The water you drink is worth every drop! But, the water in your skincare is not.
Drinking water can help increase your energy, flush out toxins, improve digestion, prevent cramps and headaches, and improve your skin’s complexion. The water you drink hydrates you from the inside out. So you might assume that water-based skincare would hydrate you from the outside in. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
A Polluted, Inactive Ingredient
Take a peek at the labels on your skincare, shampoo, and any other bottles lying around your bathroom sink. I can almost guarantee that the majority of them have water listed as one of the first ingredients. If water is listed at or near the beginning, the product is most likely 75% to 95% water.
Because drinking water is so good for our skin, we assume water-based skincare can only hydrate our skin even more. However, most of the water in your skincare evaporates before the skin absorbs it. As the water evaporates, it takes with it many of the skin’s natural oils. This makes your skin lose moisture and contributes to aging and dryness. It could also make your skin more oily, since your body will overproduce sebum to get the dry skin back to normal.
Most companies use tap water in their skincare, and there’s a good chance that it hasn’t been filtered or purified. So when you slather on your flowery-smelling lotion, you’re actually polluting your skin with dirty water.
The only thing water does is help the product stretch further. It might help with more smoothly applying the product to the skin, but you’ll have to use more later. Using more of the product means you’ll be buying it again sooner (e.g. wasting your money) and covering your body in even more chemicals and toxins.
First comes Water, then come Toxins
Water-based skincare usually contains oils as well. Have you ever tried to mix water and oil? It doesn’t work; they combine for a few seconds and then quickly separate. To prevent separation, commercial skincare companies add emulsifiers. The common ones are cetyl alcohol, sorbitan oleate, stearyl alcohol, stearic acid and triethanolamine. (How many times did you have to read those to attempt to pronounce them?)
Another common emulsifier is sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). You can find it in toothpaste and products that foam — such as shampoo, detergents and bubble bath. SLS promotes the formation of a group of carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines, can damage the epidermis, and causes skin irritation. Children who soak in a tub of bubble bath, for instance, are especially vulnerable to urinary infections caused by SLS.
When a product contains an emulsifier, preservatives are included to keep the product from spoiling. The most common preservatives are parabens and synthetic parabens. Parabens promote skin aging and the production of estrogen, and they are increasingly linked to early puberty in girls. Naturally occurring parabens are found in some foods that are metabolized by the liver, lessening their estrogen-production effects. Unfortunately, synthetic parabens cannot be metabolized in the body. They increase estrogen production, disrupt hormone functions and cause DNA damage.
Parabens are directly linked to breast cancer and cause negative reproductive effects in both females and males. Because of the vast array of cosmetics women use, it is estimated that women absorb about 50mg of synthetic parabens every day.
What’s the sOILution?
Oil-based skincare! Products that have oil as one of the main ingredients — and that don’t contain water or chemicals — will do so many wonderful things for your skin. And, you won’t have to worry about polluting your skin or damaging the inside of your body.
When you use oil on your skin, it’s lipophilic nature allows it to combine with your natural oils and push out the dirt and bad bacteria. Oils have nourishing and healing properties that make them active ingredients. So if they’re combined with other real, natural ingredients such as herbs and essential oils, they’ll heal your skin more quickly and efficiently.
A product made with straight-from-the-earth ingredients will have a label that’s easy to read: saponified coconut, olive and jojoba oils; aloe vera; rosemary extract; white kaolin clay; french green clay; grapefruit peel; honey; and lavender.
All-natural oil-based products are not watered down. They may cost more up front, but a little goes a long way. You don’t need much for each application since you’re using a product with 100% active ingredients.
When buying commercial or all-natural skincare, remember to read the labels. What are the main ingredients? If water is listed, put it back on the shelf, and go with someone you can trust.
Talk with Trina
This Wednesday (May 31), I’m going LIVE on Facebook to talk about water in skincare. Join me! I’ll answer any questions you may have.