Imagine, for a moment, skin creams and facial foundations, with nano-particles of aluminum, zinc and silica, ground so finely that they act like iridescent crystals to give your face a radiant glow!
Next, imagine that scientific advances in the beauty and skin care industry offer the chance for these nano-ingredients to penetrate all of the epidermal layers of your skin, so that they may travel even further into your body.
And finally, imagine that those nano-particles are so small, they are able to slip through the skin’s innermost layers, interacting with your immune system, and filtering straight into your bloodstream and vital organs.
Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating molecules on the nanoscale, which is 80,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
Amazing, you say? Absolutely!
Safe? …Well, that’s another story.
Like so many ingredients in the personal care industry, the use of nanoparticles is not regulated by the FDA. In fact, the FDA never gets involved in the safety of personal care products at all, unless a widespread health problem actually occurs. And the reason so many companies make claims of “Cruelty-free” and “No Animal Testing,” is because no one is testing product ingredients at all, anymore!
According to the Organic Consumers Association, toxicologists are alarmed by the trend of beauty industry companies to rush into production of nanocosmetics. The skin is a barrier for a reason: to keep out harmful substances. If nonoparticles can penetrate our skin layers, they can end up in the bloodstream, liver, lungs, brain, and other vital organs. And this, of course, begs the most important questions. Will they do damage? Will other substances piggy-back along on those tiny particles? And what happens when a number of different nanoparticles from our hand creams, foundations and sunscreens all jump in and swim together? And do we really want the profit-led, self-regulated cosmetics industry to give us the answers to these questions?
So, how do we avoid this emerging – but others may say, “enticing” – advancement in anti-aging skin care?
The answer? Nature.
Natural moisturizers can offer the very same qualities of their high-priced, chemical-laden counterparts. Consumers need only to read-up on product ingredients, check labels vigilantly, and stay informed. Remember, there currently are no requirements for manufacturers to list nanoparticles. Shoppers should, instead, look for products that contain beneficial ingredients, found only in nature.
Oils extracted from natural sources like pomegranate, rosehip, tangerine, rice bran, sweet almond and hempseed all have fantastic moisturizing, anti-aging and skin-penetrating properties that are both body- and eco-safe.
Cytophylactic ingredients, such as tangerine essential oil, help to stimulate generation of new cells, or more precisely, cell division. This not only promotes general healing of the body, but also helps to repair skin damage from things like sun and free-radicals.
Other natural ingredients, like pomegranate seed and rice bran oils, are rich in polyphenols and fight free-radicals with strong antioxidizing properties. Polyphenols help to naturally improve elasticity in skin, and can offer soothing relief for problems like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis, as well.
When shopping for natural facial moisturizers and body care, consumers should seek out products stating that the oil ingredients are either “cold-pressed” or “expeller-pressed,” to obtain only the purest, unrefined moisturizing properties. And the best source for checking on “questionable” ingredients is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.
The good news about choosing natural facial moisturizers over nanocosmetic chemical alternatives is the price! Consumers can expect to pay on average about one-quarter to one-third the price for natural skin care than they would for popular chemical-laden brand names!
In addition to Valley Green Naturals, companies that produce body-safe and effective natural facial moisturizers and anti-aging products include Shankara and Pangea Organics.
At Valley Green Naturals, we are committed to using only the purest and safest ingredients in our skin care products. We know what’s safe, and what is not. And it’s our job to continue to educate others and demand safe products for ourselves and our families.