* NOTICE: Although primarily a non-commercial blog, I have attached affiliate links to the products I personally recommend and for that reason receive a small share of sales through the related link(s).
Today, I’m going to share a few of my all-time favourite products with you. I will be briefly referring to EWG safety ratings for each ingredient where possible. In short, EWG is a useful indication of the safety of skincare ingredients using a rating system from 1-10 where 1-2 is zero to low risk, 3-6 is moderate risk and 7-10 indicates high risk. although this is a little terminology heavy, I think its really important to grasp a better understanding of what we are putting in and on our bodies, and also into our environment. This won’t necessarily be the most interesting read as I will be picking apart each product in a fair amount of detail but I hope it might be useful for some of you as I know it has been for me. I’d also like to re-iterate I am no expert, but the following information is the product of my fairly in depth research!
- AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner by COSRX.
Pretty much everything in this little bottle is good, with the exception of glycolic acid in high concentrations – although it’s not highly concentrated in this toner. The score comes in at around 83% low risk ingredients. This sounds low but when you consider that there are only 12 ingredients with glycolic acid being the only known medium risk ingredient, that’s pretty amazing!
- Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water: Acne flighting! EWG rating of 1.
- Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Water: EWG rating of 1… basically zero risk!
- Butylene Glycol: Skin conditioning ingredient. EWG rating of 1
- 1,2-Hexanediol: Preservative and moisture binding agent. EWG 1
- Sodium Lactate: EWG 3 – although it has restricted usage in food items but seems to be pretty safe in cosmetics (as far as we know).
- Glycolic Acid: Regulates moisture and sebum production as well as possessing anti-ageing benefits. PH adjuster in skincare. This chemical can cause irritation to eyes, lungs and skin in greater concentrations. EWG rating of 4.
- Betaine Salicylate: None or little research into the safety of this chemical but it is the product of the reaction between betaine (EWG 1) and salicylic acid (EWG 4). It is an antimicrobial agent, which protects the skin against bacteria.
- Allantoin: Moisture, baby! EWG rating of 1.
- Panthenol: Wound healing and moisturising. EWG rating of 1.
- Ethyl Hexanediol: Fragrance ingredient :(. High concern for irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs. EWG rating of 3.
This product feels great on the skin and is refreshing and soothing. Although I’ve totally run out, I will be repurchasing this when I next have £20 to spare. It lasts a really long time so the cost of the product per usage is actually very minimal, making it a bargain in the long run. Two of the best things about this product are the balanced PH levels and the moisturising properties from the active ingredients. I personally haven’t experienced any negative effects of this product and absolutely think its an essential component of my skincare routine. If you’re interested in giving this product a whirl, it can be found for £16.99 here.
2. Rose Oil Overnight Gel Mask by The Creme Shop
It’s paraben free, sulfate free, EU allergen free and alcohol free!
- Dipropylene Glycol: Helps active ingredients penetrate the skin and also serves as a moisturising agent. additionally, this ingredients ensures the product is not affected by hot or cold temperatures (e.g. freezing or melting).
- PEG-240/HDI Copolymer Bis-Decyltetradeceth-20 Ether: influences the texture of the product. In this case, this ingredient is responsible for the gel like texture of the cream. EWG rating between 4-6, depending on usage. Generally deemed safe for external cosmetic use.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride:Often comes from coconut oil and glycerin and is a fantastic emollient and enables the skin to resist moisture loss. EWG rating 1
- Glycerin: Helps prevent moisture loss from the skin. EWG rating of 2, with restricted use in Canadian cosmetics.
- PEG-100 Stearate: Used as a base for creams and acts as a moisture-carrier. Low concern, although if this ingredient has been contaminated it can be very high risk and carcinogenic if the contaminant is Ethylene Oxide. This all depends on the manufacturing processes. It is my hope that The Creme Shop, as a reputable company, have zero contamination within their products (although I will have to look into this more closely).
- Macadamia Integrifolia (Macadamia) Nut Oil: Moisturising agent. EWG rating of 1
- Dimethicone: Possibly an environmental toxin and potentially toxic to humans. EWG rating of 3. In low concentrations this ingredient is unlikely to be harmful, although i’m concerned about the environmental impact and will be looking into this further.
- Glyceryl Stearate: emollient. Interestingly, it has been shown to protect the skin from free-radical damage… oooh! (basically slows down ageing and maintains skin health). EWG rating of 1.
- Glycereth-26: Helps to control the viscosity of the product. EWG rating 1
- Caprylyl Glycol: assists skin hydration. EWG rating 1
- Allantoin: MOISTURISING
- Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E): Strong concern as an allergen and has been shown to cause tumors in animal studies. Considered safe as a topical product but restricted in food products for safety reasons. EWG rating of 3, although the risk of impurities raises this score to 9 if the impurity includes hydroquinone (allergen and potential skin toxicant as well as ecotoxicity issues).
- Caprylhydroxamic Acid: amino acid derived from coconut oil. Unknown EWG rating.
- Adenosine: Soothing and skin restoring agent… with proven anti-ageing benefits!! EWG 1
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract: Possesses anti-oxidant properties as well as soothing qualities. EWG 1
- Butylene Glycol: Powerfully moisturising. EWG 1
- Disodium EDTA: Increases the absorption of other ingredients into the skin without being absorbed itself. EWG 1
- Rosa Centifolia Flower Water: protects skin makes the skin appear soft and smooth.
- Phenoxyethanol: Chemical preservative (at least it’s better than parabens!). Potential skin irritant in higher doses. EWG 4
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Helps to increase water content of the skin and is commonly used in anti-ageing products. EWG 1
- CI 16185: AKA amaranth, primarily a dye/colourant. EWG 4 but very little research currently available.
Despite the need for additional research, I think this product is amazing. It feels amazing, provides amazing hydrating and smoothing results and looks amazing and i will be purchasing this again as soon as I can. However, Since PEG related chemicals are present in so many cosmetics, I’m hoping to find out more about the contamination risks in order to fully assess whether or not I want to put this onto my skin. This Product costs $15.00 and can be bought here
3. Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA by The Ordinary
- Alpha-Arbutin: Brightening and lowers melanin production as well as reducing the appearance of uneven skin tones and pigmentation issues. EWG 1
- Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6: A synthetic polymer that protects the surface of the skin and also thickens and stabilises products. EWG 1
- Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate: A super-duper, molecularly small (if that makes sense?) molecule that is able to penetrate the skin and hydrate it. Great for dry skin
- Propanediol: Can be made synthetically but also occurs naturally. This chemical aids the absorption of other ingredients into the skin. EWG 1
- PPG-26-Buteth-26: research is limited but is expected to be toxic or harmful to the human body. EWG rating of 3 with possibly impurities with EWG rating of 4. Acts as a skin conditioning agent with the ability to restore the appearance of dry skin.
- PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil: As with all ( i think?) PEGs, the risk of contamination is considerable, depending on the manufacturing processes. This is cause for concern as one study has shown over 40% of products sampled containing PEGs were contaminated with high risk substances. EWG 3.
- Lactic Acid: chemical exfoliant. EWG 4
- Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate: A chelating agent (an ingredient that binds with metal ions in order to help reduce contamination of trace ingredients from peentrating the skin). May cause irritation at high doses. EWG 1
- Ethoxydiglycol: A fragrancing ingredient that also decreases the viscosity of products when used as an ingredient. EWG rating of 1
- Phenoxyethanol: Preservative, EWG 4
- Chlorphenesin: Preservative and antimicrobial agent. EWG 2
I personally love this product, that’s why it’s on this list. It always leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated – although it can feel a little bit sticky if you apply it very liberally. I also believe that it helps to even out my skin tone and generally improve my skin health. It is also inexpensive at around £8 a bottle and lasts about 2-3 months using it twice daily (so costs about £2-3 a month!). If this product sounds like something you’d like to give a go, it can be found here
I’m sorry for the super long and complicated post, but if even one tiny piece of it has been useful to one person, then it’s worth it!
Over and out!
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