Updated: Jun 28, 2019
There are just SO many products available for consumers today and boy are we spoilt for choice. Who doesn’t get tempted to buy and try everything when you enter drugstores, especially those with raving reviews online and on TV?? But since we are working on limiting harmful chemicals in our skincare and cosmetics, below are some pointers to consider before making your purchases.
1. Do your research!
- Basic simple research online will help you find out about brands and specific products with low chemical content or even free from harmful chemicals. You will discover plenty of other options available. In fact, before buying anything, it is always best to find more information about the product you are interested in, be it skincare or cosmetics. Just the same as the googling we would do for our holiday destinations and places to eat! 👀
2. Know your ingredients.
- Again, with the internet today, there really is no excuse to not be able to learn about ingredients used in skincare products. With the available access to information, you can learn to identify what ingredients are harmful for you so you can keep an eye out for it (See our previous post here for some names of harmful chemicals widely used in skincare products). This is also good to know as some chemicals with scientific names listed are non-toxic such as Sodium Chloride, which is actually just salt, used as preservative or a thickening agent in cosmetics.
3. Read the label.
- This is important. You may know all the names of the harmful chemicals to avoid but you if ignore the label, really, what’s the point? 🤷♀️ So read the label. And as mentioned in previous post, the ones that are listed first on the ingredient list are the ones with the highest content in the product.
4. Find substitutes.
- If you are ready to make that first step towards change, let’s start with finding alternatives for products we use daily as necessity. For example, deodorants. Drugstores now have plenty of options for natural and non-toxic deodorants of different brands. Although they might seem slightly pricier than your usual sprays and roll-ons, they are safer and can last long too. On your next visit to the drugstore just have a chat with the staff and ask them about brands with safer ingredients for whatever product you need.
5. Expiration date and PAOs!
- People overlook this but, check the expiration date of the products you use and also the PAO (period after opening) recommended, and best to follow it. PAO can be found on the packaging label and will indicate how many month you can use the product after opening before throwing it away.
This is important because once a product is opened, it is exposed to microbes and bacteria growth. Not only that, over time, chemical content can also change in the product. All this can lead to irritations, infections and all that can come with contaminated products. So know when to let go!
All In all, we need to be better informed consumers. Doing all the recommended above allow us to be able to make informed decisions. But most importantly, the ultimate motivation to even want to be health conscious and to be a better informed consumer is, to understand the risks and effects of the harmful chemicals in skincare and cosmetics. They do say, fear is a great motivator.