Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late 2nd century, once said, "Rare is the union of beauty and purity." Could he have possibly been forecasting today's cosmetic and skincare industry? In an attempt to look "beautiful," the average woman puts on approximately 10 sprays, lathers and skin care products every day. Most of these products, however, are anything but pure. In fact, here are some statistics that might shock you:
- There are over 10,500 skincare and cosmetic ingredients used in the United States. Currently, the FDA has only evaluated and documented 11 percent of these as safe for the human body.
- The number of banned cosmetic ingredients in the United States is 10, verses over 1,100 ingredients banned in the European Union.
- 33 percent of all skincare products are comprised of at least one chemical ingredient proven to cause cancer.
Though many of us think of our skin as a barrier, it in fact acts similar to a sponge and soaks in the products we apply. Since many of the products we use in our everyday regimen contain chemicals and ingredients that have not been tested for safety, no one can offer a straight answer on how they will affect our bodies in the long run. One way to skip most of these chemical concoctions is to look for organic alternatives — and, believe it or not, they cost around the same price or less than non-organic products, proving that making an effort to be healthier doesn't have to cost a fortune.
Here are a few organic or natural options and their nonorganic counterparts:
Instead of: Sexy Hair Concepts Moisturizing Shampoo — $13.03 for 10 ounces
Use: Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo — $10.48 for 11 ounces
The Sexy Hair Concepts line is quite popular and most women can recognize the products by their eye-catching packaging. However, in addition to soy protein and jojoba oil, their product contains many chemicals. Aubrey's Honeysuckle Rose is a great alternative, as it also moisturizes, nourishes and contains soy proteins and organic oils. With Aubrey, you get an extra ounce for a few dollars less — and no chemicals!
Instead of: Elizabeth Arden Skin Protectant Eight Hour Cream — $19.50 for 1.7 ounces
Use: Aubrey Collagen & Almond Enriching Moisturizing Lotion — $6.49 for 3 ounces
While both products are used by many women for hydrating and calming dry, chapped skin, Elizabeth Arden's is unfortunately petroleum based, contains the toxic chemical BHT and costs nearly three times as much for almost half the amount! Aubrey's infuses collagen, organic Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Lavender oils, and leaves all skin care types super moisturized.
Instead of: AHAVA Dead Sea Extreme Night Nourishment — $72.00 for 1 ounce
Use: Aubrey Rosa Mosqueta Night Crème with Alpha Lipoic Acid — $22.99 for 1 ounce
AHAVA Dead Sea products are well known, and most people assume they are getting a natural product. While some natural ingredients are used in this world-famous brand, several chemicals make up the first few main ingredients. Aubrey's product is one of the most popular organic dry skin creams on the market, is a fraction of the cost and chemical free, proving fancy labels and famous names doesn't always mean pure ingredients.
Kiss My Face
Kiss My Face has been creating natural skincare products for over 30 years and the company uses all plant-based ingredients.
Instead of: L'Occitane Shea Butter Soap — $7.00 for 3.5 ounces
Use: Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Moisturizing Bar Soap — $3.99 for 8 ounces
While the L'Occitane bar does use some good ingredients and softens skin, the Kiss My Face product is another great paraben and phthalate-free version that is more than twice the size and comes with a small price tag.
Instead of: Philosophy Hands of Hope Hand and Cuticle Cream — $20.00 for 4 ounces
Use: Kiss My Face Grapefruit & Bergamot Hand Crème — $8.95 for 4 ounces
Pamper dry hands the natural way, especially during the winter months. While Philosophy may be a well-known brand, if you want to stay chemical free, the Kiss My Face alternative uses Green Tea, Lemon Balm and Shea Butter to keep hands soft. Get the same amount for much less!
Physicians Formula Organic Wear
You might already be familiar with the popular brand Physicians Formula, but did you know they created an organic makeup line? These products are free of synthetic preservatives, parabens, GMO's and harsh chemicals.
Instead of: Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer — $27.00 for 1 ounce
Use: Physician Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Tinted Moisturizer — $11.95 for 1.5 ounces
While both products offer a dewy boost of color with sheer protection and SPF, the Physician Formula option contains organic ingredients, is larger in size and costs far less than Clinique's version.
Instead of: L'Oreal Lash Extension Mascara — $11.99 for 0.17 ounces
Use: Physician Formula Organic Wear Fakeout Mascara — $9.95 for 0.26 ounces
Both of these products offer wearers the look of lash extensions, however, Physician Formula's version accomplishes this by using 100 percent natural origin lash extension fibers (the only product like this currently on the market!). It also costs less and is larger.
Some other terrific brands to try: Burt's Bees, Dr. Bronner's Magic, Jason, Mychelle Dermaceuticals and Giovanni.