Heinen’s Wellness Consultant, Andrea, shares an inside look at the importance of
label reading in the body care industry.
As consumers, we are faced with making choices every day, and reading labels is part of that process. Knowing what is in the personal care products that we are using daily can become very important when we know that the two most direct pathways into our bloodstream are through inhalation (lungs) and topical application (skin).
We absorb 60-80% of what we put on our skin! This can happen in as little as 2 minutes or less. Men and women are equally vulnerable, as are children.
Are you Aware?
No legislation has been updated since 1938 for body care and cosmetic products. Up to date there are over 80,000 chemicals available on the marketplace, with very few having been independently tested for safety. The FDA does not regulate nor hold any real accountability for what chemicals are used, leaving the responsibility solely up to the manufacturer. Consumer groups are concerned as some of the chemicals currently being used have some real health risks associated with them, and the long- term effects are unknown. Read more here.
If you do try to read labels, it can feel a little confusing and overwhelming. It is difficult to know what most of these ingredients are, let alone pronounce them or know what health risks they are linked to. All you want is a great body bar soap, but for your personal skincare, it would be wise to practice these easy tips to lead toward more knowledge about your own health.
The good news is:
- You have the power of informed choice.
- You have resources to help educate and guide you.
- By making more discerning product choices lower in chemicals, it takes only 3-4 days for your body to reflect the change.
Where to Start? Read the Label!
A Simple Basic Guideline: Look for…
- shorter lists of ingredients with fewer chemicals
- products free of phthalates (synthetic fragrances), parabens (synthetic preservatives), sulfates, DEA, PEG, MEA, TEA, Triclosan, Propylene Glycol, Toluene to name a few
- products free of FD&C color and pigments (synthetic)
- ingredients you can pronounce and recognize as natural – eg. olive oil, aloe vera, etc.
A Way to Make it Easier
Here are two great phone apps that rate products for you. Just scan the bar code on your product:
EWG’s Healthy Living App
Think Dirty App
Also know that Heinen’s is expanding its natural Health and Beauty Care offering. Ask your Heinen’s Wellness Consultant for more information and recommendations.
Here are a few of my Favorites:
- Swell Skincare, using sea buckthorn oil for its nutritive and anti-aging properties
- Morningsong Gardens face and body creams, bar soaps, muscle and joint rub
- Every Man Jack Men’s complete body care line
- Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, bar soaps and toothpastes
- Magic Mud toothpaste
- Heinen’s handmade vegetable soaps
- Heinen’s Essential Oils
- Aunt Fannie’s Bug Spray and wipes (NEW!)
With summer approaching, it is also a great time to look for healthier options for bug spray and sunscreen. These options should become part of your skincare routine, as they are great for the summer and will not leave any lasting side effects.
Keep in mind that this is a journey, and being discerning to take steps to reduce your exposure where you can will serve your body greatly in the long run. Our everyday choices really do make a difference and your body care products should be good for you!
- Educate yourself
- Read labels
- Evaluate and make small changes
- Give your body time to adapt to the new products
- Be patient
- Be open to making further changes
Do it because you care about yourself, the environment and the planet as a whole. You will be glad that you did!