Are your personal care and household products harming the environment? How can you learn what to look out for when making your personal care and household purchases?
There are a few simple ways that you and your loved ones can lessen your environmental impact and limit your exposure to harmful chemicals.
Become a more conscientious, eco-friendly personal care shopper in the next 30 days by learning what to look for when shopping for personal care products and changing your purchasing habits:
1. USE LESS AND LIMIT YOUR EXPOSURE
You can reduce your or your family’s everyday exposure to harmful chemicals by using fewer personal care products and limiting yourselves to the real essentials. This will also reduce your household waste in the form of plastic containers and save you money too!
2. CHOOSE PRODUCTS WITH MORE THAN ONE USE
If you’re going to choose to use less, then it’s important to choose wisely. Select products that not only meet your most essential needs but that are versatile enough to be used for more than one purpose. OSEA products have been designed to be natural multitaskers due to their potent marine and botanical ingredients. Feel free to contact us on LiveChat to learn more about the various uses of your OSEA products. We also love brands like Dr. Bronner’s who don’t shy away from telling consumers that their products can be used for more than one purpose and can even be diluted so that they last longer.
3. READ YOUR LABELS CAREFULLY
Reading labels carefully is key to protecting yourself, your family and the environment from unsavory skincare additives. If a product contains synthetic fragrance or color, parabens etc. you will probably want to give it a miss. It doesn’t matter what other claims the product makes or how pretty the packaging is.
A few big time environmental offenders to steer clear of are:
- Plastic Microbeads
- Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are two of the big ones!)
- Petroleum or Mineral Oil
Our friends at OSEA Malibu have carefully developed their natural skincare without any of the above, eschewing any other skincare ingredients that don't meet their high standards for purity, quality and safety. We developed our "Never List" of ingredients we will never use based on what we would never want to put on our own skin. (Read more about OSEA and four generations of women who fell in love with the sea here.)
Bonus Fact: OSEA uses the INCI system of labeling for our products. Unfortunately many personal care brands use what is called “soft labeling” which is simply the familiar name of the ingredient.
For example, Vitamin E is not an INCI name, instead it is Tocopherol and there are many variations of Tocopherol – some are naturally derived and others are 100% synthetic. The INCI labeling system is very precise and allows you to be able to determine the origin of the ingredient. Many of the cosmetic products that you see on the market (especially the companies who are writing the common name for the ingredient on the label) are hiding their preservatives in the herbal extracts. Most herbal extracts are preserved with parabens and the oldest trick in the book is to claim to be “preservative free” and use these extracts (including grapefruit seed extract) that contain preservatives to preserve a formula.
PHOTO:© 5 Gyres Institute
For more info on how to read a label and what to avoid: check out this handy guide by our friends at the Environmental Working Group: Know the ingredients in your personal care products.
Finally, If you want to take your commitment to being eco-friendly one step further, learn how your household’s “greywater” can safely be reused to irrigate your garden, effectively reducing water consumption. Water that has been used at least once but may still be clean enough for other jobs is called greywater. Water from sinks, showers, dishwashers, and clothes washers are the most common household examples. When you use personal care and household products that don’t contain harmful chemicals your greywater is safe to reuse for outdoor tasks like irrigating your garden. We found that Greywater Action offers really comprehensive information on how to safely repurpose your household’s greywater.