The Truth about Natural Skin Care How to Pick Products That Are Good For Your Skin by Leah Day www.leahday.com Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 2 Published by Leah Day at www.leahday.com Copyright © 2008 by Leah Day All Rights Reserved Electronically composed, distributed, and printed in the United States of America You DO Have the Right to Reprint or Resell this Book You Also MAY Give Away, Sell or Share this Report, as Long as You Don’t Change Anything, Misrepresent the Report, Use SPAM, etc. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 3 Table of Contents Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 4 Why Use Natural Products? ................................................................................................ 5 Defining “Natural” .............................................................................................................. 6 Don’t Trust the Advertisement ............................................................................................ 8 The Truth about “Natural” Skin Care.................................................................................. 9 Real Natural Skin Care ...................................................................................................... 10 Knowing the Skin .............................................................................................................. 11 Proper Skin Care ............................................................................................................... 12 Four Basic Requirements for Young and Healthy Skin .................................................... 13 How to Read Ingredient Labels ......................................................................................... 14 Importance of the First Ingredient ..................................................................................... 15 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid ......................................................................................... 17 Why Didn’t I Know this Before? ...................................................................................... 19 So What Do I Do Now? .................................................................................................... 20 Ingredient Label Check List .............................................................................................. 23 Other Things To Look For in a Skin Care Line ................................................................ 23 Conclusion......................................................................................................................... 26 Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 4 Introduction So you’re interested in natural skin care? That’s wonderful! You’ve taken the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. By paying attention to the chemicals in the products you buy, you’re not only saving your skin from damaging products, you’re also protecting your body from the potential long term consequences of using toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, deciding to use natural products isn’t as easy as it should be. As you will learn in this book, “natural” skin care doesn’t necessarily have to be all that natural. The same rule applies to “organic” skin care as well. How else could we live in a world where the words “organic” and “Twinkie” could possibly be used together? But I’m getting ahead of myself. The good news is I’ve written this book to help you not only learn what chemicals to look out for, but also how to read the ingredient labels of products you plan to purchase. I’ve made it easy for you to compare and contrast different products so you can pick only the best for your body. I’ve also tried to make this report fun and entertaining to read. The simple fact is that in this age of extreme chemicals, junk food, cell phones, and countless other things that could kill us one day, we don’t want to get too obsessed with going “all natural.” If you learn too much, it can all get so overwhelming that you may well start cleaning your dishes with dirt and brushing your teeth with sticks. Instead let’s try to find a middle road. Take what you learn in this report and apply it to your life in the way you see fit. Find your own balance, and live a healthy life that works for you! So sit back, relax, and find yourself a good organic Twinkie to munch on while you learn the truth about natural skin care. Cheers! Leah Day Skin Care Consultant www.leahday.com Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 5 Why Use Natural Products? Going natural, or looking for natural products and services, is quickly becoming the latest and greatest fad in America. Everyone and everything wants to be natural, organic, and green friendly. This isn’t a bad thing; in fact it’s great that so many people are becoming more conscious of the world around us. Recycling, reducing emissions, and eliminating chemicals from our daily lives is going to pay off in the long run for everyone. But there is always a downside to these national fads. Just like big hair bands in the 80s, there are some people jumping on the “all natural” bandwagon that just aren’t cool. Slapping the word “natural” on a box of Fruit Loops isn’t going to make this concoction of corn, chemicals, and sugar good for you. This is why going natural is not only confusing, but very frustrating. You might have already shelled out hundreds of dollars on so-called “natural” skin care products, just to find that they still include heavy concentrations of ingredients that could kill you one day. Not exactly heartwarming, is it? And this isn’t an exaggeration. Skin care products are still being formulated with known carcinogens every day. Here’s a quote from the book “Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power” by Mark Schapiro that explains this issue the best: “Every morning across America, tens of millions of women apply from twelve to twenty “personal-care” products to themselves, according to the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CFTA). From tubes and bottles and delicate brushes come the tools of beauty, hygiene, and self-preservation known as cosmetics. American women might assume that somebody has been watching to ensure that potential toxins in those ingredients are kept away from intimate contact with the body’s largest organ, the skin, They would be wrong. The FDA provides oversight and monitoring of over-the-counter and prescription drugs, as well as food additives, but has minimal authority to regulate the ingredients in cosmetics. “Women believe that the government which they think is there is actually there,” comments Charlotte Brody, a registered nurse and executive director of Commonweal, and environmental-health organization. “But it’s not there.” The FDA does not regulate skin care or cosmetic products before they are sold to the public. In fact, all regulation and testing is up to cosmetic firms to carry out. And guess who regulates the cosmetic firms and makes sure they are testing products properly and ensuring the safety of countless consumers? A large group of cosmetic firms! Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 6 Here’s another quote from Exposed by Mark Schapiro: “In 1976, as Congress debated strengthening the mandate of the FDA, the CTFA argued to maintain its exemption from scrutiny and promised to police itself. The trade group created a Cosmetics Ingredient Review (CIR) board, a panel of scientists that convenes three times a year in Washington to review the literature on chemicals used in cosmetics. The panel is financed entirely by the CTFA’s member companies. Their recommendations to the industry are only that - and are not necessarily listened to in any care. The CIR’s opinions are available on the web; they list several ingredients that the board identified as substances of concern that have yet to be removed from US cosmetics. These include coal tar, a black hair dye…[that] may be linked to bladder cancer among hairdressers and is still used in many low-cost beauty salons; and sodium borate, sometimes called boric acid, which has been linked to testicular development problems and which the CIR recommended “should not be used on infant or injured skin,” and is an ingredient in Desitin diaper-rash lotion for infants.” If you’d like to learn more about this book and read my full review, please go to http://www.leahday.com/exposed.htm The regulatory body governing US cosmetics and skin care is pathetic and corrupt. Women use multiple products every day to help them look and feel beautiful. This is a fact that isn’t going to change any time soon. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the US is going to start protecting us anytime soon either. This is why it’s imperative to use only safe, natural products because you’ve got to do the regulating that the US government is not. Defining “Natural” Everyone defines “natural” differently. Take any two people on the street and the definition of the word will vary greatly between them. Just take these two ladies: Sue is a vegetarian who reads every label of every item that she purchases. She feels strongly about parabens and SLS and watches carefully for news on other chemicals that could hurt her body. Jill, a busy mother, doesn’t have time to read labels, magazines, or books on the subject. She doesn’t care that much about skin care, but wants to find products that work well with her Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 7 extremely dry skin. Do you see how searching for natural skin care will be very different for both ladies? Because they define the idea differently, they will probably end up with very different products. Sue will more than likely find something that is technically more natural just because it has fewer chemicals in it. Jill might end up with something labeled “natural,” trust that it is, and not worry about it. Yes, there are purists like Sue who will scream to high heaven that you’ll die one day solely because of the Vaseline in your medicine cabinet. She will always define “natural” in a much stricter way than someone like Jill, who just can’t summon the energy to fear each and every chemical that enters her home. And really, the more you read, the more you’ll find that everything, every chemical out there is a potentially hazardous substance. We just haven’t figured out exactly how it’s going to kill us yet! So for the sake of explanation, I don’t consider anything totally natural unless it’s grown in the ground. I prefer items that I’ve grown personally, then picked, washed, and prepared for use. So for me, no skin care products fit my definition of “natural” if they’ve been processed outside my kitchen. That’s not to say I don’t use man-made, “natural” skin care products – I do. I’m just trying to explain that I approach the word “natural” with as much skepticism as I would approach something labeled “magical.” Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 8 Don’t Trust the Advertisement It’s good to approach all “natural” skin care and cosmetics with a healthy dose of skepticism until you can be sure of what’s actually in the product in question. This will also prevent you from falling victim to well designed packaging and “all natural” marketing. The desire for natural products is understandable. Equally understandable is the growing fear and confusion over what “natural” really means. As I said before, this market is unregulated so even if the word “natural” is on the bottle, it doesn’t guarantee anything. This rule applies to “organic” as well, but at least there are some regulations on the use of this term. Remember what I was saying before about the potential for an organic Twinkie? This wasn’t my idea. Michael Pollan in his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” researched food regulations extensively for his book. It turns out that an organic item can be labeled “organic” so long as the ingredients that create it are all organic themselves. Head to www.leahday.com/omnivore.htm to learn more about this book. So with some organic flour, sugar, and marshmallow fluff you could technically create an organic Twinkie. A little scary, right? The same applies to skin care. If something is labeled “organic,” you’re probably going to find a barrage of ingredients you still don’t recognize, but now the term “organic” will set each apart. The only other difference I can think of is an increased price as most “organic” items usually carry a nice marketing package and hefty price tag. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 9 The Truth about “Natural” Skin Care Natural skin care doesn’t exist. Sorry to break it to you, but I don’t see cleansers and moisturizers bubbling up from the ground. Nor do I expect to see flowers dripping skin astringents any time soon. And the next time I see a cat naturally oozing mascara from its ears, I’m sure my husband will wake me up because I’ll be dreaming. How can anything be natural when it doesn’t come from nature? Let’s do a quick comparison: A tomato I’ve grown in my garden is natural. I planted a seed, a plant grew, produced buds, and a tomato sprung forth as the fruit of my labors. I took my lovely tomato inside and sat it proudly on the counter. And then proceeded to forget about it for a week. Upon remembering my prized vegetable, I’m a little disappointed to find that it’s rotten, squishy, and covered in mold. In only one week my perfectly ripe, sandwich ready tomato has become irreversibly reclaimed by nature. No BLTs in my future now… Let’s compare my tomato to the average bottle of “natural” face cleanser. I purchase said bottle from a store, excited to be bringing home something good for me. Now I have no idea how old this cleanser is. It could have been created and bottled years ago because, unlike some of my favorite brands of beer, skin care products don’t come packaged with a “born-on” date stamped to the bottom. So I bring home the bottle and set it just as proudly on my bathroom counter. And I proceed to forget about this bottle for one year. A year later, I’m cleaning out my cabinets and come across that dusty bottle of natural face cleanser and wonder how old it could possibly be. Open it, smells fine, I guess I can use it. But something feels wrong about this. Deep down inside when we bring something into our home that’s stuck around for a year (even though it could actually be much older), the idea of using it is just repulsive. So this is a pretty good, general definition of something natural – it rots. And as we all know, skin care products and cosmetics don’t rot. Why would they? Companies fill them with so many preservatives they’ll probably still Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 10 be around even when we aren’t. Extending shelf life is the cornerstone of our industrial age. Produce the product fast and cheap, then make sure it’ll last long enough for someone to buy it. And with skin care this can take a long time. When’s the last time you ran out of mascara? Seriously, I think that stuff lasts longer than any other cosmetic. Most people throw it out because after a year or two on the counter, it just gets a little weird. We’re human beings: we like things that rot and distrust things that don’t (or at least we should). Real Natural Skin Care Now the one exception to my rule of “natural skin care doesn’t exist” is homemade skin care. Homemade skin care is very natural because it’s a concoction you create yourself in the kitchen using natural and organic materials. I used to have a very skeptical opinion of homemade skin care. It just seemed messy and time consuming to create my own cleanser or body scrub. I was also worried about the shelf life of my homemade products. How will I keep them from going bad? After months of searching on the internet and in book stores, I finally found a book that explained it all. “Naturally Skinsational” is a wonderful book written by Sue Dollan, an instructor and researcher for the Skin Care eLearning and Resource Center. Not only does she share over 150 skin care recipes, Dollan also details helpful anti-aging tips and loads of natural ingredient information. I learned so much about simple herbs and medicines, like aspirin, that I already had around the house. Who knew Hibiscus or Sour Cream could be ingredients we could use in skin care products on our face? You can learn more about Sue Dollan’s book “Naturally Skinsational” by going to: http://www.leahday.com/naturalrecipes.htm There is only one other downside to homemade skin care and that is the allergy factor. Even if you make skin care products yourself, in your own kitchen, with fresh organic vegetables and fruits – you still have a potential to be allergic to it. Skin can do funny things, and homemade skin care will be much more potent and concentrated than any products you buy in a store. Just make sure you never use ingredients in your homemade products that you’re allergic to. It’s just not a good idea to be messing around with peanuts on your skin if you already Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 11 have a known peanut allergy. Use common sense with everything you try and if your skin doesn’t seem to like it, try a different recipe. I know many people are really intrigued by homemade skin care and eager to try something new. If totally, 100% natural skin care is what you want, then making your skin care products from scratch is going to be your only option. Like I said before, totally natural skin care can’t come from a company in a bottle because they have to have some preservatives and stabilizers in them to extend shelf life. I know homemade skin care might not appeal to everyone. Most of use just don’t have the time to whip up a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer once a week. So for those of you that want natural skin care, but don’t want to make it yourself, you’re going to have to compromise. You need to start reading ingredient labels, comparing products, and purchasing skin care that is natural enough for you based on the concentrations of bad ingredients verses the good. Knowing the Skin In order to move forward, you really should have a better understanding of the skin. How can you pick good skin care if you don’t even know why you’re cleaning your skin? To start, your skin is the largest organ in your body. Yes, it’s an organ, just like your heart, lungs, or kidneys. The skin keeps us warm, protected, and holds all our many parts together. It’s also largely responsible for eliminating wastes and maintaining our constant body temperature. The skin is built in layers, like a sandwich. If you were to take your skin and stretch it out, it would stretch about 18 square feet and weigh over seven pounds. That’s a lot of surface area! The layers that make up the skin are very important when discussing skin care. The first layer is the epidermis, a thin layer of tightly packed cells that are constantly being shed. Protecting the epidermis is a layer of sebaceous oil and perspiration called the acid mantle. The slight acidity of this coating protects the skin from bacteria. Below the epidermis is the dermis, a middle layer that gives our skin strength and flexibility. Collagen and elastin fibers, two big players in aging skin, are located here and it’s predominately their fault when your skin starts to sag and wrinkle. The final layer of the skin is the subcutaneous layer. Mostly this is fatty tissue that gives Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 12 our skin smoothness and contour. The skin is our protection, but that doesn’t mean it’s bulletproof. In order to excrete wastes, the skin must be able to breathe. Oxygen passes into and out of the skin along with salts, sweat, and waste particles. This also means that chemicals applied to the surface of the skin are just one step away from being in the body. This is why proper skin care and finding safe products is very important for not only your skin’s sake, but also your overall health. Proper Skin Care It’s important to always touch your face gently – never rub your eyes hard, and apply skin care products on yourself the way you would apply them on a baby (gently and with respect). We can sometimes forget that our skin, particularly our face, is delicate. Pulling, tugging, and scrubbing the skin will only wear it out faster. To properly take care of our skin, we need to address all of its layers. Many people use several different products from several different companies all at once. I used to do this too, but when I finally settled on one system I was amazed at the difference. Skin care lines create their products to work together synergistically. This means that each product builds off another to ensure proper acidity is restored to the skin. Remember the acid mantle that sits on the surface of your skin? It turns out that thin layer of sweat and oil is actually very important to the way your skin feels and looks! When you “hodge-podge” or use products from several different companies, your skin is left out of balance. Oily people tend to have skin that is less acidic, even basic, which is why they’re so prone to blemishes. Their skin isn’t able to properly protect itself from bacteria. Dry skin people tend to have very acidic skin. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 13 Four Basic Requirements for Young and Healthy Skin #1. Clean – Cleansing is necessary to remove junk that collects on the surface of the skin. This includes makeup, dirt, dust, waste excreted by the skin, and dead skin cells. Proper cleansing will clean the epidermis without stripping the acid mantle and leaving the skin dehydrated, irritated, and devoid of its natural oils. There are two rules of thumb for cleansing that apply for all types of skin and every age group: never use soap and always treat your skin gently. Why no soap? I know I’ve got your attention now. Soap is created from a chemical reaction of fats and lye. Fats and oils can clog your skin pores, and lye, a caustic detergent, is about as beneficial for your body as Turpentine. Here’s why: Remember that lathery foam that you get when mixing soap and water? These suds are created by detergents. When used on the skin, detergents strip off your protective acid mantle, leading to dry skin or over stimulated oil glands. Approach any products that form lather with caution because there’s a detergent hiding in that product and it’s just waiting to strip your skin bare. #2. Exfoliate – Exfoliation is necessary to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and dull the surface of the skin. This is the best way to improve the overall appearance and feel of the skin. Exfoliation does not mean abrading the skin with sandpaper-like granules, or scrubbing to the point you see blood. If a product ever feels too harsh, stop using it. There are natural enzyme peels that can lift dead skin cells without any abrading substances at all. This is the step that many truly natural skin care products miss. Yes, a product can be too natural to be effective. What results is a dull, lifeless complexion caused by a build up of dead skin cells. #3. Tone – Toning is necessary to reestablish the pH of the skin as well as prepare the skin for moisturizer. Proper toners also bring oxygen into the middle skin layers so the cells are properly nourished. Your skin is the last organ in your body to receive nutrients, and the first to show signs if your body is out of balance. Many people skip toners because they either don’t seem to do anything, or do way too much. Remember the acid mantle? Toners rebuild the acid level in skin, getting it back to its healthy, slightly acid state. A good rule of thumb with toners: if it makes you cry, it isn’t worth crying over. Watering eyes are a clear indication that the product contains drying alcohols that are damaging your skin tissue. #4. Hydrate – Moisturizing is essential to protect the skin from moisture loss. Even if Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 14 you’re the oiliest person on the planet, you still need to use a moisturizer. Effective moisturizers will not leave a greasy, oily feeling, and are necessary to counteract dryness. Skin dehydration is the number one cause of wrinkles and advancing signs of aging. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception about what hydrates the skin. Many people use oils, mostly mineral oil, thinking that these oils are moisturizing their skin, when in fact, they’re just sitting on the surface. It’s amazing to me that we could ever get confused about this, especially these days. What do we drink after a big workout? Water! I’ve never seen anyone guzzle down a big bottle of oil, have you? Water is the component we need in our skin the most. Finding an effective moisturizer means finding one that has the ability to penetrate the skin, attract, and hold water. Otherwise that oily moisturizer is just sitting on the surface of your skin, clogging your pores, and not doing you any good. How to Read Ingredient Labels Reading ingredient labels is essential to finding a skin care line that’s safe and “natural.“ You’ve got to take the reins and police your products because no one else will do it for you! But how do we know what’s harmful? Fortunately we live in the age of unfettered information. Do a search once a month on “toxic skin care ingredients” or “chemicals in skin care” and you’re sure to get the latest list of harmful substances. Unfortunately it sometimes take years, even decades, for the full repercussions of a chemical to come out. Remember when aspartame was the next big thing? The best thing you can do is stay informed and vigilant. Keep one ear and eye open for news stories and articles about skin care ingredients. Here is something to keep in mind: the full list of harmful chemicals is probably thousands long. I don’t know about you, but my brain just can’t remember that many names of complicated chemicals. To make it easy, I’ve compiled a list of the most popular and widely used damaging skin care chemicals. This list isn’t miles long, so it’s easy to remember the really bad ones. But knowing what ingredients to avoid isn’t enough. First we need to know how to read ingredient labels in order to properly gauge the concentration of each ingredient. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 15 For example: Sue has just found a perfect skin care line. None of the harmful chemicals she’s conscious about are included in the formulation. Unfortunately, the cleanser has a substance at the very bottom of the list that Sue doesn’t like. What should she do? The location of the chemical on the ingredient list determines the concentration of that ingredient in the product. The closer to the bottom of the list, the less of a concentration of that particular substance. Sue may not like that it’s included at all, but resolve that because it’s at the bottom, it probably won’t effect her that much. Other people will not take this laid back view. It’s up to you to decide how much or how little of any particular chemical you will tolerate in your search for “natural” skin care. If you’re willing to take your time and search, you will eventually find the skin care solution you’re after. Importance of the First Ingredient The first ingredient in any product is always the substance that will have the greatest concentration overall. Because of this, it’s very important to find products that have a superior first ingredient. The most common first ingredient in almost all skin care is water. Water is cheap, abundant, and will fill up the bottle, cutting the cost of manufacturing the product. Approach water concentrated products with caution. Check out the price tag and then thoroughly look over the ingredient list. If the company is filling most of the bottle up with water, chances are they’re filling the rest up with cheap chemicals as well. It’s not that water is bad, it’s not. Water is very good for us and beneficial to the skin. We want water to moisturize our skin, remember? The problem is that pesky acid mantle making things difficult again. The acid mantle is accompanied by a thin layer of sebaceous oil that makes our skin waterproof. This makes it very difficult for water based products to penetrate the skin. Imagine trying to drink water through the wrong end of a cup. You’re not going to be successful unless you break through the glass. Most water-based products will use harsh detergents or abrasives in order to break through the skin’s waterproof coating. Once removed, the skin is stripped bare, open to the elements, and very prone to drying out. So avoid products with water as the number one ingredient. This will make your search more difficult, but also more rewarding. If a skin care company has gone to the trouble of creating a formulation that doesn’t include water, you can be sure they’ve also been more mindful about the chemicals and additives they’re using as well. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 16 One of the best first ingredients I’ve ever experienced is aloe. Aloe Barbadensis Miller is the most nutrient and mineral rich of all the different types of aloe. Aloe is actually able to penetrate without destroying the skin’s natural waterproof protection. Even more beneficial is the ability of aloe to soak up and retain water. As a succulent, the aloe plant is able to absorb water from the air into its innermost gel. These properties are transferred to your skin when using a concentrated, aloe based product. Once you find an aloe based skin care line, don’t jump for joy just yet. You need to check the way in which the company harvests and prepares the aloe first. Some companies grind the whole plant up, creating aloins when the waxy protective coating of the plant is crushed. These compounds are particularly irritating to the skin. Also it won’t matter one bit that aloe is the number one ingredient if the company is cooking it during processing. Aloe is extremely sensitive to heat and will denature when exposed to high temperatures. Check the label and make sure that the product uses only the pure, innermost aloe gel and stabilizes it using a cold stabilization process. Keep the first ingredient in mind when you’re searching. Try to steer clear of cheap, water-based products, and keep an eye out for those with aloe as the first ingredient. If Aloe Barbadensis Miller is the number one ingredient, you can be sure that the formulation in question is concentrated and effective. Definitely don’t go with a product that uses a chemical as the first ingredient (even if it hasn’t been proven as bad for you) because this will be the bulk of what you’ll be exposing your skin to each and every time you use the product. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 17 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid Now we get to the heart of the issue. I’ve picked the most commonly used chemicals that are the most harmful to your skin and body and listed them here. It’s your responsibility to decide what to eliminate from your life based on how hard you want to work to find skin care products without these ingredients. Before you read this list of ingredients, go get the skin care products you’re using now. By reading the list and looking for it on your products, you’re stimulating your brain to remember these chemical names. Parabens – Preservative found in color cosmetics such as lipsticks, blush, eye shadow, and foundation. This chemical has been shown to upset hormone function and has been detected in breast tumors. Contact dermatitis can occur in those allergic to parabens. Phthalates – Used in small amounts to enhance the feel of lotions and flexibility of hairspray and nail polish. Can be listed under “fragrance.” Affects male reproductive development, resulting in birth defects. Acetone – Gas additive and harsh solvent used to dissolve superglue. Found in significant amounts in nail polish remover, toners, and astringents. Some side effects include liver, kidney, nerve damage, and death. Borax – Sodium Borate, and Boric Acid are used as preservatives in powders, eye creams, and skin fresheners. A harsh detergent, these chemicals can cause contact dermatitis. It’s still widely used, despite repeated warnings from the American Medical Association. Synthetic Fragrance – This is a blanket term used by many manufacturers to hide thousands of dangerous ingredients at once. Because so many chemicals can be hidden under this label, suffice it to say that most are toxic, cancer-causing substances. FD&C Dyes and Colorings – When this abbreviation precedes the name of a color, it means that the FDA has certified it as safe for use in drugs and cosmetics, but not food. FD&C colors are usually synthetic, coal tar colors; they’re toxic and should be avoided completely. The worst is Red #4, a color pigment proven to be dangerous to the bladder and adrenal glands. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Also known as SLS, this popular ingredient is used in thousands of skin care and hair care products. SLS's are used to create lather and Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 18 suds, and are often needed to fill up the bottle of most products. It's a strong degreaser that dries skin and hair and can cause contact dermatitis in some individuals. SLS's have been known to cause severe inflammation of the derma and epidermal tissue. This is probably the hardest skin care ingredient to avoid because it's so widely used in such high concentrations. One thing can be sure: if the product you're considering purchasing has SLS as the #1 or #2 ingredient, it's definitely not natural! Petrolatum – Derivatives of petroleum. Look for the suffix “Petro-” on ingredient labels. Commonly found in jellies and salves. Prevents the skin from breathing and expelling wastes. Can you say “clogged pores?” Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) – Toxic substance found in most dish washing products. Usually found in anti-microbial soaps. Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) – Commonly found in shampoo, soaps, and facial cleansers. All are hormone disruptors that are linked to liver and kidney cancers. Triclosan – Antibacterial agent found in soaps, household cleansers, and toothpaste. The EPA registers this as a pesticide because it behaves much in the same way as agent orange, a similar synthetic substance. Propylene Glycol – Active ingredient found in antifreeze, deodorants, and color cosmetics. Side effects include brain, liver, and kidney damage. EDTA – Abbreviation for Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid! A common toxic chemical that has been noted to have reproductive and developmental effects. Mineral oil – One of the most universally used ingredients in skin care products. It not only attracts dirt and causes blackheads, it also clogs the skin can speeds up the aging process. Your skin cannot breathe under mineral oil; because it’s like wrapping your skin in plastic wrap. Paraffin, Beeswax, Candelilla Wax, and Carnauba Wax are all skin clogging waxes commonly included in cleansing creams, eye creams, and moisturizers. All lead to blackheads, whiteheads, and enlarged pores. Just think for a moment about these waxes. In solid form, waxes are thick, hard and waterproof. Do any of these characteristics sound like they'd be good for your skin? Lanolin – Very effective for moist wound healing (especially for breastfeeding mothers). In other applications it’s a terrible pore clogger and allergen for many people. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 19 Isopropyll Alcohol, SD Alcohol 40, and Ethyl Alcohol – Alcohols dissolve the body’s natural moisture and strips the skin of its natural protection, leaving it vulnerable to infection. Alcohols also destroy the skin's natural pH balance and since they absorb water rapidly, these alcohols speed up wrinkling of the skin. Drying alcohols can also cause the skin to lose its contour (similar to a balloon losing air). Once applied, they make your eyes water and your skin turn red, two sure signs that those skin care products won’t work for you! Water – Like I said before, it won’t hurt you, but a watery formulation is cheap and ineffective. Skin care products are expensive! Make sure you’re not shelling out most of your money on filtered tap water. Why Didn’t I Know this Before? I know what you’re feeling like right now. Afraid. How many years have gone by without knowing this information? How many times have you washed your face, clothing, and dishes with toxic chemicals? Too many times to count. But don’t beat yourself up too badly. How could you have known? The simple fact is we’re kept very much in the dark about the chemicals around us. Many people won’t agree with the connection I’m about to make, but I think it needs to be said: Who makes money off healthy people? Keeping a population healthy and happy should be the government’s prime goal, but it isn’t. It is a very sad and unfortunate fact that many people are greedy and have found that more money can be made off of sick people than healthy. In her book “The Secret History of the War on Cancer,” Devra Davis uncovers the truth about cancer, its real causes (chemical exposure), and the lack of action our government has taken to protect it’s citizens. I’d really advise reading this book if you’re interested in learning more about these issues. Head to www.leahday.com/waroncancer.htm to read my full review of this book. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 20 So What Do I Do Now? Let’s put our new knowledge into action! Here’s an ingredient list for three different products. I want you to pick the one that is the best for your skin and body based solely on the ingredients: #1 – Bath and Shower Gel Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamindopropyl Betaine, Cocamide Dea, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Bensophenone-4, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Red 40, Red 33, Yellow 5, Blue 1. #2 – Hand Cream Ingredients: Water, Sesame Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Acetylated Lanolin, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Propylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Yellow 5, Red 4. #3 – Face Cleanser Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Stabilized Gel), Sorbitol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Squalane, Passiflowa Incarnata (Passion) Flower Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum (Sea Algae) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Arnica Cordifolia Extract, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Extract, Retinyl (Vitamin A) Palmitate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Allantoin, Glycerul Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Botanical Exxence, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Hinokitiol. I listed them just like you would find them on the back of a bottle or tube (though my font size is going to be much bigger than anything you will ever see on the product). I know the initial reaction you might have is to go with #1 because it has the least number of ingredients. It used to be a safe bet to go with the product with the shortest list, but not anymore. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 21 Let’s look at the first product in detail: Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamindopropyl Betaine, Cocamide Dea, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Bensophenone-4, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Red 40, Red 33, Yellow 5, Blue 1. Do you recognize any chemicals that make this product bad? I see: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Fragrance, and the color pigments: Red 40, Red 33, Yellow 5, Blue 1. Underline each of them and look at where these ingredients are located. This product is largely composed of Water and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. The location of fragrance as only the 5th ingredient is worrisome as well. Remember that Fragrance can really mean over 2,000 different chemicals. As the 5th ingredient the concentration won’t be huge, but still more than I would be comfortable with. Once you add all this together you can easily see that even though the ingredient list is short and sweet looking, it’s really disguising a cheap, harmful product. Let’s look at the second list again: Ingredients: Water, Sesame Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Acetylated Lanolin, Polysorbate 60, Panthenol, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Propylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Yellow 5, Red 4. Any chemicals or ingredients you recognize? I see: Water, Acetylated Lanolin, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, and the color pigments: Yellow 5 and the very toxic Red 4. Underline each of them and look at where these ingredients are located. This product is largely composed of water and oil – not particularly bad for you, but this is supposed to be a hand cream. Do you think this will effectively moisturize your skin? The location of lanolin also lets you know that this product will probably do one thing: clog your pores. With the addition of Fragrance, EDTA, Propylene Glycol, and toxic pigments, even though these ingredients are listed last, I’d say this product is worse than the first. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 22 And finally we’ll review the 3rd product: Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Stabilized Gel), Sorbitol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Squalane, Passiflowa Incarnata (Passion) Flower Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum (Sea Algae) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Arnica Cordifolia Extract, Juniperus Communis Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Extract, Retinyl (Vitamin A) Palmitate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Allantoin, Glycerul Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Botanical Essence, Tetrasodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Hinokitiol. Any ingredients you recognize? There are just two: Tetrasodium EDTA and Triethanolamine. Underline them both and look at where they are located on the list. These two ingredients are third to the last and second to the last ingredients in this product. Yes, we would probably prefer that they not be included at all, but with the concentration as low as it is, this is still a good product. Look at the first ingredient: it’s not water! This is an Aloe based skin care product. The ingredient list is so long because so many botanical extracts have been added. Notice that these extracts are included in pretty significant concentrations too. So let’s review all three products at once: Product #1 has four bad ingredients, two in heavy concentrations, and is water based. Product #2 has six bad ingredients, most in medium to low concentrations, and is water based. Product #3 has two bad ingredients, both in low concentrations, and is Aloe based. Which do you think is the best buy? That’s right! Product #3 is the best product by far because it’s got the least concentrations of harmful ingredients and is predominately made of Aloe, a wonderful ingredient for the skin. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 23 Ingredient Label Check List Here’s a quick check list to keep in mind when reading any ingredient label: 1. Is the first ingredient acceptable? 2. Are there any harmful chemicals in this product? 3. What are the concentrations of each chemical based on their location on the list? 4. Smell the product. The ingredient list might be as good as gold, but if it smells bad, you’re not going to be able to use it. 5. Weigh the odds. Is the product worth the price? What are you mostly buying (look at that first ingredient again)? Other Things To Look For In A Skin Care Line: Price Just because it says “natural” on the bottle doesn’t mean you need to mortgage your house to pay for it. Pay attention to the prices of the skin care products, specifically the main, three step system the line is based on. See how long the products are supposed to last. If you’re going to run out of a $40 cleanser in less than a month, are you really going to be able to afford to use system? Most skin care companies will also bundle several products into sets in order to make them more affordable. Remember that what you mostly need is a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and exfoliator. Don’t get sets unless you are going to use all of the products in them. Look for discounts on shipping too. Some companies also have wholesaling options that make purchasing their products cheaper, but watch out for those that push for automatic shipments. Are you really going to need a new bottle of moisturizer every month? What will you do when the products start piling up? There are many ways you can save with skin care products, you just need to ask the right questions. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 24 Guarantee Even though you’ve done your research, read the label, and once you’ve decided that a product is worth trying, how do you know if it’s going to work? Without trying the product, how can you know for sure it’s not going to irritate your skin? Look for guarantees. Any product line that’s worth its salt will guarantee the products for around thirty days. This will give you plenty of time to try the product and rule out any allergy or sensitivity. It will also let you know if the product is worth the price. By twenty-five days you should be seeing and feeling a difference in your skin. Issues like enlarged pores, oily skin, blemishes, and dry skin shouldn’t be continuing to crop up with an effective skin care line. If you aren’t seeing the proposed benefits, get your money back and stop wasting your time. If visible results don’t at least start happening in twenty-five days, trust me, your skin is never going to change with those products. Samples Another great time saver (and skin saver!) is to sample. By trying samples first, you’ll be able to save your time ordering products and then having to return them, and save your skin unnecessary irritation if a product happens to break you out. Check out how long the samples will last before you request them. Aim to try the products for at least three days, and longer would be better. Your skin will let you know pretty quickly if it doesn’t like the product, but some sensitivities will only come to the surface after several days of use. Also don’t confuse an allergic reaction with normal flushing. Your skin will start to push out imbedded impurities by the third day. Always expect to see between 2 to 5 new blemishes crop up when trying any new skin care line. Don’t expect to see amazing changes within the sample period. Sampling is mostly a tool to rule out reactions and see if you like the smell and feel of the product. To see the full results, you’re going to have to purchase full sizes and try the products for a month. The best situation is to find a company that offers samples and a guarantee – this way you’re completely covered! Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 25 Personal Consultant So let’s say you’ve decided on a skin care line that has great prices, a solid guarantee, and even a sampling program for you to try the products first. The last thing that would make that line perfect is personal service. Having advice from a skin care consultant will help you make decisions on what products will be the best for you. No one knows the product line as well as a qualified consultant. There may be items available that you‘re unaware of, and it’s the consultants job to tailor your skin care regimen to your lifestyle and budget. A personal consultant’s advice will be very helpful in the beginning, when you’re just starting to use the skin care line. This is the time when your skin is in transition. Like I said before with the sampling, your skin is going to break out a little. Having someone to email or call for guidance is very reassuring. Even beyond the beginning phase, a good consultant will stay in touch with you. If you’ve had a long standing skin issue, it’s going to take some time for it to be resolved. A consultant will help you through this period and if other skin issues every come up. Don’t expect all the advice to be “buy this product” either. There might be specific products that will target your skin issue exclusively, but like I said before, all you really need to take care of your skin is a three step system and an exfoliator. If you’re being told you’ve got to buy a ton of products to deal with your skin condition, then that should be a red flag that that skin care isn’t working and is just wasting your money. The one issue that doesn’t fit this rule is anti aging skin care. In my book, aging isn’t a skin issue – it’s a fact of life. The skin naturally sags and creates wrinkles with age. To fight it, you’re going to need more products that will target your specific aging signs. A consultant will help you pick the ones that will help your condition the most. I advise looking for a consultant because most are very good and will really go out of their way to help you. Unlike a dermatologist where you’re lucky to get 15 minutes of personal service, a good consultant will be patient and conscientious, willing to listen and give advice generously. Skin care consultants also know how to save you money. They’re the first people to know what products are on sale and what the best deal is on the products you’re needing. Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)! Leah Day 2008 The Truth about Natural Skin Care Page 26 Conclusion Good skin care products and cosmetics are an investment in both time and money. Whether you’re making your skin care yourself, or looking to invest in a natural skin care line, it’s going to take time to find the right natural skin care solution for you. Unfortunately, money often becomes an issue because when the label says “natural” sometimes the price tag reflects this louder than the ingredient label. Some companies also feel that if you want natural products then you should be prepared to pay for them – out the nose. There are reasonably priced product lines out there that don’t fill their formulations with harmful chemicals. You just need to be diligent in your search for products that fit your definition of “natural.” I’m very glad you took the time to read through this skin care book and I hope it helps you make good choices on skin care in the future. Reading ingredient labels and judging products can be hard and intimidating, but I’ve given you the tools you need to purchase products with confidence. Remember that no skin care can be totally “natural,” but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad for your skin and body either. There are alternatives! You just have to find them. Wishing You a Happy and Healthy Long Life, Leah Day Natural Skin Care Consultant Want to know more about the natural skin care products I use? Click the link below to download another free ebook about L’Bri Pure n’ Natural, an Aloe based skin care line that produces younger, smoother, and softer skin in 30 days. www.leahday.com/lbrinaturalskincare.htm Feel free to share this ebook with anyone you like (and with the people you don’t like too)!