Natural and organic food products are all the rage now. You probably can’t go a few weeks without someone saying they’re starting to incorporate more organic food into their diet, or perhaps going “Paleo” because they’re part of Crossfit. It’s hard to go into just about any store, even beyond Whole Foods, without seeing tons of products or even sections dedicated to natural and organic ingredients.
This is all for good reason.
Hosts of studies show how bad eating processed food is for your body and health. I’ve never known anyone who has gone natural or organic who hasn’t felt better. But what about the products you put on your body? Rubbing synthetic chemicals from your daily skin care and grooming products can be just as bad, if not worse, than digesting unnatural ingredients.
The US government is rather lenient on what companies put into bottles and sell you. Almost 90% of the over 11,000 grooming and skin care ingredients known to the FDA have never been evaluated for safety, while over 1,100 of these ingredients have been banned for use in the European Union.
Your skin absorbs anywhere from 64% to 100% of anything you put on it due to its porous nature. This means if any shaving cream, after shave, skin lotion, or body wash/soaps you use have toxic chemicals, they are being directly ingested into your body from your skin. And let me tell you, if you’re buying skin care and grooming products from a big box store, you’re absorbing many known toxins.
The overwhelming majority of men’s skin care and grooming products on the market today are made with harmful synthetic chemicals, including many known toxins, allergens, and irritants. Even products claiming to be all natural usually only contain small amounts of natural or organic ingredients. Numerous amounts of scientific studies discuss how these toxins penetrate the skin, accumulating in the body’s organs and cause major health issues (cancer, disease, allergies, chronic conditions, etc). I encourage you to look at the back of a bottle of grooming product you use and Google some of the ingredients. The first and last time I did this, the first chemical I Googled was known to shrink the testicles of mice (not exactly something I want to rub on my own).
However, with advances in science, it’s now possible to use grooming products that are natural and organic, without sacrificing performance. I fully admit, less than a decade ago any type of skin care product that was “natural” or organic was not very good. But, today it’s possible to formulate effective naturally derived products that outperform traditional synthetic filled options.
When looking at a label of ingredients on a skin care product, the very beginning of the list should name natural ingredients, not scientific sounding chemicals. Some powerful, natural ingredients that have been used for years with great results are:
Aloe Vera: One of the best natural ingredients you can put on your skin due to its’ amazing moisturizing abilities.
Jojoba: A seed which protects your skin by building a protective cushion around it, helping lock in moisture and prevent free radicals (damaged cells) from forming.
Shea Butter: A good, natural fat filled with vitamins your skin craves such as A, E, & F.
Coconut Oil: Helps remove dead skin cells and strengthens the underlying skin tissue.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid: Found naturally in sugar cane, a large amount of research shows it helps fight skin aging.
Be careful though, grooming and skin care labeling is not regulated in the United States and just about anyone can say they are “natural” or “organic”. So how can you tell? Look at the ingredients the same as you would the ingredients on the food you eat. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t put it in your body. Two widely known, dangerous chemicals you should avoid in skin care products are parabens (preservatives found in sunscreens, lotions, and more) and phthalates (chemicals found in fragrances and plastics). These two toxins have been linked to an increase in cancer in numerous studies. Unfortunately, many well known skin care and grooming companies still use them in their formulas. If you’d like to check out what other toxins and chemicals you’re putting into your body, here is a good database to review.
Remember not to get caught up in the marketing hype of most companies and if they tout ingredients that were scientifically engineered, then just like with food, you probably don’t want it on or in your body. In 10 years when your body is healthy, you won’t regret paying the extra sticker price of a solid, natural men’s skin care or grooming product.
In my honest opinion, my organic mens skin care products of choice come from Brickell Men’s Products, a men’s grooming and skin care company that creates products using powerful natural and organic ingredients.
Because not only are they 100% organic, effective and great smelling – They look like a mens product is supposed to look. This is rare when it comes to organic skin care products. They are truly made for men, by men. There are other products out there, but there is something nice about Brickell. I just feel great knowing that I am rubbing beautiful natural ingredients over my body, and no one even has to know I am.
So decide for yourself, but whatever you do – stop poisoning your body every time you start the day. Big improvements happen from small continuous changes. This is a small step in a very big picture.