by Emma Peters January 30, 2017

In a perfect world, the ingredients we put on our skin would be obvious and easily deciphered. It seems only sensible that a consumer should be able to understand the list on the back of their favourite moisturiser. In reality, things are a little more tricky.

safe skincare products

If you’re passionate about natural beauty, the world of lists and commonly used chemicals is a hard one to navigate. Which ingredients are the most harmful? Which ones are better? Is there any perfect solution?

At Belle & Sage we reckon perfection takes time, and we’re always striving to dig a little deeper and know a little more, so we can all live a little better. This time of year we see lots of beachy beauty products – lots of them full of carefully hidden chemicals.

Here’s some ingredients to avoid this summer, along with dreamy swaps that’ll let you have fun in the sun – naturally!

Aluminium Salts

These show up all the time in things like anti-perspirants and deodorants, which most people burn through like wildfire during the sweatier, summer months. Aluminum salts are a neurotoxin, meaning that they can negatively affect the nervous system if they enter the bloodstream. There’s also conflicting evidence linking them to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer, which might not be enough to condemn the ingredient outright, but does make you wonder why we’re willing to put up with it when there are better alternatives on offer.

Swap your deodorant for…

eco tan deoderantZOO_1x_CU_lid_off_in_square_grande

These two deodorants will keep you feeling fresh from dawn until dusk and are completely free of aluminium salts! Eco by Sonya Driver Coconut Deodorant smells amazing, using witch hazel and baking soda for anti-bacterial properties and absorbency. Zoo Deodorant has the funkiest packaging we’ve seen and they donate 50 cents from every pot to The Orangutan Project – bonus!

Chemical sunscreens

Sunscreen is a summer necessity, which makes the amount of chemicals commonly used even more of a shame. Many popular sunscreens useOctinoxate, Oxybenzone , PABA or Octyl-Methoxycinnamate to help combat UV rays from the harsh sun which are unfortunately rated 6 for toxicity on The EWG Skin Deep website’s scale. According to EWG, the highest concern when it comes to these chemicals is biochemical or cellular level changes and endocrine disruption (also known as things that can wreak havoc on your hormone systems).

Swap yours for…

Frankie Apothecary Sunscreennahaia natural facial sunscreen

Both of these are SPF 20 or above and are a great for keeping your skin safe without the chemicals. Frankie Apothecary Sunscreen and Bug Repellant goes on smooth with no greasy feeling and gets rid of mozzies to boot! Nahaia Natural Facial Sunscreen is equally lovely, with a blend of native NZ plant oils and essences for extra nourishment.

Ethol amines

These suckers are normally listed on products as ‘DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) or ETA (ethanolamine)’, so be on the lookout next time you pick up a pot or tube of your favourite product. Ethol amines hide in heaps of summer products, from sunscreens to lotions or even some kinds of skin cleansers. The main concern with these is the possibility of accumulating in the liver and kidneys – not much fun at all.

Swap your lotion for…

Savar Nourishing Body Lotion

Ethol amine free, Savar Nourishing Body Lotion is the perfect for slathering on your body before and after the beach. What it lacks in chemicals it makes up for in scrumptious natural ingredients like evening primrose oil, organic fig and passionflower to soothe and nourish from top to toe.

Emma Peters
Emma Peters

Emma Peters, organic makeup artist, creative director and founder of Belle & Sage, is committed to leading the conversation around beauty and wellness. With over twenty years of experience as a make-up artist, she knows you don’t have to sacrifice quality for clean.

She’ll help you find the what, learn the why, nail the how, and everything in between.

Letting you know more, wear better, and start making beautiful choices: from the inside, out.

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