True organic skin care products prove hard to find


Sunday 21st  March 2013 

So, “How hard can it be to find organic skin care products with no chemicals?”

There is a view in my household that this will become the inscription on my headstone – and after my latest attempt to solve a health conundrum I’m beginning to understand why.

Just after Christmas I received a very poignant letter from a reader who told me that her father had recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer and would be undergoing chemotherapy, and subsequently radiotherapy to deal with it.

I read on hoping that she wasn’t going to ask my advice about controlling cancer, as such things are well beyond my remit.

However, her request for help was somewhat simpler and indeed I considered very achievable.

“Every year we all go on holiday together.” she wrote, “Mum and Dad love being with the kids and we all have such a fantastic time.

“The problem is that Dad’s treatment will cause his skin to react badly to sunlight and even on the dreariest days he needs to apply sunblock.

“Having looked around the local health shops, specialist outdoor shops and across the internet I can’t find any products which he can use.

“He needs something with no alcohol in, no petroleum derivatives in and no artificial ingredients.”

Just How Hard Can It Be to find something to fit the bill I thought...

...and it has taken me nearly six months to find out, and I consider myself a fairly well connected chap!

In the voyage of discovery I conducted it became obvious that the challenge my reader faced is actually one that we all need to think about – we are subjected to assault on a daily basis form a horde of unwanted chemicals.

Read on to find out why your daily shower could be doing you more harm than good, and how you could improve your daily life.

Discover a range of products which are free from nasties here

Parabens and other hidden nasties that could be destroying your skin

Here’s two startling statistics for you.

1) Studies have shown that 1 in 4 people suffer skin allergies due to sensitivity

2) The cosmetics industry gets away with adding at least 100,000 tonnes of man-made chemicals to products that are then labelled as ‘organic’ or ‘natural’.

Has no-one thought to put these two bits of information together?

To put some meat on the bones of the level of suffering involved for those with skin allergies consider this from the National Eczema Society report entitled ‘Eczema and its management – a guide for Pharmacists’;

“The incidence of eczema has increased threefold over the past 30 years and today15–20% of schoolchildren in the UK suffer to some degree from eczema. In addition,1–2% of adults also have atopic eczema, and contact dermatitis affects approximately9% of the UK population.”

When you consider that many commonly used skin and hair care products can be loaded with synthetic chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals or synthetic fragrances and colourants, you have to wonder what they are doing to us.

They sound like a list of nasties don’t they?...

...and they are - some of them very seriously so.

When I started researching that databases for evidence for how these chemicals affect us I didn’t expect to discover such a huge range of damning studies.

For example in 2013 so far there have been 76 published studies discussing how our bodies are impacted by chemical agents found in care products – very few of them are positive!

I came across research pieces which linked these compounds to thyroid gland damage(1), hormone disruption in children(2) and male infertility(3).

And those were just for parabens!

Looking at other materials there are links to autism(4) associated with perfumes used in personal care products and cancer, respiratory problems and reproductive issues for phthalates(5).

Data from trials such as this has led to the French National Assembly proposing a bill to ban parabens, phthalates and alkylphenols(5) – and they are not alone as several other countries have made similar moves.

Having unearthed the wealth of information about these compounds I can fully understand why we need to be concerned.

On the other hand there is also data from the manufacturers who suggest that their products are safe and in such wide use that the risk associated are negligible.

And that may well be something that they truly believe in.

But I think I may have discovered something which challenges their concept of safety.

Let me explain.

Discover why simple addition is more than the sum of its parts

Just for a moment think about your daily routine.

Unless you are a tramp chances are you will visit some soap and water on waking, you might even douse yourself under a shower with liberal helpings of shampoo and bodywash.

For the rugged types among us there is a chance that you will lather your chins and shave, the ladies may chose other areas to address!

Once you emerge sparkling from your morning ablutions there is a good chance that you will reach for the smellies and dab an armpit with product or splash on the scent/aftershave.

Chances are you will feel refreshed, clean and ready to face the world – unfortunately you are also covered in the very chemicals I have been discussing above.

Now, the individual manufacturers will want to tell you that their brand is safe and that the level of synthetic molecules is well within safe limits...

...the problem is you didn’t just use one product – you have used maybe half a dozen and that’s where the problem lies.

This combination of differing products raises the risks.

In these circumstances the additive effects of the chemicals actually becomes a multiplication sum rather than a summation.

Makes you think doesn’t it?

A way forward

One of the first outcomes of my trip the Organic & Natural Products Show a few weeks ago is that I spoke to a very enlightened organisation that produce a range of skincare and personal care products that are entirely free from all of these synthetics.

They not only were able to solve the dilemma of appropriate sun cream for my reader, but they also provided me with a complete sprucing range to calm my troubled mind.

Have a look for yourself on the shop here.

A bit of daily care will help lift mind, body and spirit – doing so with the right products will mean we are safer doing so – after all...

..How hard can it be!

Yours, as always



(1) Thuy T.B. Vo, Yeong-Min Yoo, Kyung-Chul Choi, Eui-Bae Jeung (2010); Potential estrogenic effect(s) of parabens at the prepubertal stage of a postnatal female rat model. Reproductive Toxicology, Volume 29, Issue 3, June 2010, Pages 306-316

(2) Julie Boberg, Camilla Taxvig, Sofie Christiansen, Ulla Hass (2010); Possible endocrine disrupting effects of parabens and their metabolites. Reproductive Toxicology, Volume 30, Issue 2, September 2010, Pages 301-312

(3) Renata S. Tavares, Fátima C. Martins, Paulo J. Oliveira, João Ramalho-Santos, Francisco P. Peixoto (2009);Parabens in male infertility—Is there a mitochondrial connection? Reproductive Toxicology, Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2009, Pages 1-7

(4) Omar Bagasra, Zhabiz Golkar, Miranda Garcia, Lakya N. Rice, Donald Gene Pace (2013); Role of perfumes in pathogenesis of Autism Original Research Article

Medical Hypotheses, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 8 April 2013

(5) Ventrice, P., Ventrice, D., Russo, E., De Sarro, G., Phthalates (2013);European regulation, chemistry, pharmacokinetic and related toxicity, Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology (2013)








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