Personal care products support skin, hair and nails, nourishing the body with natural compounds that are free of harmful chemicals. Personal Care Products:
What are Personal Care Products?
Every day, skin, hair and nails are bombarded by a range of stressors: Heat, cold, the sun’s short-wavelength UV rays, environmental toxins and more. In addition to making hair, skin and nails dry, chapped and dull, these factors are believed to play a role in the natural aging process, generating free radicals that have been linked to cellular aging. Besides these external environmental assaults, another age-accelerating factor may paradoxically lie in the toxins and synthetics found in non-natural personal care products that many people use on a daily basis.
Most bathroom cabinets are filled with a range of care products, including skin creams, lotions, lip balm, serums, shampoos, conditioners and deodorants. In fact, the average American consumer uses over ten of these products each day, regularly exposing themselves to chemicals and potential toxins. Many of these synthetic ingredients are untested; studies show that the FDA has only evaluated the safety of 11 percent of the more-than 10,500 chemicals commonly used in personal care products.
Over time, the synthetic chemicals in these products may accumulate in the body, creating what is known as body burden or toxic load. Some of these synthetic ingredients are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants and inflammatory compounds, all of which may lead to health concerns.**
Recent testing of non-natural lip care products, for example -- such as glosses and lipsticks -- suggests that some contained high levels of heavy metals such as lead, a known neurotoxin, cadmium and arsenic. Meanwhile, non-natural hair and body care products may contain ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate and phthalates, both hormone disrupters; carcinogens like paraben, DEA and dioxane; and propylene glycol, a surfactant linked to kidney, liver, skin and eye health concerns.
In addition to creating health concerns, exposure to some toxins may influence the appearance of aging. Harsh chemicals sometimes have a drying effect, leading to irritated and flaky skin that’s dull, dry, wrinkle-prone and devoid of that supple, hydrated glow that’s so closely associated with youthfulness. Harsh synthetic products may also dry out the hair, creating a rough, frizzy look that may exacerbate the thinning and greying that are a natural part of aging.
As more consumers grow increasingly aware of the potential for toxic exposure, negative environmental impact, and other drawbacks of synthetic products, many are making a choice to switch to natural products, only. From lip balm to deodorant, creams to serums, natural products are sourced from botanical ingredients that leave a lighter footprint on the earth while nourishing skin, hair and nails with pure, plant-based components.
Some of the most popular natural personal care products include:
- Argan Oil: Argan oil is sourced from the nuts of the ironwood tree, a native of Morocco. Prized for millennia as an emollient, this rich oil hydrates skin and hair and supplies a rich array of plant sterols, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamins E and A.**
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum: The body naturally produces hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan in connective tissues. In addition to its reputed support for joint comfort, hyaluronan may soothe irritated skin and deliver a moisturizing effect that is believed to plump skin for a youthful appearance. **
- Tea Tree Oil: This aromatic oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca tree, an Australian native long prized for its skin-supportive properties. Tea tree oil has been found to promote clear skin and help with blemishes.**
- Vitamin C Cream: Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports the body’s natural production of collagen, an important component of supple, firm skin.** It’s also an antioxidant that helps protect against UV damage and helps reduce the signs of aging related to sun exposure. In cream form, this nutrient may be topically applied for quick absorption and targeted delivery to skin.**
- Coconut Oil: Long valued across the tropics for its many culinary uses, coconut oil has hydrating and soothing properties that helps seal moisture into hair, skin and nails.** It is also a rich source of lauric acid, a fatty acid that supports strong, lustrous and healthy hair.**
- Retinol Cream: Retinol creams deliver retinoids deep into the skin; these compounds have been linked to helping even skin tone and firm, resilient skin texture.** Retinol also supplies skin-supportive antioxidant activity.**
- Emu Oil: For hundreds of years, Australian aborigines have used oil from emu fat assist with skin concerns.** Studies show that this fatty oil contains naturally soothing compounds that may support its many traditional uses.**
- Vitamin E Oil: Vitamin E, a fat-soluble nutrient, delivers antioxidant activity that helps fight the skin cell-damaging effects of free radicals.** Topical use of vitamin E oil may help to optimize the appearance and firmness of healthy skin.**
- Apricot Kernel Oil: Oil from apricot kernels supplies antioxidants that helps slow the effects of oxidation, which may in turn promote smooth, youthful-looking skin.** This sweet-smelling oil acts as a natural emollient with beneficial beautifying properties for skin and hair.**
- Aloe Vera Moisturizing Cream: For millennia, the medical traditions of Asia, South America and Europe have prized the aloe vera plant; this succulent botanical delivers more than 70 beneficial phytochemicals. Aloe vera is traditionally used to soothe skin after sunburn or other irritations.**
Personal Care Products
Personal care products are available for topical use in a range of forms, such as cream, lotion, serum, oil, powder, shampoo and conditioner.
Personal Care Products Directions for Use
These natural care products for hair, skin and nails supply varying amounts of active nutrients, so there is no set serving size. Always consult a healthcare provider before introducing any new products into your daily regimen.