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Have you ever looked on the back of a cleaning product to see what’s in it? Or, maybe your daily moisturiser? How about your perfume? I’m sure many of us have tried and given up halfway through. To the average person it makes no sense.
Many of us are in the dark when it comes to knowledge about harmful chemicals in our everyday products. When you’re so accustomed to using products with a concoction of toxic chemicals, it can be hard to believe that natural options work as well as commercial products.
Don’t be fooled by ‘greenwashing’ either; we often see brands called ‘Natural XXXX’ but they are far from natural. Sadly there is no regulation around the word natural so this happening and very misleading.
Here at Flora & Fauna, we have extremely high product standards. Everything is 100% Vegan and cruelty free and you can always feel confident that everything you purchase is free from nasty chemicals such as Parabens and SLS’s.
Below, we’ve listed some of the main chemicals to steer clear of when purchasing a new product - aka, some of the worst offenders! Not to worry though, we’ve also included some great alternatives to some of your most used personal care and household products!
Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl)– A preservative used to stop the growth of fungus, bacteria and damaging microbes. Parabens, often labelled as methylparaben or ethylparaben, can be found in many cosmetics, skincare, shampoo, toothpastes and up to 90% of grocery items. Always check the ingredients as we see many products being touted as vegan and cruelty free but with parabens in.
Why avoid it? According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC), “Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity”. CSC cites a 2004 British study that detected traces of five parabens in the breast tumours of 19 out of 20 women studied.
Sulfate/SLS’s (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate) – Synthetic cleansing agent that creates suds/foam. Used in almost all soap-based products; shampoo, facial cleansers, and toothpaste, as well as floor cleaners and detergents. Look at those little shampoo and body wash tubes in hotels. Chances are they contain SLS.
Why avoid it? SLS’s dissolve the natural oils on your skin, causing dryness and potential irritation.The longer a product with SLS is on the skin, the more harmful it becomes. It’s unclear what the effects of SLS exposure are on long-term health.
BHA/BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene) – Preservatives used in cosmetics (lipsticks, moisturisers) and food.
Triclosan– An antibacterial and antifungal agent found in household products like soap, hand sanitisers, and toothpaste.
Why avoid it? Triclosan has been linked to disrupted hormone development, a reduction in bacterial resistance and an increase in allergies.It may also harm marine life and pollute our waterways.Triclosan was banned from soap products in the U.S in 2016.
Oxybenzone– A chemical used in sunscreens to absorb ultraviolet light, which is then absorbed into the skin.
Why avoid it? The Environmental Working Group and other toxicology experts believe that oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer. Oxybenzone is also damaging to our oceans and coral and has been banned in places like Hawaii.
Other chemicals you may want to avoid include Mineral Oil, Polyethylene, Phthalates, Petroleum Distillates, Coal Tar, Synthetic Colours, Propylene Glycol and Isopropyl Alcohol.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body. As it absorbs some of the chemicals we lather, spray and rub on it, it’s best to seek out natural alternatives to avoid ill-health or nasty side effects. Skincare products are notorious for containing harmful chemicals. On average, women can apply up to 515 chemicals on their body per day; cleanser, moisturiser, deodorant, perfume… The list goes on!
Over time and with prolonged use, these chemicals can wreak havoc on our skin, hormones, and overall health. Shop the Flora & Fauna Skin Care range here.
Cleanser - For your skincare regime, it’s crucial to choose a natural option with simple ingredients. Many brands are open and transparent about the ingredients in their products. This Green + Kind Facial Cleansing Bar has only three ingredients. Plus, it has low waste packaging. Win-Win! For a more luxurious option, this Delicious Skin Clean Oil Cleanserremoves all traces of dirt and cleanses your face while leaving it smooth and moisturised.
Moisturiser- ecostore’s SKIN range has been described as 'everything your skin needs, but nothing it doesn’t’. Their Hydrating Moisturiser is a perfect example of high quality ingredients used responsibly for the benefit of the consumer and the environment.
Sunscreen – As detailed in this blog post, purchasing a natural sunscreen is vital to your overall health. The Simple As That Suncreenis F&F’s best seller; it uses Zinc Oxide as its main active ingredient and is super effective in protecting you from the harsh Aussie sun. For the bubs, this UV Natural Suncreen is fragrance and preservative free! If you’re looking for an everyday facial sunscreen with SPF, our Wotnot Facial Sunscreen is a great option.
Perfume – As outlined before, exposure to synthetic fragrances can be extremely harmful for your health. It’s becoming increasingly important to seek out a natural option! This IME Natural Perfume Collection comes with nine samples; a perfect gift or tester before you buy a full bottle!
When purchasing cleaning products for around the home, we expect them to be effective, affordable, and most of all – safe! Unfortunately many commercial household cleaners are filled with toxic chemicals that can cause respiratory irritation or chemical burns, while others are associated with long-term ill effects such as hormone disruption or even cancer. Below, We’ve listed some natural alternatives to some commercial household items - give them a try! View F&F’s extensive household product range here.
Dishwashing liquid– This Fragrance Free ecostore Dish Liquid is perfect natural alternative to commercial dishwashing liquid. It’s pH balanced, so it’s kind to your skin and the environment.
Air freshener– Artificial fragrances can trigger headaches, allergies and other respiratory issues. For a natural alternative, try the Simple As That Room Spray. It’s made with only four ingredients! Or, try diffusing some of the ECO. Essential Oils! Using essential oils is a great way to make your home smell naturally wonderful.
Laundry detergent– Try soapberries! Soapberries are the fruit of the Sapindus Mukorossi tree. The shell of the fruit is collected, dried and packed for use. The shell is exceptionally high in 'saponin' which is nature's soap. This saponin content reduces the surface tension of the water so it will remove dirt and leave fabrics, soft and clean. That Red House Organic Soapberries are hypo-allergenic, compostable, and have a ton of different uses. How amazing is that?
All-purpose cleaner– This ecostore Multi-Purpose Cleaner is ideal for kitchens, appliances and surfaces. It’s tested against market leaders to ensure excellent results. Affordable, natural, effective… what’s not to love? Green Addict All Purpose Cleaner is palm oil free and very effective. Or, you can make your own homemade cleaning solutions; vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda can go a long way!
If you’ve made it to the end of this post… congratulations! Remember, small and gradual changes are better than none. Aim to be mindful of the products that you apply to your body or use around the house; your overall health will thank you for it!