Healthy Skin Tips and what to be aware of in Skincare
I have been interviewed by the Yoga Magazine for their 2020 April issue.
We went over some healthy skin tips and misconceptions in the beauty and wellbeing industry. I report here some of the questions and answers for people to read, as I feel that everyone should be aware of these facts.
What to look out for when purchasing skincare products, especially organic?
There is a lack of transparency in the beauty and wellbeing industries.
For instance, the shops (both online and brick & mortar) are bursting with so-called natural and organic skincare products. Whilst organic food in the UK is regulated and non-organic food cannot use the word organic on the packaging, there is no such regulation for skincare products. Many products claim to be natural or organic, even if the percentage of organic or natural ingredients is only 1%. The Soil Association is working really hard with certified organic brands to help consumers, so if a product is certified organic, the certifier’s logo will be on the packaging.
And how can we tell if a skincare product we are using is still fresh?
It is close to impossible. European regulations say that if a beauty product will be good for 30 months from the manufacturing date, there is no need to disclose the expiry date, and the PAO (period-after-opening) symbol is sufficient.
Firstly, the fact that there is no expiry date on skincare products is misleading to the consumer, as most people don’t know how long they can keep a product in their bathroom cabinets. In addition, a product could have been sitting on the shelf for months, or even years, and nobody would know. Imagine drinking milk that has gone bad, and not knowing it.
Secondly, most products on the market are packed with preservatives to achieve that 30 months threshold, so an expiry date is not necessary.
As such, education is key. For products that do not list an expiry date on the label, I suggest to look for a batch code on the label and contact the manufacturer to find out how old the product is, by giving them the batch number. There is a bit of work involved, but this way you rest assured of the freshness of the products you want to keep using.
However, the best way is to look only for those new products that disclose an expiry date. For instance, Terre Verdi products always show an expiry date on every product to give our customers peace of mind.
How to ensure that what we put on our skin every day is healthy over a longer period of time.
Yes, this is another problem. Ingredient lists of skincare products have become very long in the last few decades. Brands like to “complicate” their formulations, to show their uniqueness, so that nobody can copy them, and this is once again at the consumer’s expense.
Every day, on average, we put between 100 and 200 different ingredients on our face alone.
Let's just do a simple calculation.
- cleanser 15 ingredients
- toner 10 ingredients
- serum 20 ingredients
- moisturiser or eye cream 20 ingredients
- primer or tinted make up 10 ingredients
- powder to go over the primer 10 ingredients
- other makeup products, like mascara, eyeliner, lipstick at 15 ingredients each, so 45 ingredients.
For a total of 130 ingredients.
In the evening, a similar process without the makeup. So, let’s say 70 ingredients.
And this is only on the face. We haven't discussed shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste and deodorant yet. Many of these ingredients will be absorbed by our skin and will go into our bloodstream. For most, we don't know if they are synthetic or toxic.
Why should we have so many ingredients in each product we use, such as 15 to 30 or more ingredients? And do we really need so many products in our skincare routine? The answer is no.
Each product needs a few, balanced, nourishing, and effective ingredients. And a few, multi-tasking skincare products are sufficient. This way, we avoid developing sensitivities to skincare products unnecessarily.
Just like with food, where a simple, nutritive, balanced and un-processed diet is best for us, we should apply similar principles with our skincare routine. Otherwise, the cells in our body will need to make an extra effort to get rid of unwanted toxins, and over a longer period, we will experience unpleasant conditions.
Why choose certified organic skincare products?
The organic certification tackles various issues, including the health of the soil over time, animal welfare and sustainability. Proper recycling is a major part of sustainability, for example, and a product will not be approved as certified organic if its packaging is not recyclable.
Therefore, choosing certified organic is not only good for our skin and wellbeing, but also for the animals and sustainability of the environment and the soil. If we embrace all of these issues, then choosing certified organic products is the answer.
What else to be aware of when purchasing a natural or organic skincare product?
If you are looking for a product that benefits the skin, but also the mind, you should avoid synthetic fragrances, and only choose 100% natural products that contain essential oils or essences. Essential oils aid wellbeing not only by adding a scent to a product, but by penetrating deeper into the skin due to their small molecular composition. Neroli, for instance, has an uplifting effect, lifts up the mood, and we use it in our NeroliPom Moisturiser; ginger and black pepper are warming and help muscles relax, so we use them in our Yoga&Sports Body Oil. Each essential oil has different benefits, and you could familiarize yourself with them, to benefit fully from your chosen products.
Research confirms that organic produce and ingredients are one and a half more nutritious than non-organic ones and they have either none or minimal, and un-harmful pesticide residue versus their non-organic counterparts.