We are bombarded daily with endless adverts for skin and hair care products that will effortlessly perfect all of our blemishes and insecurities. The solemn oaths about what you have to gain by using the products (that are obviously so different to all others) are overwhelmingly convincing, and most of us find it pretty hard to resist. I mean who doesn’t want to look younger, fresher, clearer or more beautiful? The marketers know exactly which buttons to press to make you think you need improvement and we end up with cupboards and drawers full of products we almost certainly don’t need.
So what exactly do these products contain? The fact is, most of us can barely pronounce the ingredients list, let alone understand what is actually in them, but the unfortunate truth is that the same culprits appear again and again in the majority of modern cosmetics. Why? Because there is not an infinite number of products that humans can use to clean, moisturise or condition our skin or hair.
Enter preservatives, perfumes, colours, silicones, emulsifiers, detergents and agents. A chemical medley that at best does nothing but paint over the cracks and at worst can be seriously harmful to your health.
In small quantities, these individual ingredients are admittedly pretty harmless, but did you know that companies are not legally obliged to prove their ingredients are safe to use in the long term?
Regular use of conventional every day toiletries would expose a regular person to an astonishing array of industrial chemicals, typically as many as 20 different synthetic ingredients in just one product! As mentioned already, any normal person reading the ingredients list on most products has little chance of understanding the effects and so relies upon the cosmetic company to watch their back.
But do these companies have our best interests at heart?
Unfortunately tests on typical ingredients in cosmetics are linked to serious long term health issues, not least of all cancer, nerve damage and birth defects. Some governments even describe chemicals found in every day skincare, hair care and makeup products as hazardous waste!
Of course the chemicals used are in extremely low dosages and of course on single application have no real effect, but just think.. if you’re several products a day.. every day.. for all kinds of things? Unfortunately your skin is porous and therefore absorbs all these toxins, along with breathing it in the combination of long term chemical abuse in products can literally be lethal.
So what to do about it?
Well, obviously choosing your products carefully is the key to making a change for all. If consumers dramatically shy away from mass produced unethical products that are chemical wastelands, the cosmetic giants will have no choice but to rethink. Using fewer, better quality products that have ingredients you understand and can trust, will greatly reduce your chemical consumption.
Certified organic ingredients in products like the ones we have here at Mary Ann Weeks Aveda Walon and Guildford, will not only smell better and supply you with plant powered natural skin and hair care, but will avoid all the nasties found elsewhere. Watch out for the certified organic stamp for authenticity. Natural perfumes like essential oils are a great way to smell lovely without the synthetic chemically induced aromas which are often stifling and unpleasant.
Trying out your own formulas for things like hair and face masks is not only a good way to cater specifically for your own needs, but will also help you be sure of content as well as saving you money.
If not, you can trust that Aveda is continuing to improve its environmental policies in every way possible. Although not perfect and some chemicals are present in our products, we always aim to include as many ingredients defined by the green ingredient policy as possible. This includes ingredients that are:
- Sourced from organic, sustainable or renewable plant based origins
- Cover a range of different habitats from around the globe in order to maintain diverse ecological and cultural backdrop
- Fairly trade with suppliers
- Ensure the ecosystems they are sourced from are not negatively impacted
- Are biodegradable
- Are processed in an environmentally friendly way
- Are not animal tested
Aveda continue to strive towards our mission to protect our planet within our business model. By working alongside environmental research institutes, eliminating waste wherever possible, using renewable energy and tracing ingredients throughout the supply chain in our soil to bottle policy, we are committed to trying to do the right thing.
So next time your passing in Guildford or Walton Surrey, come and see any of our friendly staff and let us take you through our gorgeous range of ethical, plant based, cruelty free, chemical free products. They smell amazing and they really work! To quote the great Ghandi ‘Be the change you’d like to see in the world’ and choose who you support wisely.
We look forward to seeing you in store some time soon.