical free, additive free and free of all synthetics.

The good news:

Denmark is on the way to becoming a totally organic Country!

Apparently the Danish are the ‘happiest and most contented people in Europe’.

The Danish government is working in multiple ways to convert the entire country’s agriculture into organic and sustainable farming. Last year, they released an ambitious, 67-point plan to double organic farming, and to serve more organic food in the nation’s public institutions by 2020.

Could we get just one COUNTY in the UK to do this?

The bad news:

The EU is on course to “ban” use of 40 chemicals by 2020 to reduce environmental damage, but the UK government, the Conservatives and the NFU all opposed the new rules, saying they could hit yields and increase food prices. This is something – but it is not soon enough!

Not only does this show a blatant lack of concern for the health of the British nation and the environment, it also shows they can’t do their sums.

WE, the little man can do something about this! Lobby our local MP’s, government, the NFU, Defra etc etc.  Do social networking!  It’s amazing what can be achieved these days and how much we can all make our voices heard.

The good news:

John Lewis-Stempel an environmentalist and organic farmer HAS done his sums and his research. Way back in 2000 one of the biggest agricultural experiments ever conducted took place.  (All reported in’ Nature’ magazine at the time).  In trials in Herefordshire wheat grown with manure has produced higher yields for the past 150 years than wheat grown with artificial nutrients.  John himself grew and milled his own non-GM non-chemical wheat and saved £30 a ton.

The bad news:

Children are particularly at risk to the effects of pesticides because their developing organ systems are more vulnerable, and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals. A groundbreaking study published in 1998 in Environmental Health Perspectives discovered children exposed to pesticides in an agricultural area of Mexico suffered developmental effects, such as impaired stamina, memory, and drawing ability, as well as other problems.

Pesticides also wreak havoc on the environment. Pesticide drift affects non-farming communities with poisons that are odourless and invisible. And synthetic fertiliser drifting downstream is the main cause of dead zones in delicate ocean environments, such as the one in the Gulf of Mexico, which is larger than New Jersey.

So these things have been know for years!  Why of why has nothing been done about it?

The good news:

Organic foods are more nutritious and taste better.

Not only is the production of organic food better for human health and the environment, but science is proving organic food to be more nutritious as well.

A study published by The Organic centre revealed organic food to have significant health benefits over conventional foods: they are higher in antioxidants and are more anti-inflammatory. Other studies prove organic produce to also be lower in nitrates.

Researchers also found organic berries to be consistently more flavourful and sweeter.

  1. Organic foods help achieve biodiversity and soil fertility

For achieving biodiversity and reforestation, organic is the way to go. Visit an organic farm, and you see thriving, diverse habitats, with beneficial insects, indigenous animals, and native plants.

Wheat and gluten allergies:

We can’t make ‘Corn Dollies anymore.  Modern harvesting eliminated the sheaves from which these were fashioned.  You can’t make corn dollies from wheat mangled through a combine.  Also the wheat is totally different now!

Modern wheat is making people sick. More and more people are going “gluten-free” to fix long-standing digestion issues and they feel better. Yet, it is also very clear that there is more to this than gluten. For instance, we get many people telling us how they can’t eat gluten so they eat spelt or Kamut. Yet both these ancient grains have gluten.

We have mutant seeds, grown in synthetic soil, bathed in chemicals. They’re deconstructed, pulverized to fine dust, bleached and chemically treated to create a barren industrial filler that no other creature on the planet will eat. And we wonder why it might be making us sick?

So let’s reject the profound genetic changes in modern wheat, in favour of traditional species our bodies recognise. Let’s reject the chemical fertilisers, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides of modern industrial farming in favour of organic farming and clean seed.

Let’s reject industrial white flour, in all it’s phoney incarnations. Let’s go back to simple stone-ground flour, milled FRESH with all the nourishment of the living seed intact. The way the pigs, birds, butterflies and the bugs like it.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and what you put on it is absorbed into your system. If you have changed to organic eating habits, or just like to eat healthy food you might be wondering about an organic and natural solution for skin care.

Using organic skincare can be compared with eating a healthy meal instead of junk food. It does not hurt occasionally, but if you continue to eat junk food, eventually it will tell on your health. Likewise, using natural and organic skin products will give you glowing, healthy, nourished skin. Not only are they better for your health, but they work!

When we say ‘Organic Skincare’, we mean products made of plant-derived ingredients grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMO, along with some other naturally occurring ingredients. The integrity of these unadulterated ingredients is maintained by minimal processing, with little or no additives.

Organic Skincare Ingredients Make The Difference

Plant ingredients provide our skin with vital antioxidants and hydration and can be a potent weapon against anti-ageing. The chemical constituents that are naturally in plants (referred to as phytochemicals) have been used since Egyptian times for healing and beauty. Many plants act in synergy with each other, so that when mixed together they have a greater therapeutic effect than individually.

For exemplary skin care you need a balance of the Omega 9 Oils (Oleic Acid) and Omega 3 & 6 oils (linoleic acid). Using natural, cold-pressed and organic oils containing natural lipids and high levels of key fatty acids helps to maintain healthy skin condition and combat inflammatory skin disorders. This balance also helps with firmness, elasticity, skin smoothness; reduction in wrinkle depth and UV irritated redness.

Our Sea-Buckthorn also contains Omega 7 (Palmitoleic acid)

This has amazing skin regenerating properties and has been used for years by the Russians to help burn victims regenerate new skin more quickly. It also helps fight premature signs of ageing. dryness and loss of elasticity.

This fruit is loaded with antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, and studies show that these two nutrient powerhouses can prevent wrinkles. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, one form of vitamin E, in particular, alpha tocopherol, reduced skin roughness, length of facial lines and the depth of wrinkles when applied topically.

 

You need to really start looking after your skin in your early teens as this is an age that can be prone to spots and break outs due to hormonal changes. Developing a good skin care routine early on could help lessen, or even prevent this. A simple cleansing routine that fits easily into a teenager's day is the minimum! We recommend our foaming cleansers, as these are easily applied onto wet skin and rinsed off whilst showering. Cleansing is really important to remove the skin of any excess sebum and dirt so that it does not go on to clog pores and cause spots. Over cleansing the skin with harsh products will only exacerbate the problem by causing your skin to produce more oil to compensate for drying it out, so be sure to use gentle products! Similarly, you may wish to apply a light moisturiser after cleansing to moisturise with our blocking the pores, or a treatment product if you are suffering from breakouts.

Certainly if you are over 35, or over 30 and have dry skin.  Serums tend to penetrate deeper than a night cream to deliver actives to you skin. Many often contain richer ingredients than a cream and so can really can help delay the signs of ageing and tone and firm the skin.  Some serums can also help to make the pores look smaller.  We consider serums the ‘work-horse’ in our pack! You can use serums alone, if you are younger or have less dry skin, or under creams for an extra boost. Experiment with the frequency of using a serum too, to find what works best for your skin. Some people use them morning and evening, seven days a week whilst others find just at night time, or just once or twice a week sufficient.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/rejuvenating-serum?_pos=1&_sid=aa66e41a0&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/ultra-radiance-organic-age-defying-cleanser-1?_pos=2&_sid=aa66e41a0&_ss=r

The skin around your eyes is much thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face.  As you get older it is often one the first places to show lines and crow’s feet. Also this area can be prone to dark circles and puffiness – so the answer is a definite YES. Choose a natural, eye cream or gel, free from perfume.

Cucumber is great for this area, as we know, putting a couple of slices of cucumber on each eye for 10 minutes can really soothe and tone this area.  If you don’t feel like lying around with cucumber on, there are good natural creams and gels and cucumber extract in them. For more mature or dry skin, a specialised eye cream is better.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/natural-cooling-eye-gel-30ml?_pos=3&_sid=8fcf7cdb9&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-firming-eye-cream?_pos=2&_sid=8fcf7cdb9&_ss=r

If you are under 25, you can probably get away with a good 24 hour moisturiser.

You will probably want to use a day cream with some sun protection in the summer, which is not necessary at night.  Or you can use a good moisturiser and apply a little SPF over it.

However, certainly from 30 onwards, I think you need something more nourishing at night and that you should use a night cream too.   Night creams tend to support the skin regeneration process that naturally occurs at night, whereas day creams keep your skin hydrated and protected during the day.

From 40 onwards we would also recommend a serum. Serums are extra rich and really help with protecting against premature ageing.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-moisturising-day-cream?_pos=1&_sid=2e3952d61&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/ultra-radiance-organic-age-defying-day-cream?_pos=2&_sid=2e3952d61&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/ultra-radiance-organic-age-defying-night-cream?_pos=4&_sid=2e3952d61&_ss=r

If you skin is looking glowing and healthy and you have no skin problems, irritations, flare ups or inflammation, then it is probably fine.  However, I would recommend converting to natural or organic skin products that are free from synthetic chemicals.  This is because skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs chemicals into the blood stream through the skin, as demonstrated by skin patches used to deliver drugs.

However, if you are experiencing any problems with your skin then you may need to change your skin routine and probably your skin products too. Firstly, give your skin a break. If you are sensitive to a product you are currently using and start using a new product immediately, you may mistakenly think the new product is causing sensitivity too.

So do nothing but cleanse with warm water and a soft cloth for a week and then patch test a new product before using it on your face. To do this, apply a small amount on the inside of your elbow or behind your ear. Leave for 24 hours and check for any signs of irritation such as redness, itchiness or a rash. If you have no reaction, then apply to your face as directed. If you have really sensitive skin, then wait a week after trying one new product before introducing another.

Everybody’s skin is different, so you need to find a solution that will fit in, not just with your skin-type but with your lifestyle. It can be difficult to get an unbiased professional opinion on which products you should use, as most beauticians, certainly on beauty counters in shops are there to promote their own goods, and your local beautician will have her own favourites too.

Look for quality, honest, natural skin products that are transparent about the quality and their ingredients.  Word of mouth from friends who have similar skin types to you are also helpful. Some brands also make small trial sizes, allowing you to test a variety of products to find the right ones for you without splashing out on the full sized products.

Read the labels and look at the ingredients.  Unfortunately there are currently no laws about the labelling of products ‘natural’ and ‘organic’.  Manufacturers are allowed to call themselves ‘organic’ with just 1% organic ingredients, and the remainder could be full of synthetic chemicals.  The Soil Association, amongst others, is lobbying hard to get this changed.

Your skin’s natural barrier function is weaker than those with normal skin (whatever ‘normal’ is!) and so needs careful handling. Sensitive skin needs products that are carefully chosen to avoid irritations and break-outs.  Always choose products that are free from synthetic chemicals, harsh preservatives and perfumes. Do not use soap on your face as it will strip your skin's natural oils and this will encourage your skin to over-produce sebum.  It is best to avoid hot water (warm is better) and do not soak in the shower or bath for too long as this will strip your skin of its natural moisture.  Excessive heat, cold and sun should also be avoided.  When in the sun, use a strong factor sun cream with natural minerals. Keep hydrated.

You may also have some allergies to specific skin products or food products.  The main things to avoid putting on your skin are:

  • Formaldehyde (and formaldehyde releasing preservatives like: urea, quaternium-15, and DMDM hydantoin)
  • Dyes
  • Soaps
  • Preservatives such as parabens
  • Propylene glycol and ethanol
  • Perfumes
  • Bismuth oxychloride and mica (light-refracting ingredients found in makeup)
  • Lanolin
  • Rubber latex
  • 4-tert-butylphenol in cosmetics (lip liners)
  • Menthol and peppermint

In fact it is best to avoid all synthetic chemicals and use natural and organic skin products.  It is also a good idea to avoid products containing paraffin or mineral oil, as these can irritate the skin and can also cause fires under certain conditions. Coconut oil can make a good cleanser and Shea butter a good moisturiser, or choose natural products that contain these ingredients.

If your skin is very sensitive you may want to consider a water filter on your shower (easy to fit), which will filter out the chlorine, aluminium, and other additives put into our water.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/e-natural-emollient-cream-130ml-natural-and-paraffin-free?_pos=1&_sid=88460628e&_ss=r

Your skincare routine should be tailored to suit your skin type and age.  It will probably change too with the seasons.  Most people have drier skin in the winter than summer. So keep a watch on your skin and don’t be frightened of changing your routine. Whatever your age or skin type you should have a morning and evening routine.

Must have products: cleanser, toner, day cream, night cream, eye cream and body lotion, oil or body butter.  So many people just concentrate of facial skincare – but the body is so important!

In the morning: use a simple natural cleanser (we like the foaming ones), followed by toner, eye cream and moisturiser, then make up if you use it. Use a light body lotion after a morning shower too.

In the evening: use a more intensive cleanser, such as a balm cleanser, followed by toner, eye cream and night cream. You may also like to use a serum before your night cream.  The balm cleanser will remove make-up, or you could use a special eye make up remover.  This should always be done before bed.  Leaving make-up on overnight is really bad for the skin and can clog pores and lead to break outs. Don't forget your body - using a body lotion, oil or butter after a bath is ideal.

Choose products that suit your age, lifestyle and skin type.  However, always make sure they are organic or natural and avoid using synthetic chemicals on your skin.


https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/cleanse-tone-moisturise-organic-gift-pack

The old ‘cleanse, tone, moisturise’ saying still holds well and is the simplest routine you can choose.  It is important to find a really good cleanser as this is the foundation of your routine.  Many people leave out the toner, but it really does help to ‘tone’ the skin, remove any traces of cleanser, prepare it for moisturiser and close the pores, thus preventing blocked and open pores from occuring. Moisturiser is a must to keep the skin hydrated throughout the day. Whether your skin is sensitive, dry or troubled by acne, find a cleanse-tone-moisturise routine suitable for your skin type. We always recommend using natural or organic products. Here are a few suggestions for you:

  • Avoid harsh cleansers that dry the skin.  We love the balm cleansers that get deep into the epidermis without drying it.
  • Choose an alcohol free toner, which will not irritate the skin. Those based on floral waters are refreshing and smell lovely.
  • Make sure your moisturiser contains no parabens or other nasties and keeps your skin hydrated for the whole day. Choose a light one if you have normal to oily skin and a rich one if your skin is dry.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/cleanse-tone-moisturise-organic-gift-pack

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/keep-it-simple-natural-face-products


The warmer summer weather often causes changes in the skin and can cause quite a few problems.

The first is that the warmth opens the pores, which not only increases sebum production but also allows dirt and pollution to get in.  Also, if you have air-conditioning inside, the skin will then cool down, the pores will close, trapping the dirt inside.

Swimming in the sea or chlorinated water and cooler showers will also make the skin feel de-hydrated.

So with all this going on – increased sebum but feeling dehydrated – what is the answer?

Deep Cleanse.  Beyond Organic Skincare’s Organic Detoxifying Cleanser will get deep into the pores, balance and tone all at the same time.  No ordinary cleanser this, it is a balm (or ‘hot cloth’) cleanser.  The botanical extracts of Burdock & Yarrow restore the skin tone and smoothness and detoxify and heal.  Further the Comfrey reduces any inflammation and has soothing, firming and tightening properties. Comfrey’s high content of allantoin is really its claim to fame. It can help reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles and many find it to be effective for oily skin. Comfrey is also great for sensitive skin.

Tone.  This not only helps to close the pores after cleansing but is also great for a cooling spritz any time of the day and a quick freshen up.  It will help to keep those bits of grime and pollution from getting trapped into the pores when you are out and about.  We have our Organic Soothing Toner with its wonderful Geranium and Rose scent.  Anti-inflammatory and adapts to both dry and oily skin.  Alcohol free so non-drying.  Alternatively, our Natural Calming Toner also contains cucumber for extra coolness and reduces any puffiness.

Moisturise.  Choose a lighter moisturiser with extra hydration and plenty of anti-oxidant ingredients. These protect against free radical damage.  If your skin is on the dry side, use our organic Moisturising Day Cream, which locks in moisture and forms a protective moisture barrier all day long.  It is packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins.  If your skin is more on the oily side, our 100% Natural Light 24 Hour Moisturiser with Gingko Biloba has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, with great hydration.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/cleanse-tone-moisturise-organic-gift-pack

Don't over wash your hair

Try not to wash your hair every day.  This tends to dry it and strip it of natural oils.  Your hair will soon adjust to a different routine or every 2 - 3 days instead.

Consider using filtered water

If you live in a hard water area, it may be a good idea to get a shower filter.  This takes out the fluoride and other additives as well as softening the water.

Choose your products carefully

Look for gentle, sulphate free shampoos and natural styling products. People with dry, damaged or coloured hair, dry skin and conditions such as eczema, should find a marked improvement by going sulphate free. “I have used sulphate-free shampoo, body soap, and baby wash exclusively and I have definitely noticed less flare-ups of eczema and dry scalp/dry skin, my hair is less frizzy, and my body feels softer — my hair even seems to respond better to my hair products after each shampoo!” (Tamara Floyd). Apply conditioner to the ends of the hair – it can make your hair oily if you massage into the scalp.

Be careful when styling

When drying your hair, do not rub it vigorously with a towel as this can split the ends.  Instead, wrap it in a soft towel and leave for five minutes for the water to absorb, or pat gently if you are pushed for time! When possible, let hair dry naturally without use of the hair-dryer. If there's no time for this, then do not overheat your hair with styling tongs, straighteners  the hottest setting on your hair dryer as this can cause brittle, dry hair that breaks easily. If you are using a lot of heat on your hair, consider using a specialist heat protecting product first, or investing in ceramic appliances which spread the heat more evenly.

Is colouring bad for the hair?

No, it doesn’t have to be.  If it is done professionally by a hair-dresser, then your hairdresser will ensure that they use the right product for your hair type and condition.  Colouring yourself at home could sometimes cause damage if you do not select an appropriate product for your hair type and condition.

My hair is dry and brittle – how can I repair it?

If your hair is dry and brittle, has probably been damaged, either by excessive colouring or bleaching or by chemical relaxers or by styling products, heated or otherwise.  Firstly, think about going a bit more natural.  Have a really good cut.  Seek advice from your hairdresser as to the best style to suit the shape of your face as well as your hair type.  If you don’t want a full cut, at least have the split ends cut off.  Then start using natural and sulphate free shampoos that are much gentler on the hair and don’t strip the hair of its natural oils.  Apply your conditioner as a ‘hair mask’: after shampooing, apply a generous amount of conditioner all over the hair.  Wrap your hair up in a shower cap or a wrap and leave on for 15 to twenty minutes before rinsing.

Try to stop using harsh chemical based styling products; or at least reduce the amount you use these.  Naturally shiny natural hair is far more attractive than over processed hair! Also, let your hair dry naturally, or use the lowest heat setting on your hair dryer to help prevent further damage.

My hair goes lank and greasy quickly; what can I do?

First of all, do not over condition your hair, or leave out the conditioner entirely if you hair does not tangle after shampooing.  Secondly, do not use harsh shampoos that strip the hair of its natural oils.  This just makes the hair produce more oil to compensate.  Use a natural, sulphate free shampoo.  These may not lather quite as much as normal shampoos, and it may take a couple of weeks for your hair to adjust, but you will soon see the difference!

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-sulphate-free-shine-strength-shampoo-1?_pos=5&_sid=b2f316b95&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/bath-time-gift-and-travel-pack?_pos=2&_sid=b2f316b95&_ss=r

Use gentle natural or organic hair cleansing and styling products, preferably a gentle sulphate free shampoo that will not strip the hair of the oils your scalp produces naturally. Avoid over-using styling tongs, straighteners and the hottest setting on your hairdryer, as excessive heat causes dryness and damage. Diet is also important for healthy hair.  The foods you need for strong, healthy, shiny hair are also foods that support your overall health:

  • Avocados are great for vitamin E and for potassium, sometimes called the ‘youth mineral’.
  • Eggs, beans, lentils and wholegrains are good sources of protein, an essential building block for the hair.
  • Spinach and other dark leafy greens provide iron, an essential mineral that your hair cells require. In fact, a deficiency of iron in the body may cause hair loss. When your body is running low on iron, oxygen and nutrients are not getting transported to the hair roots and follicles adequately which can inhibit growth and make your strands weak.
  • Citrus  other fruits for vitamin C. Vitamin C is also required for the production of collagen that make capillaries which connect to the hair shafts and ensure a regular supply of nutrients for hair growth.
  • Nuts and seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, which nourish the hair and support thickening. Since your body cannot produce these healthy fats, you need to derive them from your diet. Almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds are really high in Omega-3 fatty acids and can serve as mid-meal healthy snack.

Look for transparency on the label by checking the ingredients. A label can use the words ‘natural’ and 'organic' but contain as little as 1% natural or organic ingredients! Therefore looking for a % of natural and organic ingredients is helpful.

If buying organic, look for a certification logo. There are several different companies able to certify skincare products as organic, for example Organic Farmers & growers and The Soil Association, and the logos vary for each. There is no single logo to look out for with skincare products as there is for food.

There is no legal requirement for  cosmetics to be certified organic. What does 'certified organic' mean? It means that every year, a qualified inspector visits a business and thoroughly examines all their ingredients, processes and manufacturing procedures. They check the organic certification of each ingredient so that you, the customer, can be sure that the ingredients are organic.

Unfortunately certification can be a costly and time consuming exercise. So there are some products that use genuinely organic ingredients that are not certified.  However, the ingredients listing will have the organic products starred* and may tell you the percentage of organic ingredients used.

Certified organic products are allowed non-organic ingredients in them too because not all ingredients are available in an organic form (water, for example, is just one ingredient that cannot be classified as organic and there are hundreds more). However, when choosing certified organic products, you know that every ingredient, organic or not, conforms to rigorous standards.

This is a question we get asked a lot – so we thought we would give you our simplest answer:

Apples are natural. They have not been man-made or synthesised. However, in the growing process they may have been sprayed with chemicals to prevent diseases, or fed with chemical fertilisers to increase yields.

An organic apple has had NO synthetic chemicals sprayed on it and the soil it is grown in has not had chemical fertilisers applied to it.

It is more expensive to grow the organic way because yields can be lower and sometimes the crop is lost to pests and diseases as they have not been sprayed with chemicals to prevent this. The plus side is that there are no traces of artificial chemicals in the end product.

Many people are choosing organic as we begin to understand how the build-up of  artificial chemicals affects our bodies.  By choosing organic, we also help the planet by reducing the overall chemical load and encouraging biodiversity. (Neonicotinioids, for example, are a class of insecticides that impact the central nervous system of insects. If it hurts bees, it also hurts us!)

Additionally, organic farming means higher levels of animal welfare, no GMO, lower global levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilisers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment – this means not just more bees but more wildlife.

You are choosing a better world as well as a healthier body when you choose organic. Do not forget the skin is the largest organ of the body so what you put onto your skin goes into your bloodstream (as with skin patches used to deliver drugs such a nicotine).  It is therefore equally important to use organic products, where possible, on your skin.

Not all chemicals, no.  Remember everything has a chemical structure!  We recommend avoiding as many synthetic chemicals as possible – that is man-made chemicals.  You really don’t need them when there are so many brilliantly performing natural alternatives.

If you are pregnant you need to be extra cautious.  This extract may be of interest:

Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Centre have demonstrated a link between three common ingredients and adverse health in new born babies. The article, in a special Emerging Contaminants issue of the Journal of Hazardous Materials, details the connection between women’s use of products formulated with parabens, triclosan, or triclocarban and certain infant health effects. These chemical are common preservatives used in cosmetics including; toothpaste, soaps, detergents and surgical cleaning treatments.

“Our latest study adds to the growing body of evidence showing that endocrine-disrupting compounds can lead to developmental and reproductive problems in animals and in humans,” says Laura Geer, associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at SUNY.

In a university press release about the research, Geer also says that, “based on this new evidence, the safety of use of these chemicals in our consumer products should be reassessed.” The study, which looked at a group of women in Brooklyn, New York, led to findings that, when considered on a nationwide or global scale could be quite alarming. “While small-scale changes in birth size may not be of clinical relevance or cause for concern in individual cases, subtle shifts in birth size or timing at the population -level would have major impacts on the risk for adverse birth outcomes.”

The SUNY research team partnered with scientists from the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute on this project. They sought to learn more about how antimicrobial compounds and parabens impact human birth weight, body length, head size, and gestational age at birth. “The study found a link between women with higher levels of butyl paraben, which is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics, and the following birth outcomes: shorter gestational age at birth, decreased birth weight, and increased odds of preterm birth,” Geer explains. Triclocarban was also found to be associated with shortened gestational age.

This study is ostensibly the first to document these health impacts in people and the findings are, according to the abstract, “consistent with animal data suggesting endocrine-disrupting potential resulting in developmental and reproductive toxicity.” As is the case with foundational work, the “findings must be reproduced in larger studies,” acknowledges Geer.

In the UK & Europe and USA (in fact in most of the world) the word 'natural' is not regulated so we see it being used on many different items, meaning many different things, making many different claims.  This can also be said for the terms 'naturally derived' and 'nature identical'.

Naturally derived means an ingredient that has come from nature originally but has been processed to make it into something a little different.  An example of this is a surfactant (lathering agent) is ‘derived’ from coconut oil and sugar.

Nature Identical is a product that has been created in the laboratory to identically match a product found in nature. It is done because  the plants or minerals that the products are found in naturally are in short supply or difficult to grow in large quantities.  A good example of this is salicylic acid.  This was originally discovered in white willow bark and is now created in a laboratory to make, among other things, aspirin. Other examples include micas and some vitamins.

Unfortunately there is no legislation currently that prevents manufacturers from labelling their product ‘natural’ even if it only has a minimal amount of natural ingredients and the remaining ingredients are far from natural. Therefore the names of products alone, or the word 'natural' on the label are not the best ways to tell.

Instead, look for one or all of the following:

  • organic or natural certification
  • honesty in the labels with a % of natural/organic ingredients given
  • the ingredient listings

We know the INCI names (more or less Latin names) can be complicated but according to EU Cosmetic Laws, they have to be listed in this way.   However, it is fairly easy to spot the ‘nasties’ and avoid them. For more information on ingredients that you may wish to avoid, read our blog about this.

We always label our products with the percentage of organic and natural ingredients for ease. Our entire range is 100% natural, with the exception of the shampoo range as these require lathering agents.

No - good natural skincare products provide your skin with amazing nutrition and contain anti-oxidants, vitamins, polyphenols and flavonoids in abundance - probably far more than their non-natural counterparts!

Plant ingredients provide our skin with vital antioxidants and hydration and can be a potent weapon against anti-ageing. The chemical constituents that are found naturally in plants (referred to as phytochemicals) have been used since Egyptian times for healing and beauty. Many plants act in synergy with each other, so that when mixed together they have a greater therapeutic effect than individually.

For exemplary skin care you need a balance of  omega 9 oil (oleic acid) and omega 3 & 6 oils (linoleic acid). 
Using natural, cold-pressed and organic oils containing natural lipids and high levels of key fatty acids helps to maintain healthy skin condition and combat inflammatory skin disorders. This balance also helps with firmness, elasticity, skin smoothness, reduction in wrinkle depth and UV irritated redness.

Nature is much more powerful than science and far cleverer.  Could mankind create the universe?  Or even a simple flower?  It is supremely arrogant of man to think he can do better than nature! The ‘science’ in natural skin products comes in knowing which ingredients to combine with which and in what quantity and ratio.  It also requires a deep knowledge of natural ingredients.

Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  There is more 'science' in nature than in synthetic man made products, many of which  were inspired by nature in the first place.  The only reason mankind made them was either shortage of supply in nature or the expense (synthetic products are often much cheaper).

For example, take the common aspirin. Before man 'invented' aspirin, we used to use white willow bark, which contains salicin (salicylic acid) as well as anti-inflammatory plant compounds (flavonoids).  These were responsible for the strong pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects of the plant. Man then learnt to synthesise salicin and put it in tablet form to make aspirin.

It really depends upon your skin type, condition and age as to what is best for you - there are so many excellent natural ingredients for the skin!

Ingredients that are high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and polyphenols are great for your skin. These include many oils pressed from many of the nutritious foods you would eat such as: avocados, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, coconuts and cocoa butter and some oils from plants that are edible, but that you may not eat such as those from the rosehip and seabuckthorn fruits. Seabuckthorn oil has totally amazing skin healing properties.   This ingredient is so good it has been used for years on victims of burns as it helps to regenerate skin tissue. Rosehip oil contains high amounts of provitamin A, a precursor of retinol, one of the proven ingredients for anti-ageing. In fact, it works so well that it is approved as a prescription drug by the FDA as treatment for…wrinkles! However in its synthetic form it can cause skin irritations but in its natural form in rosehip oil, it does not. You'll find oodles of it in our 100% organic Rejuvenatig Serum.

At Beyond Organic Skincare, we also a wide range of plant extracts in our products, over 30 in fact! These contain flavonoids that are cellular rebuilders.  Calendula and chamomile are the queens of the healing herbs, marsh mallow is great for anti-ageing and aloe vera is a great skin soother. We  also use yarrow, green tea, nettle and comfrey; lady's mantle, chickweed and eyebright to name but a few! Additionally we use a wide variety of essential oils in our products, not only for their beautiful natural scents, but also for their many therapeutic properties.


https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/rejuvenating-serum?_pos=1&_sid=aa66e41a0&_ss=r

Yes, you are less likely to have a reaction to natural products, as they do not contain harsh preservatives, synthetic chemicals or perfumes.  However, beware; there are many products labelled as natural which contain non-natural ingredients.  Unfortunately there is no legislation in Europe, UK or USA at present preventing manufacturers from putting ‘Natural’ on the label when the product may contain only 1% natural ingredients!

Always read the ingredient list too which, by law, has to list the ingredients in their INCI name format (often these are Latin names, although not always). As space is often limited on packaging, there often isn't room to also list the common names as well as the INCI names, so ingredient lists can look quite daunting. Happily, many companies also list the common names on their webpages and a quick search of any INCI name will give you plenty of information.

If your skin is extremely sensitive then you may wish to consider specialist allergy testing, which will highlight ingredients for you to avoid.

We certainly think so!  It’s a bit like the difference between feeding yourself a highly processed ready-meal or cooking a healthy meal from fresh ingredients.

Your skin ‘recognises’ natural ingredients and absorbs them more willingly.  Also, you are far less likely to get sensitivity issues and skin reactions.  The synthetic chemicals, perfumes and harsh preservatives in non-natural skincare can cause dermatitis and skin irritations.  They also don’t ‘feed’ the skin in the same way; often giving a false sensorial experience but not actually penetrating the skin and providing it with the hydration, protection & nutrients that it needs.

You may have read these headlines on 20th March, 2017.

“Skin creams containing paraffin are causing people to set themselves on fire, sometimes with lethal consequences, it has been reported.

Paraffin creams are used for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis but can also soak clothes or bedding, which can make the fabric flammable.

Warnings have been made for the past 10 years but an investigation by BBC Radio 5 live found there have been 37 deaths linked to the creams in England since 2010.”

What this article did not say is that NICE updated their clinical guidelines on aqueous skin creams a couple of years ago “Paediatric clinical guidelines from NICE and the National Eczema Society have reported that aqueous cream may be associated with skin reactions, such as burning, stinging, itching and redness, when used as a leave-on emollient but not when used as a wash product. The difference in the irritation potential in some patients may be related to the contact time with the skin, as soap substitutes are largely removed in the washing process.”

You can find links to both these articles here:

https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/aqueous-cream-may-cause-skin-irritation

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/skin-creams-paraffin-link-fire-death-inquest-christopher-holyoake-a7637806.html

Is There A Safe, Effective, Non-Flammable Skin Cream?

Our E-Natural Emollient cream is an all-round skin cream suitable for the most sensitive skin.  Useful for dermatitis, eczema, sun-burn, scar tissue, and much more.  Also good for post-operative care and being used very successfully by radiotherapy patients at the London Clinic.  Paraffin free, mineral oil free, safe and 100% natural.

A natural, multi-functional emollient cream that can be used to help soothe skin irritations, insect bites, dry skin and more. It is suitable for all skin types; including babies and children. Can also be used during pregnancy and on sore nipples whilst breast feeding.

Many rich emollient creams contain liquid paraffin and other mineral oils. We choose to use natural Sunflower oil. For skin care you need a balance of the Omega 9 Oils (Oleic Acid) and Omega 3 & 6 oils (linoleic acid). 
Using natural, cold-pressed oils containing natural lipids and high levels of key fatty acids helps to maintain healthy skin condition and combat inflammatory skin disorders.

What about Vaseline?  That ubiquitous pot of petroleum jelly that most of us keep in our bathroom cabinets?  By its very name we know it is Petroleum based, so surely this must be a fire hazard too?

Our Top To Toe Butter is a brilliant petroleum and paraffin and mineral oil free version of this – smells lovely too!


https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/copy-of-foot-muscle-reviver-organic-1?_pos=1&_sid=830840d85&_ss=r

Microbeads and other Nasties

Microbeads are in the news at the moment, so I thought I should blog about them.

Firstly let me reassure you that NONE of our products contain them.  (Our Gentle Facial Exfoliator contains ground almonds – yummy!).

I am glad that the Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced a plan to ban microbeads from cosmetic products like face scrubs, toothpastes and shower gels.

If you are worried about what is in your toothpaste – do this simple test:

If your toothpaste has visual dots of colour in it, its plastic. Pour a bit of it out into a jar of water and see for yourself what’s left after the rest of the toothpaste dissolves.

When buying a replacement, check the box to ensure it doesn’t contain “polyethylene” (a type of plastic).

However, microbeads are also found in washing detergents and other household products – which might not be banned.  This would be such a half-way measure if they are not going to ban ALL microbeads.

Microbeads are so harmful because  our waste water systems cannot filter out these tiny particles – so they go straight in our oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.

So this is a start – but there are so many other pollutants and nasties going into our Seawater.

Sunscreen is one of the worst.  There is a chemical in Sunscreen, oxybenzone, that harms coral.  Also, Butylparaben (preservative), Octinoxate (sunscreen) and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (sunscreen). In parts of Mexico they have actually banned the use of sunscreen.

However, natural and organic sunscreens are not necessarily the answer.  Unfortunately the nanoparticles in some natural and organic sunscreens from Titanium and Zinc Oxides can cause much harm to the marine ecology.  And it’s not just when you go in the sea.  As with microbeads, when you shower these particles go unfiltered through the wastewaster treatment plants and into our oceans. Some places in Mexico had even banned the use of sunscreens altogether.

This is such an important issue, but no-one apart from marine biologists and surfers seem to now about it.

Our Team, at Beyond Organic are trying so hard to find the correct raw ingredients for a sunscreen that are not only marine and environmentally safe but natural and organic as well.  At the moment, the correct ingredients are not really out there but we keep looking and keep trying.  Interestingly, I have been searching the internet for “marine safe” sunscreens and a lot of natural and organic sunscreens come up that contain nano-particles.  These are coral safe, but probably not marine safe. We wait impatiently for the manufacturers to wake up to these demands.

I am writing this as Summer beach weather settles over Cornwall and nature gives us an abundance of brilliance to delight our senses. A good time to think about extra moisturisation for the face and body as the sun and outdoors can be so drying.

So what are the basic differences between an oil, a balm or and a cream and which is best for your skin type?

A normal, young, healthy 20 year olds skin has a balance of 50% water and 50% fat. Thus, for skin to function in a healthy way, the best skin care requires a balance of oil and water. This is why most skin treatments are creams. Many traditional creams however are 70% to 80% water, which does not supply sufficient nutrition to the skin.

Oils and balms which are 100% fats with no water added can be helpful in the short term for oil deficient skin, but in the long term can end up drying the skin due to the lack of moisture.  They are good used under creams or lotions for extra ‘food’.  This ‘layering’ is becoming very popular. Oils, are of course wonderful for massage!

Beyond Organic creams are generally a mix of 50/50 oils and fats and so are much more nutritious for the skin and in balance with nature. If you add to this natural plant extracts, many of which have been used for centuries in skin care you will have a potent mix. The chemical constituents that are naturally in plants (referred to as phytochemicals) have been used since Egyptian times for healing, beauty and magic. Many plants act in synergy with each other, so that when mixed together they have a greater therapeutic effect than individually.

However, the story does not end there.  There are creams and lotions. There are ‘dry’ oils, high viscosity oils, fixed oils and essential oils and oils from solid fats. Omegas in oils are as important outside as they are internally.

Omegas used topically in skin care

Less well known is the importance of a correct balance of Omegas in skin care. For skin care you need a balance of the Omega 9 Oils (Oleic Acid) and Omega 3 & 6 oils (linoleic acid). 
Using natural, cold-pressed and organic oils containing natural lipids and high levels of key fatty acids helps to maintain healthy skin condition and combat inflammatory skin disorders. This balance also helps with firmness, elasticity, skin smoothness; reduction in wrinkle depth and UV irritated redness. Whilst these oils are essential for healthy skin, they need a balance of moisture as well as explained above.

ABOUT YOUR SKIN

As much as 60% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed into your body. With the advent of skin patches, this is easily understood, yet we tend to put things on our skin that we would not dream of eating or drinking. Beyond Organic Skincare put nothing in our ingredients that is not safe to eat or drink and indeed, many of our organic products are food grade.

Why Organic?

If you have changed to organic eating habits, you might be wondering about an organic solution for skin care. The cosmetics, perfumes and cleansers that many people use contain chemicals that are easily absorbed through skin, or through our lungs when we inhale the perfume. These chemicals then rapidly enter the bloodstream. Should this be a concern?

  We think so – if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t apply it to your skin.

Visitors to Infertility Clinics will see, in very prominent positions, signs banning the wearing of perfume or aftershave. The chemicals that they contain are harmful to embryos. What we put on our bodies ends up in our bodies!

A moisturiser is basically designed to keep your skin hydrated during the day-time and help protect against pollution etc.  Night creams are also moisturisers but good ones can help the skin to repair at night-time by feeding the skin and supporting the natural regeneration function that occurs at night while you sleep.  A serum is a ‘work-horse’ product and gives an extra boost to dull, tired or stressed skin. Serums can be used alone, and under day or night cream. Some people find they always need a serum, whilst others find a twice weekly application sufficient - it depends on your age and skin type. After the age of about 30, everyone should have all three in their kit!  Backed up of course by a good cleanser and toner.  Always choose products that are natural and contain no ‘nasties’.

Yes, it will definitely help. You may want to try using a serum too – serums really give your skin a boost.

If your skin is dull it is probably lacking nutrients and hydration.  Moisturise from the inside too, by drinking plenty of liquids, and get plenty of quality sleep.

Dull skin can often be improved by gentle exfoliation to remove dry, dead skin cells. Using a face brush or organic muslin cloths and an exfoliation product should help.

When selecting a moisturiser and serum always choose one that is natural and contains no synthetic chemicals, perfumes or harsh preservatives which can cause skin sensitivities.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-gentle-facial-exfoliator?_pos=1&_sid=19e5143e6&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-muslin-face-cloths?_pos=2&_sid=19e5143e6&_ss=r

Probably, yes if your skin has suddenly become dry, or greasy or not balanced as you would like.  When choosing a new product, select one that is free from harmful chemicals and find a good one that suits your particular skin type and age.  Always do a patch test first to make sure it suits you and you are not allergic to it.  Try to get some trial sizes and samples to begin with until you find something that suits.  Usually if you choose a 100% natural moisturiser it is less likely to cause reactions.  Also, don’t think because it is natural you are ‘missing out on the science’.  Think of how incredible the natural world is – can man really improve on what nature has provided?  Einstein said  "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/travel-collection/products/organic-facial-trial-travel-pack-normal-or-sensitive

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/travel-collection/products/ultra-radiance-organic-facial-age-defying-trial-pack

Some moisturising creams have a special liquid crystal structure which helps to keep the skin hydrated all day long. This system locks in the moisture, whilst allowing the skin to breathe. It does this because by preventing water loss from the skin. Three particularly good moisturising creams are Beyond Organic Skincare's Organic Miracle Face Worker Cream, Moisturising Day Cream & Regenerating Night Cream. 

If your skin is very dry, you may notice it flaking too. Gentle exfoliation will remove these dead flaking skin cells so your skin will feel less dry to the touch. It is important to use gentle exfoliation techniques, for example a special face brush, textured muslin cloths and/or a gentle exfoliating product. Harsh abrasive products may encourage your skin to over produce oil!

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-miracle-worker-face-cream?_pos=1&_sid=94ff7a9d3&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-moisturising-day-cream?_pos=1&_sid=4551a1032&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-regenerating-night-cream?_pos=1&_sid=fac7c9ebb&_ss=r

Yes, moisturisers provide a good base for applying make-up, evening out the surface texture of the skin. It is probably best to use a light moisturiser and let it absorb into the skin for a couple of minutes first before applying any make-up. Try to use natural mineral make-up and a natural moisturiser, free from harmful chemicals.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/light-facial-24-hour-moisturiser-natural?_pos=1&_sid=dd5bc5b33&_ss=r

There are many good body moisturisers, but make sure you choose one that is paraben and paraffin free.  Better still; choose a 100% natural one or an organic one.  If you want a moisturiser with a bit of a ‘barrier’ to it, for example if you are going out cycling all day ans want to prevent chaffing, then a balm‘body butter’ type moisturiser is good.  If you have very dry skin, a lotion or cream is better as it locks in moisture better than a balm or oil. Satin Soft Body Lotion and Moisturising Hand & Body Cream both have a liquid crystal structure. This organised structure means the lotions provide excellent moisturising qualities because water molecules are trapped within emulsified layers.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-body-butter-top-to-toe?_pos=1&_sid=98107a608&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-satin-soft-body-lotion-130ml?_pos=1&_sid=4eb4b6e93&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-hand-body-lotion?_pos=2&_sid=dfef565eb&_ss=r

Possibly not if you are under 25 and have 'normal' skin, in which case you can probably get away with a good 24 Hour Moisturiser. You will probably want to use a day cream with some sun protection in the summer, or you can use a good moisturiser and apply your chosen SPF over it.

However, certainly from 30 onward, it's a good idea to use something more nourishing at night. Night Creams tend to support the skin regeneration process that naturally occurs at night by providing more intense nutrition to the skin, whereas day creams keep your skin hydrated and protected during the day.

From 40 onward we would also recommend using a serum. Serums are extra rich and really help with protecting against premature ageing. Some people like to use a serum morning and evening, whilst others find applying just at night is enough, depending on skin type. Serums can be used alone, or under moisturisers for that extra boost!

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/light-facial-24-hour-moisturiser-natural?_pos=1&_sid=dd5bc5b33&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-regenerating-night-cream?_pos=1&_sid=fac7c9ebb&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/rejuvenating-serum?_pos=1&_sid=aa66e41a0&_ss=r

Yes! Firstly, be grateful that you have oily skin – you will naturally get less lines as you get older! However, you do of course want to control the oiliness and the best way to do this is the natural way.

The biggest mistake people with oily skin can make is to use harsh products that dry out the skin and strip all the oil away. This only leads to the skin producing even more sebum (what makes the skin oily in the first place) to counteract these drying products. Often this creates a cycle of overly harsh cleansing and excess oil production. People with oily skin may think that their skin is less sensitive than dry skin, which may not be the case.

A simple, gentle, Cleanse, Tone & Moisturise routine using natural and organic skin products is the first step:

  1. Cleansing for Oily Skin

This is always the foundation of any beauty routine. Without adequate cleansing, nothing else works properly. For everyday use our Purifying Cleanser will cleanse without over-drying and will also help with any spots, which oily skin can be prone to. We would also recommend our Detoxifying Cleanser for a deep cleanse twice a week. This is a balm cleanser (‘hot polish’ type). It really does detoxify the skin and moisturises it at the same time. It will feel ‘oily’ to the uninitiated but will not make your skin oilier.

  1. Toning Tips For Oily Skin

Do not be tempted to leave out this step. It is vitally important to help to close the pores prior to moisturising and will help remove any residue left behind after cleansing too. We have 3 marvellous toners to choose from, Clarifying Toner for those with blemish-prone skin, Organic Soothing Toner and Natural Calming Toner. All of these help with open pores too.

  1. Moisturisation For Oily Skin

Oily skin needs moisturisation just as much, if not more, than dry skin. Moisture will not only keep it healthy and supple but will also prevent your skin from feeling the need to make excess sebum and become oily.

Depending on your age and skin type we offer various moisturisers. Our ‘hero’ Organic Moisturising Day Cream is suitable for most skins and has a special crystal ‘lock in moisture’ structure that keeps skin hydrated all day long. It also has over 190 bioactive ingredients!

We also have the Natural 24 hour Light Moisturiser and the Natural 24 Hour Rich Moisturiser which are suitable for oily skin.

  1. Combination Skin

Oily skin is often combination – having dry patches on the cheeks and oily down the centre panel. We have the solution! Our Rejuvenating Serum is a very special facial oil which balances the sebum and so is good for both dry and oily skin. It has the additional qualities of containing Retinol-A from natural sources, well known for its anti-ageing properties. The large amount of sea buckthorn oil in this product also helps skin tissue to regenerate so it is fabulous oil for all skin types.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/cleanse-tone-moisturise-organic-gift-pack

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/natural-anti-acne-gift-pack

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As cold sores are very contagious, firstly make sure you are not passing these on to anyone else, or catching them from someone else! Avoid sharing towels, for example. Do not let the lips dry up, especially in the sun. UV can be a trigger for cold sores so use a good strong UV lip balm.  The HPV-1 virus that causes cold sores can be kept in check by using a specialist lip balm such as Beyond Organic lip balm.  This contains a special extract from the Alpine Rose plant that helps to prevent cold sores from occurring. It does this by stopping the HPV-1 virus from adhering to your cells. Other organic oils and extracts in the lip balm will help to heal cold sores, but prevention is key!

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-vanilla-lip-balm?_pos=1&_sid=3e395e072&_ss=r

Yes, there are.  Choose a cream that is free from paraffin and mineral oils, as these can irritate the skin further.    Also, avoid anything with fragrance in as these, too are often irritating.  Our E-Natural Cream fits all these categories and also contains soothing chamomile.

Also make sure that you get some ultra violet rays if possible and keep the air around you humid by using a humidifier in your home or office.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/e-natural-emollient-cream-130ml-natural-and-paraffin-free?_pos=1&_sid=7b754e839&_ss=r

The main thing is to keep the razor scrupulously clean and replace it regularly - there's nothing worse than a blunt razor for causing rashes and irritation!  The second thing is to always lubricate the skin BEFORE shaving – use gentle oil like almond oil before applying the shaving cream. A good, moisturising body wash will lubricate larger areas.  After shaving, rinse with cold water to close the pores and moisturise with a cream or lotion.  Always use a natural moisturiser and a natural shaving soap. Lending him your Rejuvenating Serum to use as an aftershave oil would be a real act of love!

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-moisturising-body-wash?_pos=2&_sid=42afb4748&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/rejuvenating-serum?_pos=1&_sid=52f4398ad&_ss=r

Dermatitis is a general term for any irritated and stressed skin condition and can include eczema, psoriasis and allergic rashes amongst others.  In 2013, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a Drug Safety Update for Aqueous Cream, stating that it may cause skin irritation, particularly in children with eczema, possibly due to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is a known skin irritant. However, aqueous cream products often contain other ingredients such as chlorocrescol, and parabens, which may also cause or contribute to adverse skin reactions. Therefore, anyone with irritated skin should avoid products containing these synthetic chemicals, including shampoos, shower-gels and moisturisers.

Instead, opt for natural and organic skin and hair care products. Beyond Organic Skincare's award winning, 100% natural E-natural Cream is an effective, natural alternative to aqueous cream and has been receiving great reviews from clients suffering from a range of skin problems.

Also opt for organic and natural personal care products like shampoo and deodorant and be mindful of the washing powder and cleaning products that you use, opting for the gentler non-biological Eco versions. This will help the planet as well as your skin!

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/e-natural-emollient-cream-130ml-natural-and-paraffin-free?_pos=1&_sid=5094bfa8b&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-sulphate-free-shine-strength-shampoo-1?_pos=2&_sid=83d877cc9&_ss=r

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/naturally-fresh-crystal-deodorant-roll-on?_pos=1&_sid=32c3a71d5&_ss=r


It is very important to cool and moisturise sunburnt skin as soon as possible and then not expose it to the sun again.  Sunburn can be very dangerous, and if it is severe, you should consult your doctor.

Aloe Vera Gel is good for sunburn, as is anything with chamomile in – you don’t really want to put an oil on it as if the skin is hot, which it will be, the oil will carry on ‘frying’ it.  Calamine lotion is also cooling and soothing.

DO use a strong Sun factor when going into the sun and re-apply it regularly to prevent any future burning.

The best creams for sensitive skin are those WITHOUT the following ingredients:

  • SLS
  • Parabens
  • Urea
  • Synthetic fragrances or colours

(These are the main offenders, but there are many more to avoid).

The easiest way is to make sure you buy a natural & organic cream that should then be free of all ‘nasties’.  Do be careful when purchasing though and look at the ingredients as well as the label.  Some manufacturers will put ‘natural’ on the front of their label when they only have a small percentage of natural ingredients.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/e-natural-emollient-cream-130ml-natural-and-paraffin-free?_pos=1&_sid=5094bfa8b&_ss=r

Irritated, itchy skin can have any number of causes from heat rash and insect bites to allergies to something in your environment. If your rash is severe or persistent then always seek your doctor's advice.

You may have contact dermatitis, meaning you are sensitive to something you have put on your skin.  Stop using all products for a few days. Once your skin has calmed down, you can try re-introducing products one at a time to see if the symptoms return. If you are able to identify the cause in this way, you can then eliminate it from your skincare regime.

Sensitivities may be caused by any product and may be worse if they contain synthetic chemicals, perfumes or parabens (a strong preservative). So seek out natural products and also pay attention to using sulphate free washes and shampoos. Try to also avoid detergents and washing powders/liquids that are not eco-friendly.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/e-natural-emollient-cream-130ml-natural-and-paraffin-free?_pos=1&_sid=5094bfa8b&_ss=r

Yes, although it will depend on the depth of the scar and how long it has been there.

A scientific study reported in 2003 The Australian Society of Cosmetic Chemists Annual Congress Proceedings showed a significant improvement in the appearance of scars that were at least one year old after twice daily application of tamanu oil for nine weeks, with both scar length and width reducing in size.

Happily our Organic Miracle Woker contains a high percentage of tamanu oil (it's the second ingredient on the list, INCI name Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil). You could apply tamanu oil neat to the scar, as in the study above, but it is a very dark and highly scented oil which can stain clothes when applied neat. The smell is also not to everyone's taste! We have combined it with other incredible ingredients such as rosehip oil and cocoa butter to make a luxurious, effective award-winning cream.

It is also important to keep the scarred area protected from the sun, so always use a suitable SPF after your chosen moisturiser.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/organic-miracle-worker-face-cream?_pos=1&_sid=75871957c&_ss=r

Many people suffer from Rosacea and if you are a sufferer; you'll know that there are certain triggers that make it worse.  These vary with different people, and may include alcohol, exercise or changes in temperature.  However, it is important to realize that these are just triggers and are not what causes the redness in the first place.

There are different schools of thought as to what causes Rosacea but it is probable that the blood vessels in the face are over sensitive and dilate too easily.  It is more common in fair skinned people. Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for this, but it can be managed and kept to a minimum.  The British Association of Dermatologists recommend the following:

  • Use a emolient cream to cleanse your face rather than soap or other products.
  • Protect your skin from the sun by using a sun block (with a sun protection factor of at least 30) on your face every day.
  • Do not rub or scrub your face as this can make rosacea worse.
  • Use an unperfumed moisturiser on a regular basis if your skin is dry or sensitive.
  • Consider the lifestyle factors that can worsen rosacea. Learn which upset your rosacea and avoid them; a written record of your flare-ups may help.
  • Cosmetics can often cover up rosacea effectively, and some rosacea patients may benefit from the use of skin camouflage. This may help hide excessive redness.
  • Unless they are specifically recommended to you by your doctor it may be best to avoid some treatments for acne, as they can irritate skin that is prone to rosacea.
  • Do not use topical preparations containing corticosteroids, unless specifically recommended by your doctor, as these may make rosacea worse in the long run.
  • If your eyes are giving you problems, do not ignore them - consult your doctor.
  • Some drugs can aggravate blushing, and your doctor may make appropriate changes to your medication.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/e-natural-emollient-cream-130ml-natural-and-paraffin-free?_pos=1&_sid=5094bfa8b&_ss=r

If you have sensitive skin (or even if you don't) there are many ingredients in skin care that can cause adverse reactions. If your reaction is severe or persistent then always seek your doctor's advice.

Choosing genuinely natural and organic skin and personal care products should help. Of course, anyone can be sensitive to any ingredient, so if you frequently have problems then allergy testing may be worth considering so that you can identify individual ingredients to avoid. Ask your doctor for a referral.

If you do develop redness and a reaction after putting a product on your skin, then stop using all products for a few days until your skin has calmed down. By re-introducing products one at a time you may be able to identify which product(s) are causing you problems and can then eliminate them from your skincare regime.

Eczema is often triggered by stress and/or reactions to topical substances (allergic reactions).  Sometimes there can be genetic causes too.

Doctors often lump eczema under ‘dermatitis’ as the management of most skin irritations is similar.

It is easy to say ‘avoid stress’ but obviously in our modern world this is not possible.  However, use whatever stress busting techniques suit you – whether it be Yoga. a walk in the countryside,  or a glass of wine with friends!  Make sure that you make ‘unwind time’ for yourself or your child if you have a child suffering from this debilitating skin irritation.

Avoid harsh cleaning products, washing powders, shampoos and soaps.  Go for natural, ecologically friendly products that are free from synthetic chemicals.

A good emollient is vital as eczema dries the skin so much.  Use a paraffin free emollient, which does not irritate.  Our E-natural Cream has no paraffin or mineral oils or synthetic chemicals;  just sunflower oil, a special ‘lock in moisture’ crystal emulsifier, together with soothing chamomile.

You may have read these headlines on 20th March, 2017.

“Skin creams containing paraffin are causing people to set themselves on fire, sometimes with lethal consequences, it has been reported.

Paraffin creams are used for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis but can also soak clothes or bedding, which can make the fabric flammable.

Warnings have been made for the past 10 years but an investigation by BBC Radio 5 live found there have been 37 deaths linked to the creams in England since 2010.”

What this article did not say is that NICE updated their clinical guidelines on aqueous skin creams a couple of years ago “Paediatric clinical guidelines from NICE and the National Eczema Society have reported that aqueous cream may be associated with skin reactions, such as burning, stinging, itching and redness, when used as a leave-on emollient but not when used as a wash product. The difference in the irritation potential in some patients may be related to the contact time with the skin, as soap substitutes are largely removed in the washing process.”

You can find links to both these articles here:

https://www.gov.uk/drug-safety-update/aqueous-cream-may-cause-skin-irritation

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/skin-creams-paraffin-link-fire-death-inquest-christopher-holyoake-a7637806.html

Is There A Safe, Effective, Non-Flammable Skin Cream?

Our E-Natural Emollient cream is an all-round skin cream suitable for the most sensitive skin.  Useful for dermatitis, eczema, sun-burn, scar tissue, and much more.  Also good for post-operative care and being used very successfully by radiotherapy patients at the London Clinic.  Paraffin free, mineral oil free, safe and 100% natural.

A natural, multi-functional emollient cream that can be used to help soothe skin irritations, insect bites, dry skin and more. It is suitable for all skin types; including babies and children. Can also be used during pregnancy and on sore nipples whilst breast feeding.

Many rich emollient creams contain liquid paraffin and other mineral oils. We choose to use natural Sunflower oil. For skin care you need a balance of the Omega 9 Oils (Oleic Acid) and Omega 3 & 6 oils (linoleic acid). 
Using natural, cold-pressed oils containing natural lipids and high levels of key fatty acids helps to maintain healthy skin condition and combat inflammatory skin disorders.

What about Vaseline?  That ubiquitous pot of petroleum jelly that most of us keep in our bathroom cabinets?  By its very name we know it is Petroleum based, so surely this must be a fire hazard too?

Our Top to Toe Body Butter is a brilliant petroleum and paraffin and mineral oil free version of this.

There are various types of acne: whiteheads, pimples, blackheads and cysts nodules are all types of acne.  There is also teenage acne and adult acne and all acne can vary in its severity. However, the treatment for all of these is very similar.

Why do I sometimes get whiteheads and sometimes blackheads? Because the causes for both are the same, and so your treatment of them should be similar too. It may be helpful to identify if you have any triggers. These factors can trigger or aggravate acne:

  • Hormones. Androgens are hormones that cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production.
  • Stress can also be a factor in adult acne, as stress can cause havoc with your hormones too.
  • Pollution can be another factor, so keep your skin scrupulously clean. Midday, if it is difficult to wash, use a cotton pad and some gentle floral water or witch-hazel.  However, don’t over-cleanse by scrubbing or using harsh products that dry the skin.  This will only make the skin produce more sebum to compensate. Using a cleansing brush is good and better than your fingertips.
  • Diet. Avoid sugary foods and high fat diets.  Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and protein, which contains Omega 3, such as fish and walnuts.  Avoid Omega 6 foods.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/natural-anti-acne-gift-pack

Keep your skin scrupulously clean, but be gentle with it.  Do not scrub and do not be tempted to use harsh products that dry out the skin.  These will only make your skin produce more sebum to counteract the dryness, thus making the problem worse. Cleanse with a gentle cleanser morning and evening, tone and apply a Treatment Gel.

Another important thing is to avoid washing your face with your fingers: you might have bacteria under your nails that can spread to your face, and you won’t get enough exfoliation either. So, along with our Purifying Cleanser we recommend using a cleansing face brush.  They are fantastic, but if you don’t want to invest in a cleansing brush, you can use a muslin cloth, flannel or cotton pads - always use a clean one each time.

A lot of people will simply spot treat but if you’re just doing that, you’re not treating the acne, you’re treating the spot - the acne will just appear in a different spot. So, if you need additional treatment, put it on the area where you’re breaking out. For example, if your breakouts are only on your chin, put a thin layer of  Treatment Gel all over your chin area.

For those of you with adult acne, retinol is great.  We would therefore recommend using our Rejuvenating Serum.

Diet is also important.  Cut down on sugar and fats and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.  Eat ‘clean’ proteins such as fish, walnuts and flaxseed.  Basically you want to eat Omega 3 proteins and avoid Omega 6.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/natural-anti-acne-gift-pack

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/rejuvenating-serum?_pos=1&_sid=52f4398ad&_ss=r

Yes, you should. If your skin becomes dry and dehydrated your skin will produce more sebum to compensate and make matters worse.  A gentle, light moisturiser that keeps the skin hydrated throughout the day will help to protect it against pollution's. Choose a natural, light mosturiser that is chemical free. Also remember to use a toner after cleansing and before applying moisturiser.  This closes the pores and helps prevent dirt getting into them and forming spots.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/light-facial-24-hour-moisturiser-natural?_pos=1&_sid=39a50e258&_ss=r

Acne is most common among teenagers, although it affects people of all ages.

These factors can trigger or aggravate acne:

1. Unbalanced hormones. Androgens are hormones that cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production.

2. Stress can also be a factor in adult acne, as stress can cause havoc with your hormones too.

3. Over cleansing your skin or using the incorrect products. Use a gentle cleanser and do not over-cleanse by scrubbing or using harsh products that dry the skin out.  This will only make the skin produce more sebum to compensate! Using a cleansing brush or face cloths are better than your fingertips, but always make sure these are clean each time. Always tone after cleansing. Toners help to close the pores and prevent open pores, which are common with oily, acne prone skin. Finally, use a treatment product all over the affected area. If your skin feels dry, you may also want to use a light moisturiser.

4. Pollution can be another factor, so keep your skin scrupulously clean, as outlined above. In between morning and evening cleansing routines, if your skin feels oily use a cotton pad and some gentle floral water or witch-hazel and gentle sweep this over your face. Alternatively, use a specialist toner.

5. A high sugar and/or high fat diet can increase sebum production, one of the main causes of acne. The correct diet can definitely make a difference. Probiotics may help, as can leafy green vegetables, plenty of fruit (or do some juicing) and ‘clean’ proteins such as fish, walnuts and flaxseed.  Basically you want to eat Omega 3 proteins and avoid Omega 6. Avoid sugar, junk and fast food.  Also consider restricting high glycaemic-index foods which break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation, both of which encourage acne. For example: white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, crisps, biscuits and cakes. Choose low glycaemic-index foods instead, like vegetables and whole grains.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/collections/gift-selection/products/natural-anti-acne-gift-pack

Not on its own, no!  However, a diet high in sugar and/or fat can increase sebum production, one of the main causes of acne. Probiotics may help and a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, wholegrains, fruit, and ‘clean’ proteins such as fish, lentils, and nuts.  Basically you want to eat Omega 3 proteins and avoid Omega 6.

Avoid sugar, junk and fast food.  And consider restricting cow's milk and high-glycaemic index foods. These break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation—both of which encourage acne. High-glycaemic index foods include processed, refined cereals and carbohydrates like white bread, rice and pasta; cakes, biscuits and sugary breakfast cereals. Choose low glycaemic-index foods instead, like vegetables and wholegrain products, for example brown rice and wholemeal pasta and bread.

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.

Hormonal changes during puberty are linked to acne. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production.

TIPS for treating Acne

The important thing is to avoid washing your face with your fingers: you might have bacteria under your nails that can spread to your face, and you won’t get enough exfoliation. So, along with our Purifying Cleanser, we recommend using a cleansing face brush.  They are fantastic, but If you don’t want to invest in a cleansing brush, you can just wash your face with cotton pads.

Diet is important too.  Probiotics help.  So do leafy green vegetables, plenty of fruit (or do some  juicing) and ‘clean’ proteins such as fish, walnuts and flaxseed.  Basically you want to eat Omega 3 proteins and avoid Omega 6.

Avoid cow’s milk, sugar, junk and fast food.  Also avoid High-glycemic foods: These are foods that break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation—both of which encourage acne. We’re talking foods like white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, pretzels, potato chips, cookies and cakes, etc. Choose low glycemic-index foods instead, like vegetables, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and most fruits.

For those of you with adult acne, retinol is great.  We would therefore recommend using our Rejuvenating Serum as well as the Anti Acne Gift Pack.

A lot of people will simply spot treat – but if you’re just doing that, you’re not treating the acne, you’re treating the spot. That acne will just appear in a different spot. So, if you need additional treatment, put it on the area where you’re breaking out. For example, if your breakouts are only on your chin, put a thin layer of our Treatment Gel all over your chin area.

Does It Work? Yes!

Take a look at any acne-fighters and you’ll probably spot salicylic acid on the ingredient list. Willow bark is its natural, botanical source of this spot-buster. It sloughs off dead, pore-clogging skin cells, paving the way for clearer skin. The willow bark in our Treatment Gel gives it the slight ‘tan’ colour (which does not show on your skin once applied). It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that are important for acne treatment. Salicylic acid helps unclog pores to resolve and prevent lesions. Salicylic acid works by dissolving this cement that holds those sticky cells together in the clogged pores. Most effective acne treatments can make skin a bit red and inflamed while the skin adjusts to them. This ingredient is unique because it’s very effective at fighting acne, but it has a soothing, calming effect on skin. Your will see the red inflammation calm down dramatically!  Look forward to blemish free skin now. It also contains:

Aloe Vera to soothe inflammation and heal spots.

Tea Tree for its antiseptic properties.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara) extract to soothe inflammation.

Cucumber extract to tone.

Widely known as a sunburn remedy, aloe vera can also fight the inflammation that turns small marks into hulking, mountainous zits.  The goo contains aloin and aloesin, two anti-inflammatory compounds experts suspect are responsible for its soothing effects.

Try our anti-acne gift pack here:  https://beyondorganicskincare.com/shop/anti-acne-gift-pack/

Our Anti-acne gel is proving so popular as it contains salicylic acid from Willow Bark, not a synthetic version. We combine this with Aloe Vera in our Anti-Acne Gel to soothe the inflammation.

 A quote from ‘ Cosmetic Ingredients that Actually Work’
By Perry Romanowski, Industry Expert

Salicylic acid – Helps speed up disappearance of acne
If you have acne, this compound is proven to help get rid of it. In the U.S., it is considered OTC (over-the-counter drug), because when something can get rid of a disease, it is no longer a cosmetic but rather a drug. In the U.S., anyway. Salicylic acid EU helps clean pores and speeds up removal of the dead skin cells in the epidermal layer. There are other actives that work against acne but salicylic acid is the most versatile.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/natural-treatment-gel-for-spots?_pos=2&_sid=10dcc6c6a&_ss=r

Parabens are used in skin care, make up and personal care products as a preservative.  Manufacturers continue to use this preservative because it is an inexpensive and easy option.  Whilst the jury is still out on this, many countries have banned it from cosmetics ingredients as there is a lot of evidence which shows it is not safe.

The health scare around parabens concerns their ability to mimic the female hormone oestrogen. When paraben based products are applied to the skin some of the parabens are absorbed into the blood stream. Excess oestrogen is thought to stimulate cancer growth and when some researchers found parabens in breast cancer tumours they used this as evidence of a link between breast cancer and parabens.

So, yes we would recommend you avoid them. All Beyond Organic Skincare products are free not just of parabens, but all synthetic chemicals.

Here's a list of the 5 most common parabens:

methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben & iso-butylparaben

Where alcohol is the main ingredient in skin care, yes it can be harmful.  However, when it is present in small amounts it can be acting as a preservative or solvent and not be harmful. It also depends on the type of alcohol used as they are not all the same. When you see the following types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, they could well cause skin sensitivity:

SD alcohol

Denatured alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol

Effects may  include dryness, erosion of the surface of skin (which is really bad for skin), and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself.

However, there are ‘good alchols’,  known as fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be exceptionally beneficial for skin. Examples you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol. All of these are good ingredients for dry skin, and in small amounts fine for any skin type as they give a pleasing texture and help keep ingredients stable in products. Alcohol, usually ethanol, is also sometimes used as a solvent to extract desirable components from plants. It’s important to discern these skin-friendly forms of alcohol from the problematic types of alcohol.

Yes, your skin is the largest organ in your body and you absorb chemicals into your body through your skin (think skin patches).  Some chemicals absorb a lot more easily than others.  Many just penetrate the skin, but do not absorb totally into the body.  However, it is estimated that the average woman can absorb up to 60% of what is put on her skin, and in babies this is much higher as their skin is so much thinner.

Make up is one of the worst offenders, as is nail polish.  Do protect yourself by looking at the labels and by buying natural & organic whenever possible.

This can be very difficult.  In the EU labelling is regulated by the EU cosmetic regulations (which the UK will continue to abide by after Brexit).  The law states that the ingredients must be listed in their INCI format which is similar to Latin and very few people understand. Sometimes the INCI names are followed by common names, but there is not always room for this on the packaging. Sometimes manufacturers will provide the common names on their websites if there is no room on the packaging.

Unfortunately, manufacturers are allowed to label the product with the words ‘natural’ and/or ‘organic’ when the product may contain only a miniscule amount of natural or organic ingredients and be laden with synthetic chemicals.

The only way to be absolutely sure if you are not an ingredient guru is to look for a CERTIFIED organic product.  The organic certification rules are very strict and harmful synthetic chemicals are not allowed in certified organic products.

Currently the Soil Association is fighting hard to try to get the law changed so that manufacturers will not be able to mislead the consumer by labelling something as ‘natural’ that may just have 1% natural ingredients.  We are backing them all the way!

Yes, some are definitely best avoided in our opinion as whatever you put on your hair penetrates into the scalp.  Also in the case of a shampoo or conditioner, when you rinse it off in the shower it goes all over your body too! So the list of synthetic chemicals to avoid in your skin care also applies to your hair car. In addition we also recommend avoiding:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)  a surfactant (detergent) which is a foaming agent, found in cosmetic products and used as an industrial cleaning chemical (used to degrease engines!) It is has the potential to cause irritation to skin.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) & Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)– same as above. Derivatives of SLS may vary slightly in mildness BUT the general action and effects are similar.
  • Silicones as they can build up on your hair and leave it looking dull and greasy. Also, there are growing concerns about the environmental impact of these as they do not break down easily - one to watch for the future.

A good surfacant free hair & wash range is available in full and travel sizes.

https://www.beyondorganicskincare.com/products/shampoo-conditioner-gift-travel-pack?_pos=3&_sid=3367cebee&_ss=r

Many countries have now banned parabens, but these are still allowed in UK and USA.

  • Parabens(Methylparaben/Propylparaben/Butylparaben/Ethylparaben) – a preservative ingredient which mimics estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptor. Found in nearly ALL breast tumours.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)– has recently been linked to a rise in cases of eczema and dermatitis. Some professionals including many doctors would like to see a ban on its use in personal care products.
  • Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate– an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. Can cause allergic reactions.
  • Titanium Dioxide . You may be surprised to find this here, but I have always been allergic to it and now increasing evidence is pointing to it’s possible dangers. Kumazawa, et. al. in their study, “Effects of Titanium Ions and Particles on Neutrophil Function and Morphology” concluded that cytotoxicity (danger to the cell) was dependent on the particle size of titanium dioxide. The smaller the particle size, the more toxic it is. This conclusion is relevant to the consumer because of the cosmetics industry’s increasing use of micronized pigments in sunscreens and colour cosmetics. Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are used in sunscreens because they are colourless at that size and still absorb ultraviolet light.
  • Zinc Oxide.Also contains nano-particles. EWG says “The potential negative environmental effects of nanoscale and conventional zinc and titanium should be carefully studied and weighed against the environmental impact of other UV blockers. Sunscreen ingredients have been shown to damage coral, accumulate in fish and the environment and disrupt hormones in fish and amphibians (Buser 2006, Danovaro 2008 Giokas 2007, Kunz 2004, Kunz 2006, Weisbrod 2007).

For all sunscreens, including nanoscale zinc and titanium, there is an urgent need to carry out thorough environmental assessments so that regulators have the data they need to begin to control hazards associated with widespread use of these and other chemical ingredients in personal care products.”

  • Mineral oil (e.g paraffinum liquidum) – a petroleum derived ingredient, used as a skin emollient, no proven effectiveness, often found in so called ‘aqueous’ creams. NICE have agreed that this can cause irritations despite the fact that creams containing this are still prescribed for skin conditons.
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)– this can be from a natural source but it’s usually a synthetic petrochemical mix.
  • Artificial Fragrance or Parfum– an undisclosed collection of chemicals due to being protected by Trade Secret Laws but it is associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory issues and potential effects on the reproductive system. When we have ‘Aroma’ on our ingredients it is always from natural essential oils.
  • Artificial Colours– These are labelled as FD&C or D&C on the label, followed by a colour and a number. Worth noting that Carmine (aka Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4 C.I. 75470 or E120) is derived from boiling insects!
  • DEA(diethanolamine), TEA(triethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • Formaldehyde– common ingredient in nail polish. It is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives, including diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, and sodium hydroxylmethylglycinate. Linked to irritation of skin, eyes and lungs.
  • Urea– excreted from urine and other bodily fluids so may be derived from animals, if you are vegetarian/vegan you will probably chose to avoid. Can also be a synthetic ingredient.
  • Triclosan– antibacterial agent and preservative, persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. Linked to skin irritation.
  • Phthalates(DBP/DMP/DEP) & bisphenol A (BPA) – mainly used as plasticizers and have raised health concerns. Tests on animals have shown plasticizers and BPA affect reproductive systems. They act as endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals, mimicking sex hormones in the body.
  • Talc– can be contaminated with asbestos fibres, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer.
  • Japanese Honeysuckle– often regarded as a controversial ingredient “natural paraben”, more research is needed and within “green” community online opinion is divided over the safety of this ingredient.
  • Phenoxyethanol –as above divided opinions over the use of this ingredient. Often used as a replacement for parabens. Certainly better than parabens and I am still undecided on this one. Not considered potentially carcinogenic but may cause skin irritations in sensitive people.
  • Lanolin– extracted from sheep wool and a product of the oil from their glands. It is used as an emollient in skin care products and regarded as an allergen with no proven effectiveness. (look out for E913 on food labels)
  • Emu Oil– a popular ingredient in Australian skincare, it is a by-product of the meat industry, the emu is killed for it’s meat and the oil is obtained from fat on the emu’s back.
  • Silk– Silkworms (caterpillar stage of the silk moth) spin cocoons when in their pupal stage, silk thread is extracted from the cocoons by placing in boiling water, which kills the silkworms.
  • Shellac– natural polymer derived from lac beetles found in nail polish & food (look for E904)
  • Bee Venom– Bees are given a tiny electric shock as they enter the hive, which we are told is not enough to kill them. I imagine some would die of shock. However, it puts them in a bad mood so they will release venom. The bee population is already under threat without this.
  • Keratin– Protein from horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals and popular in hair products. There are alternatives derived from fruit and nuts.

Ingredients to Avoid in your skincare, shampoo, toothpaste etc.

Dawn Mellowship wrote a very extensive book on this subject, but here is a precis. (Dawn kindly mentioned our company in her book as being one with safe and pure ingredients).

Here is a basic list of ingredients that we tend to avoid and you may wish to as well. You certainly wouldn’t want to eat or drink them so it is probably wise not to put them on your skin either. Remember, what you put on your skin is absorbed into the body. Think skin patches!

Many countries have now banned parabens, but these are still allowed in UK and USA.

  • Parabens(Methylparaben/Propylparaben/Butylparaben/Ethylparaben) – a preservative ingredient which mimics estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptor. Found in nearly ALL breast tumours.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)– has recently been linked to a rise in cases of eczema and dermatitis. Some professionals including many doctors would like to see a ban on its use in personal care products.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)– is a surfactant (detergent) which is a foaming agent, found in cosmetic products and used as an industrial cleaning chemical (used to degrease engines!). It is has the potential to cause irritation to skin
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) & Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)– same as above. Derivatives of SLS may vary slightly in mildness BUT the general action and effects are similar.
  • Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate– an antimicrobial preservative that works by forming formaldehyde in cosmetic products. Can cause allergic reactions.
  • Titanium Dioxide . You may be surprised to find this here, but I have always been allergic to it and now increasing evidence is pointing to it’s possible dangers. Kumazawa, et. al. in their study, “Effects of Titanium Ions and Particles on Neutrophil Function and Morphology” concluded that cytotoxicity (danger to the cell) was dependent on the particle size of titanium dioxide. The smaller the particle size, the more toxic it is). This conclusion is relevant to the consumer because of the cosmetics industry’s increasing use of micronized pigments in sunscreens and colour cosmetics. Nanoparticles of titanium dioxide are used in sunscreens because they are colourless at that size and still absorb ultraviolet light.
  • Zinc Oxide. Also contains nano-particles. EWG says “The potential negative environmental effects of nanoscale and conventional zinc and titanium should be carefully studied and weighed against the environmental impact of other UV blockers. Sunscreen ingredients have been shown to damage coral, accumulate in fish and the environment and disrupt hormones in fish and amphibians (Buser 2006, Danovaro 2008 Giokas 2007, Kunz 2004, Kunz 2006, Weisbrod 2007).

For all sunscreens, including nanoscale zinc and titanium, there is an urgent need to carry out thorough environmental assessments so that regulators have the data they need to begin to control hazards associated with widespread use of these and other chemical ingredients in personal care products.”

  • Mineral oil (e.g paraffinum liquidum) – a petroleum derived ingredient, used as a skin emollient, no proven effectiveness, often found in so called ‘aqueous’ creams. NICE have agreed that this can cause irritations despite the fact that creams containing this are still prescribed for skin conditons.
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)– this can be from a natural source but it’s usually a synthetic petrochemical mix
  • Artificial Fragrance or Parfum– an undisclosed collection of chemicals due to being protected by Trade Secret Laws but it is associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory issues and potential effects on the reproductive system. When we have ‘fragrance’ on our ingredients it is always from essential oils.
  • Artificial Colours– These are labelled as FD&C or D&C on the label, followed by a colour and a number. Worth noting that Carmine (aka Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4 C.I. 75470 or E120) is derived from boiling insects!
  • DEA(diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine)
  • Formaldehyde– common ingredient in nail polish and Brazilian Blow Dry. It is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives, including diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, and sodium hydroxylmethylglycinate. Linked to irritation of skin, eyes and lungs.
  • Urea– excreted from urine and other bodily fluids so may be derived from animals, if you are vegetarian/vegan you will probably chose to avoid. Can also be a synthetic ingredient.
  • Triclosan– antibacterial agent and preservative, persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. Linked to skin irritation.
  • Phthalates(DBP/DMP/DEP) & bisphenol A (BPA)  – mainly used as plasticizers and have raised health concerns. Tests on animals have shown plasticizers and BPA affect reproductive systems. They act as endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals, mimicking sex hormones in the body.
  • Talc– can be contaminated with asbestos fibres, posing risks for respiratory toxicity and cancer.
  • Japanese Honeysuckle– often regarded as a controversial ingredient “natural paraben”, more research is needed and within “green” community online opinion is divided over the safety of this ingredient.
  • Phenoxyethanol –as above divided opinions over the use of this ingredient. Often used as a replacement for parabens. Certainly better than parabens and I am still undecided on this one. Not considered potentially carcinogenic but may cause skin irritations in sensitive people.
  • Lanolin– extracted from sheep wool and a product of the oil from their glands. It is used as an emollient in skin care products and regarded as an allergen with no proven effectiveness. (look out for E913 on food labels)
  • Emu Oil– a popular ingredient in Australian skincare, it is a by-product of the meat industry, the emu is killed for it’s meat and the oil is obtained from fat on the emu’s back.
  • Silk– Silkworms (caterpillar stage of the silk moth) spin cocoons when in their pupal stage, silk thread is extracted from the cocoons by placing in boiling water, which kills the silkworms.
  • Shellac– natural polymer derived from lac beetles found in nail polish & food (look for E904)
  • Bee Venom– Bees are given a tiny electric shock as they enter the hive, which we are told is not enough to kill them. I imagine some would die of shock. However, it puts them in a bad mood so they will release venom. The bee population is already under threat without this.
  • Keratin– Protein from horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals and popular in hair products. There are alternatives derived from fruit and nuts.

Scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center have demonstrated a link between three common ingredients and adverse health in new born babies. In an upcoming article in a special Emerging Contaminants issue of the Journal of Hazardous Materials, details will be given of the connection between women’s use of products formulated with parabens, triclosan, or triclocarban and certain infant health effects. These are common preservatives used in cosmetics, consumer products, including toothpaste, soaps, detergents, toys, and surgical cleaning treatments

“Our latest study adds to the growing body of evidence showing that endocrine-disrupting compounds can lead to developmental and reproductive problems in animals and in humans,” says Laura Geer, associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate.

In a university press release about the research, Geer also says that “based on this new evidence, the safety of use of these chemicals in our consumer products should be reassessed.” The study, which looked at a group of women in Brooklyn, New York, led to findings that, when considered on a nationwide or global scale could be quite alarming. “While small-scale changes in birth size may not be of clinical relevance or cause for concern in individual cases, subtle shifts in birth size or timing at the population -level would have major impacts on the risk for adverse birth outcomes.”

The SUNY research team partnered with scientists from the Center for Environmental Security at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute on this project. They sought to learn more about how antimicrobial compounds and parabens impact human birth weight, body length, head size, and gestational age at birth, according to the abstract. “The study found a link between women with higher levels of butyl paraben, which is commonly used as a preservative in cosmetics, and the following birth outcomes: shorter gestational age at birth, decreased birth weight, and increased odds of preterm birth,” Geer explains. And, triclocarban was found to be associated with shortened gestational age.

This study is ostensibly the first to document these health impacts in people and the findings are, according to the abstract, “consistent with animal data suggesting endocrine-disrupting potential resulting in developmental and reproductive toxicity.” As is the case with foundational work, the “findings must be reproduced in larger studies,” acknowledges Geer.