The skin is the body’s largest organ and it is also one of the most porous, meaning that it’s capable of absorbing whatever you put on it. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing depending on the products you’re using as part of your regular skincare regimen.
In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness and advocation for natural skin care products. Many people are now gravitating towards brands that offer hydration and moisture, without ingredient lists filled with harmful additives and preservatives. Synthetic skincare products have been known to cause a variety of reactions and irritations, which are essentially due to certain added elements being harmful and toxic to the human body.
It’s important to implement natural skincare products into our daily routines so that we limit our exposure to dangerous and unnecessary chemicals. And contrary to popular belief, this change doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it come with a high price tag. There are many products on the market that are produced with the intention of being natural, effective and affordable. A lot of brands are committed to ensuring the health of their clients and the health of the planet.
Here is everything you need to know about the benefits of natural skincare and why you should make the switch.
Natural Products Don’t Always Have A High Price Tag
As a society, we have been led to believe that good quality skincare products are expensive and unattainable for the average consumer. This is simply not true. While there are definitely some companies that sell serums for $350 a bottle, there are also brands that are focused on making natural skincare accessible for everyone. One such brand is Crate61.
The Canadian company began production out of a small kitchen in downtown Toronto. The founders had a passion for making the purest and most naturally effective body care products for their own growing family, and it wasn’t long before their items generated both local and international interest. Their quality ingredients and affordable prices have helped to fill a void in the industry.
Crate 61 offers quality items that allow you to truly nourish your body with elements of nature. Their products include organic lip balms, vegan liquid soap and vegan cold-process bar soap. Each item has a variety of different scents, with ingredients that are focused on different key skin concerns. For example, the Avocado Grapefruit Soap Bar is made with ingredients, such as cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and unrefined avocado oil, which are known to aid with dry, cracked skin. The scent is invigoratingly sweet and citrusy, which makes it popular amongst many customers.
It is also worth noting that all of Crate61’s products are made exclusively with certified vegan, organic and cruelty-free ingredients. They go above and beyond to source premium natural ingredients and acquire most of their raw materials directly from the source. It’s vital for them to know exactly where their ingredients come from and how they have been processed in order to ensure quality. The soap bars also come packaged in a fully biodegradable paperboard box, which speaks to Crate61’s commitment to our amazing Earth.
In addition to producing safe and effective skincare, the greatest benefit of all their efforts is the fact that all of their products are completely affordable. The lip balms start at $2.95, the liquid hand soap starts at $3.79 and their liquid soap starts at $10.95. The company also offers bundle deals if the items are purchased in bulk. This is on par, if not cheaper, than most generic products that include additional fillers and parabens that are not good for your skin.
As mentioned above, their items are available internationally but are especially accessible to Canadians both online and in-stores. You can purchase directly from Crate61’s website, but you can also add on items if you’re making an order on Well.ca, which is known to deliver Canada’s largest assortment of green and natural brands. And if you’re in a grocery store such as Sobeys or Zehrs, Crate61 is also available there too, as well as many other superstores or health food stores across the country.
In other words, purchasing natural skincare has never been easier.
Harmful Ingredients Found In Everyday Skin Care Products
Now that it’s been determined that natural skincare products can be easily attainable due to wide availability and cost-efficiency, let’s delve in a little deeper as to why it’s important to purchase items without harmful ingredients.
The David Suzuki Foundation wrote an article about twelve cosmetic chemicals to avoid in skincare products – also referred to as “the dirty dozen”. It’s highly recommended to read through this list and do an audit of your bathroom cupboard, as doing so could prevent a variety of health concerns in the future. The harmful ingredients listed in the article that you should stay clear of are the following:
1. BHA and BHT
BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) are related synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks, moisturizers and other commonly used cosmetics. The use of both is unrestricted in Canada, but Health Canada has categorized BHA as a “high human health priority” on the basis of carcinogenicity, whereas BHT is labelled as a “moderate human health priority”. The chemicals have proven to induce allergic reactions in the skin and interfere with hormone function. Long-term exposure to high doses of BHT has also been linked to liver, thyroid and kidney problems in mice and rats. It has additionally been known to mimic estrogen, resulting in adverse reproductive outcomes.
2. Coal Tar Dyes
Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals that are derived from petroleum. It’s widely recognized as a human carcinogen and the main concern with the chemical is its potential to cause cancer and blindness. On an ingredients list, it is referred to as “p-phenylenediamine” or as “CI-” followed by a five-digit number. Found in various makeup and hair dye products, Health Canada has restricted the majority of its use except in eye makeup products.
3. DEA-related Ingredients
DEA (Diethanolamine) and DEA compounds are used in order to make certain cosmetic products creamy or sudsy. It can also act as a pH adjuster, which counteracts the acidity of other ingredients. DEA is found in moisturizers and sunscreens, while compounds just as cocamide and lauramide DEA are used in soaps, shampoos and cleansers. The chemical causes mild to moderate skin and eye irritations. In high doses, exposure has even been linked to liver cancers and precancerous changes in the skin and thyroid. It also has a hazardous effect on the environment due to the acute toxicity to aquatic organisms.
4. Dibutyl Phthalate
Also referred to as DBP, Dibutyl Phthalate is mainly used in nail polishes in order to act as a solvent for dyes and as a plasticizer that prevents the liquid from being too brittle. This is one chemical that consumers often won’t see on an ingredient list. Phthalate is also often in fragrance ingredients, which manufacturers are not required to disclose. DBP is absorbed through the skin and has been shown to cause many developmental defects, such as changes in the testes and prostate, as well as reduced sperm counts. It can even cause harm to an unborn child and impair fertility. Health Canada also has evidence that suggests that exposure to phthalates can cause liver and kidney failure in young children. It’s currently restricted as a material in children’s toys but remains unrestricted for cosmetics.
5. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives
Formaldehyde was once found in a wide range of cosmetic products, but Canada has now restricted its usage to less than 0.2%. In other countries, the usage is restricted to 0.05%. However, there is no restriction on low levels of DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. These are all preservatives that release formaldehyde, which is classified as a human carcinogen.
Parabens are the most widely used chemicals in cosmetics. The ingredient is often found in shampoos, soaps and makeup products. However, parabens are known to mimic estrogen, which is the primary female sex hormone. They have also been detected in human breast cancer tissues, which indicates a possible association between parabens in cosmetics and cancer. Additionally, some studies have suggested that when methylparaben is applied to the skin, it reacts with UVB and causes increased skin ageing and DNA damage. There are currently no restrictions on the use of parabens in Canada, so do your due diligence and research the ingredient list prior to purchasing any cosmetic product.
Seeing the term “fragrance” or “perfume” on a cosmetic ingredient list is more complex than it seems. In fact, “fragrance” can be composed of more than 3,000 chemicals. While we know that perfumes, colognes and deodorants contain fragrances, almost every other type of personal care item does too. Even items labelled as “unscented” contain fragrances. These “unscented” items use a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odour. Many of these chemicals are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines and asthma-related symptoms. Again, manufacturers are not required to list fragrances so there are no current restrictions by Health Canada.
8. PEG Compounds
PEGs (Polyethylene Glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are commonly used in cosmetic cream bases such as moisturizers and face lotions. As of right now, there are no restrictions on this chemical by Health Canada, but that does not dismiss the fact that it has many dangerous elements. PEG functions as a penetration enhancer and increases the permeability of the skin. This means that it allows for greater absorption of any product, including the harmful ingredients that it contains.
Petrolatum is a mineral oil jelly used to lock in moisture. It can be found in a variety of moisturizers and hair products in order to ensure hydration and shine. However, these products can also be contaminated with PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons), which are associated with cancers if exposed to the skin over extended periods of time. This includes petroleum jelly, a product that is widely used all over the world. As of right now, there are no restrictions on petrolatum in Canada.
Siloxanes are silicone-based compounds found in cosmetic products and are used to soften, smoothen and moisten. It allows hair to dry quicker and deodorant creams to slide on seamlessly. They are also used in a variety of different moisturizers and facial treatments on the market. However, products that contain siloxanes increase the risk of human infertility because siloxanes themselves are endocrine disruptors, which interfere with human hormone function. In laboratory experiments, they have also been shown to cause uterine tumours and additional harm to the immune system. There are no current restrictions for the use in cosmetics by Health Canada.
11. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) is used in cosmetic products such as shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers to achieve bubble and foam. It may offer consumers that clean feeling, but the ingredient is anything but. The chemical is often contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide, which is a known human carcinogen. Health Canada has also categorized sodium Laureth sulfate as a “moderate human health priority”, meaning that it’s flagged for future assessment by the Government of Canada.
Triclosan is mainly used in antiperspirants, deodorants, cleansers and hand sanitizers as both a preservative and an antibacterial agent. However, triclosan is known to pass through the skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function. It is also an endocrine disruptor. In fact, in a study with 2,517 people, U.S. scientists discovered that triclosan was detected in 75% of the people tested. In addition to this, the chemical is also irritating to the skin and eyes and is very toxic to aquatic organisms. As of today, triclosan is limited in concentrations of 0.03% in mouthwashes and 0.3% in cosmetics. The issue, however, is that triclosan does not break down easily and even small amounts in products can build up in the body.
As mentioned in this article on Medium, natural skincare products may not have the same shelf life as those with additives and harmful ingredients, but making the switch does have the potential to add years to your life. We don’t often think about how personal care items impact our health, but the scary truth is that ingredients can really make or break a product. As a society, we need to reconsider our views on skincare. After all, if a product is supposed to “care” for our skin, why would we choose items that have the potential to cause so much harm to our bodies?
The Best Ingredients In Natural Skin Care Products
Many people have wondered whether natural skincare provides the same results as the tried and true products that are taking up space in their current routine. That is often what deters people from tossing out their old moisturizer packed with toxic chemicals – individuals seem to think they can’t possibly find a natural alternative that offers the same benefits and glow. But you truly can, and gravitating towards natural products will help you glow from the inside out.
Healthline discusses in detail how one can begin a natural skincare routine with minimal impact on their skin. It also goes over the importance of labels and knowing the difference between green, clean, organic, vegan, cruelty-free and fair-trade. This information has also been included here for your reference:
Green: This unregulated term refers to environmental impact and sustainability. Green products are usually produced with the intention of limiting environmental impact.
Clean: This unregulated term describes products that typically focus on being non-toxic.
Organic: Companies can have their products certified organic. They can also label their products as organic to indicate that all the ingredients are derived from organic sources.
Vegan: These products are created without animal by-products.
Cruelty-Free: Vegan products are almost always cruelty-free, but cruelty-free products are not always vegan. An example of this would be an organic lip balm that contains beeswax.
Fair-Trade: This regulated descriptor focuses on sourcing, ensuring that ingredients are sourced ethically in terms of the planet, people or environment.
Natural skincare products make use of natural ingredients and sources, as opposed to including the “Dirty Dozen” that we addressed above. When shopping for skincare, or any type of personal care item, buyers should have a general idea of which natural ingredients work well for their body and skin concerns. Below are 15 of the best natural ingredients used in skincare. Let’s go over how each of them is used, as well as the benefits they’ll provide for your skincare regimen.
Almonds are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In fact, doctors often recommend massaging babies with almond oil because it helps to soothe and smooth their skin. High in niacin, riboflavin and linoleic acid (which is an essential fatty acid), almonds also aid in skin pigmentation and dryness and help protect your cells from oxidative damage. Almond is a major contributor to anti-ageing. One of the most prominent signs of ageing occurs on the hands and feet. Consider switching to Crate61’s Almond Soap Bar for daily handwashing in order to keep your hands looking young, healthy and hydrated.
Did you know that eating avocados, as well as applying avocado oil to the body, can improve skin elasticity, minimize breakouts, prevent skin damage and dry skin, and soothe skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema? Avocados are a natural ingredient that can easily be incorporated into your daily skincare routine. Some even recommend using an avocado face (mixed with coconut oil and honey) on your for an ultimate glow. Crate61’s Avocado Grapefruit Soap Bar will nourish and elevate your skin so that you enjoy a youthful complexion for years to come.
Charcoal is now being incorporated in everything from face masks to toothpaste, and for good reason. The ingredient helps to remove impurities, reduce acne breakouts and controls oiliness. If you find yourself constantly combatting the complexities of oily skin, incorporating charcoal products into your skincare routine might be the best option for you. Charcoal will help absorb toxins from your body, remove bacteria from your spit and will even help you achieve a healthy glow without too much shine. To get started, try Crate61’s Activated Charcoal Soap Bar.
4. Cocoa Butter
Many people purchase expensive lotions and serums in hopes of removing scars or minimizing stretch marks. But one of the best ingredients to achieve this is cocoa butter. This raw material is often used to smooth scars, wrinkles and other marks on the skin. This is especially relevant for women during pregnancy. It has also been known to promote healing for rashes from conditions like eczema and dermatitis. Crate61’s Cocoa Tea Tree Soap Bar incorporates this power ingredient, in addition to tea tree oil, in order to provide nourishment to those who need it most.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most versatile products on the market, especially for the skin. It hydrates, soothes, and minimizes the look of fine lines and wrinkles while also reducing redness. It’s also a great base for exfoliants and absorbs easily, allowing natural products to nourish and hydrate the skin the way they are intended to. One of the most common areas for dryness is the lips and Crate61’s Coconut Lip Balm can help to provide hydration and moisture for hours. With simple ingredients but great results, you’ll feel good about adding this product into your daily routine.
6. Eucalyptus Oil
On its own, eucalyptus oil helps to relieve sunburn due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It also offers a natural cooling sensation, which many people find soothing if they’re suffering from an infection or wound. Products that contain eucalyptus oil have also been known to aid with acne pain and scarring. Crate61’s Eucamint Liquid Soap is a great option for everyone looking for a body wash or hand soap that is gentle, yet soothing to the skin. The natural calming scent is another added bonus!
Lemongrass has many purifying properties which makes it an ideal ingredient for skincare. It helps to remove impurities, detoxify the skin and leave it feeling clean and clear. The antioxidants are known to help neutralize “free radicals”, a process that can be harmful to your skin and lead to accelerated ageing. Keep your lips looking young and supple with Crate61’s Peppermint Lemongrass Lip Balm.
Think of oatmeal as one of the most natural exfoliants. Not only can it soak up excess oil on the skin, but it can also be used to help treat acne. It offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat dry skin and remove dead skin cells, and also contains compounds called saponins, which are natural cleansers. Oatmeal has the ability to remove the dirt and oil that clogs pores and prevents your skin from glowing too much. To get that natural glow, try incorporating Crate61’s Oatmeal Shea Soap Bar into your daily skincare routine.
9. Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is a staple ingredient in our kitchen for a variety of health reasons. This should be no different when it comes to skincare. Olive oil benefits the skin because of its high vitamin content and antibacterial effects. Not only does it moisturize, but it also contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which all help to prevent premature signs of ageing. If you’re looking for a soap that will be gentle and good for your skin, Crate61’s Castile Soap Bar is made from 100% olive oil.
Patchouli oil is derived from a plant and is used in many different natural skincare products due to its various beneficial properties. The oil treats skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne, as well as dry and cracked skin. Many people find the natural scent also provides feelings of relaxation and helps to ease symptoms of stress or anxiety. Crate61’s Patchouli Lime Soap Bar is a great option for daily skin cleansing. Not only will it provide moisture and hydration, but you’ll also feel refreshed and relaxed right after using it.
11. Peppermint Oil
According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, a New York City-based dermatologist, peppermint oil can naturally cleanse the skin, as well as soothe irritation and inflammation due to acne. It also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which many prefer their skincare products to have. If you find yourself constantly struggling with infections or cold sores, Crate61’s Peppermint Lemongrass Lip Balm is a great option to get your lips looking and feeling soft and supple.
12. Sea Salt
While one might not think of sea salt as an ingredient in skincare, it actually has many great benefits. In an article on the Women’s Best website, sea salt was claimed to fight acne-causing bacteria, restore the skin’s natural pH balance, and exfoliate impurities that clog pores, as well as promote new skin growth. Crate61 has a Seaweed Sea Salt Soap Bar that uses sea salt as one of the main ingredients. The bar will help naturally exfoliate the body and reveal skin that is healthy and glowing.
Did you know that seaweed can help to reduce skin pigmentation? While there are many benefits of this ingredient, skin pigmentation is an issue that many people want to resolve and there is not a lot of product selection on the market that can do this naturally. Crate61’s Seaweed Sea Salt Soap Bar can help with this skin concern, and more. With seaweed as one of the main ingredients, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of everything it has to offer.
14. Shea Butter
Shea butter has many benefits in regard to skincare and hair care. Not only does it moisturize dry skin, but it also helps to treat acne and blemishes. It can also provide relief to itchy and peeling skin, restores elasticity and reduces stretch marks. The ingredient is truly powerful when it comes to skincare, which is why many brands choose to incorporate it into their products. Crate61’s Oatmeal Shea Soap Bar offers all of these benefits, along with 100% natural ingredients. Whether you use it on your hands, body or face, you’ll notice the benefits almost instantly.
15. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil offers an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. It is included as an ingredient in skincare products in order to reduce redness and swelling, as well as help to relieve painful and irritated skin. If someone is suffering from an infection or skin conditions like eczema, tea tree oil can offer soothing and relief. Crate61’s Bergamot Tea Tree Liquid Soap is a great option for anyone that is experiencing dryness of the hands or prone to infection.
The Earth offers us so many great materials and resources that have the ability to naturally nourish our bodies. As a society, we always encourage others to eat whole foods and the same should be said about skincare. It’s important for us to use products that naturally benefit our skin, as opposed to synthetic naturals that cause more harm than good.
Ready To Experience The Benefits Of Natural Skin Care Products?
If you have any doubt before, hopefully now you know just how beneficial natural skincare products can be for your skin and your overall health. Not only can clean ingredients, such as olive oil and oatmeal provide your skin with the same flow and moisture as artificial elements, but natural ingredients also don’t leave your body with any adverse effects.
Head over to your cabinet and start reading those labels of everything you apply to your skin on a daily basis. Remove accordingly, and begin your research on products that are actually good for you and your skin. Crate61 is a great place to get started.
Get ready to nourish with nature and glow from within!