Let us formally introduce you to the ladies of S.O.S. (Soap on Skin): our girls, Holly and Sofia. They’re a pair of not-quite Rebel Mamas who are obsessed with skincare and cosmetics and speak to it from a “clean” perspective (without being preachy A-holes. #bless). They run an Instagram account that we adore (@soaponskin) where they discuss beauty and skincare, rate products, and dish out some sweet visual inspo. Their goal is to create awareness while reminding their audience that “green” doesn’t have to mean “granola” and that balance is always more important than perfection. We asked them to give us (slash you guys) a quick run down of how to take even a small step toward a cleaner skincare regimen because Google is scary and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Let’s begin with a disclaimer; at no point in this piece will we get all “holier than thou” on you and we are not here to add to your list of stresses. We know that shit is the antithesis of what TRM represents, and same goes for us at SOS.
We’re just trying to create awareness, and offer some alternatives. Kinda like Goop, but for normal people.
All our recommendations aim to do is save you (and possibly the bun in the oven if you’ve got one) from unnecessary chemicals (T.B.H. they aren’t doing you any good either) and avoid mimicking or blocking estrogen in your body, because pregnancy and postpartum is *NOT* the time to be toying with your hormones, right?!
Let’s start with the basics.
Here are the SOS Top 5 Ingredients you can (and should) tell to F$*# OFF:
Common Labels: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben
Where You’ll Find Them: Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cleansers, body wash and scrubs
Why It Matters: Now that it’s more widely known that parabens have been linked to reproductive toxicity and can mess with estrogen receptors, there’s a movement toward paraben-free products on the market. Always look for “paraben-free” on the label. Just remember `that preservative-free products will have a bit of a shorter shelf lives than conventional products. It’s worth it, though.
Common Labels: Axerophtholum, Dehydroretinol, Fat-Soluble Vitamin, Oleovitamin A, Retinol, Retinol Acetate, Retinol Palmitate, Vitamin A
Where You’ll Find Them: Topical creams and serums, anti-aging products, chemical exfoliants
Why It Matters: Studies have shown that taking high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful. Oral retinoids like Accutane have even been known to cause birth defects. Retinol is a harsh chemical… but fear not! There are so many great natural alternatives (see below).
Common Labels: Triclosan (TSC) and triclocarban (TCC)
Where You’ll Find Them: In a wide variety of antibacterial soaps and detergents, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics and plastics
Why It Matters: Triclosan is lipophilic, meaning it accumulates in fatty tissues. Studies have found traces of the chemical in three out of five human milk samples, and it’s been known to be found in the umbilical cord blood of infants. The ultimate concern here is passing the chemical on to your little one during vulnerable periods of development. With the deodorant thing, we know it’s hard (you can check out our series on Insta, the #DLONDEO) but you should always try to opt for chemical-free deodorants (and avoid anti-antiperspirant!) – especially on low key days involving minimal heavy lifting. Research suggests aluminum compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells, and that’s not cool.
Two options we like (that *actually* work):
Common Labels: Talcum powder, cosmetic talc, talc
Where You’ll Find It: Baby powder, body and shower products, lotions, feminine hygiene products, eyeshadow, foundation, lipstick, deodorants and face masks
Why It Matters: Case studies of infants inhaling talc-containing baby powder has shown respiratory distress, and in women it has been linked endometrial and ovarian cancer. Cosmetic talc applied to the pelvic area, from feminine hygiene products or diaper changes, can enter the body and reach distant organs. Always try to swap out for rice powders, silica, or assorted flours.
Some talc-free cosmetic options we’re into:
Common Labels: phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance
Where You’ll Find Them: Colour cosmetics, fragranced lotions, body washes, hair care products, nail polish/treatments
Why It Matters: Phthalates interfere with your reproductive function by reducing the levels of sex hormones, which are critical for development – and studies have pointed towards confirming DEHP as carcinogenic to humans.
Nail care is a big one with phthalates – health care professionals ask mamas-to-be to limit their exposure to gel manicures and nail polishes. Most of the ingredients in the process include formaldehyde and phthalates.
Some clean nail-care picks for your perusal:
HONOURABLE MENTION: SUNCARE
We all know how important sunscreen is, especially now more than ever.
We favour mineral sunscreen over chemical ALWAYS! This goes for everyone, not just babies, mamas, or mamas-to-be. Chemical options contain the popular ingredient: oxybenzone, which is known for hormone disruption and allergy problems through it’s penetration in skin.
Our SPF pick (there’s a review on our feed for this one!):
TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP, TOO
It’s 2018, so there’s obviously an app for that. THINK DIRTY is a staple for us. It very simply helps you understand the ingredients in some of your favourite products, and actually explains why they’re harmful. It makes it easy to research products you’re already using and it’s great for when you’re out shopping shopping cosmetics/skin/body/hair care for you – or your little one! (Of course, they always have helpful suggestions for alternatives.)
S.O.S.’s FAVOURITE CLEAN BEAUTY HUBS:
(*feel free to use SOS15 to get 15% off your online purchase)
OUR FAVOURITE MAMA AND ME PRODUCTS:
Original Artwork by the ladies of S.O.S. themselves.
Yes, they’re that cool.