At Rio Rosa Mosqueta, we’re firm believers that you shouldn’t put on your skin what you can’t eat. Nature has provided the finest botanicals to do a brilliant job of keeping our skin clean, moisturised and radiant all on their own, so why add anything else? Sadly, many skincare and cosmetics companies don’t share our sentiments - adding what we like to call ‘nasties’ to their products.
‘Nasties’ are unnecessary colourants, fragrances and other (sometimes) harmful chemicals which can be absorbed into your skin (the body’s largest organ), causing unwanted effects. Here are some of the worst offenders that you should be checking your labels for:
Parabens prevent the growth of bacteria, mould and yeast in cosmetic products. Whilst this is a good thing, they also have oestrogen-mimicking properties which are associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
Instead, opt for paraben-free skincare which use natural preservatives. As long as you use your product before the use-by date, you’ll have nothing to worry about!
Synthetic colours are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources and are suspected carcinogens and skin irritants. Some synthetic colours have even been linked to ADHD in children. We prefer to leave our products the same colour as nature intended!
‘Fragrance’ is a term often used to disguise the concoction of chemicals which create the product’s scent. According to the EWG Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, and effects on the reproductive system.
Sodium lauryl/ laureth sulfate (SLS/ SLES) is found in 90% of personal care and cleaning products and helps toiletries such as face wash, shampoo and shower gel ‘lather up’. However, they’re known skin, lung and eye irritants which can combine with other ingredients to form carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals).
The good news is that non-foaming cleansers, such as our Cream Cleanser, do just as good a job, so making the switch is easy!
Another chemical to watch out for in foaming products is DEA. You know that sting you get when you accidentally rub shampoo in your eye? DEA is the culprit, and has been found to be a skin and eye irritant that can cause contact dermatitis. There are lots of natural alternatives out there that are much kinder to your skin, and still work just as effectively, if not better!
Also known as ‘Polyethylene Glycol’, PEG is used as an emulsifier to allow oil to be mixed with water-based ingredients in products like facial cleansers. However, PEG has been found to upset the moisture balance of the skin and even accelerate ageing (which is something your skincare regime should most certainly not do).
OK, so we’re not talking about what’s in your morning brew here! TEA (or Triethanolamine) can be found in products like soaps, makeup and perfume. It’s a fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster and surfactant and has been found to cause mild-moderate skin irritation. It’s harmful to fish and other wildlife too, which isn’t ideal if, like us, you want to minimise your impact on the environment.
Of course, protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays is a must, but many sunscreens do this by using easily-absorbed chemicals which act as endocrine disruptors. Luckily, there are natural protectors such as Red Algae which defend against daily UV damage.
And finally, microbeads are now banned in the UK, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! These small bits of plastic were added to exfoliators but wreaked havoc with our waterways. These polluting beads end up in our oceans and food chain, and are regularly eaten by marine life and birds. Not sure if your scrub contains microbeads? If it does, the ingredients list will include polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethylmethacrylate, PET, PTFE or PMMA.
If you’re ever in doubt when it comes to skincare ingredients, our advice is to opt for brands that state their skincare is 100% natural. And remember, if a product’s packaging states it contains a natural ingredient, that doesn’t always mean all of the ingredients are natural.