For a long time, humanity relied on nature for everything, including beauty. Nature provided. However, the focus shifted away from the natural in the 1920s when cosmetics and fragrances began being manufactured and mass marketed.
History has a way of repeating itself. There has always been very limited regulation and oversight into the beauty industry and the ingredients used. With reports of lawsuits like the Johnson & Johnson ovarian cancer talc case and the settlement of the company Wen from a product accused of causing hair loss, consumers are beginning to pay close attention to what ingredients are used in personal care products and seeking more natural and safe alternatives.
When you use cosmetics, skin can absorb chemicals, which can then enter the bloodstream. Powders can be inhaled, and other products like lipstick and lip gloss can be ingested. The amount absorbed or ingested is tiny, but it adds up over time.
There are some well-known and lesser-known ingredients to look out for in your personal care products. Some red-flag ingredients in moisturizers are BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), which are used as preservatives but also suspected of being carcinogens.
Some red flag ingredients have multiple names, making it even more confusing. For instance, petroleum, which can clog your skin and wreak havoc on the environment, is also called petrolatum, xylene, toluene, mineral oil and liquid paraffin.
Talc may pose a risk due to its close association with asbestos and possible contamination as a result. Also, it can be accidentally inhaled, sending tiny particles up your airways to possibly damage your lungs.
Triclosan, which may be in toothpaste and antibacterial soaps is banned from many retailers as a result of the FDA suspecting that high levels of triclosan may affect thyroid hormones and lead to antibiotic resistance.
Of course, there are the more recognizable ingredients that people are already deciding they don’t want like sulfates, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfates and parabens. Parabens may appear on labels as methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben.
According to Medical News Today, parabens may enter the skin and cause an imbalance of estrogen that may be linked to certain types of breast cancer, but more research is needed to be certain of the correlation.
These are just a few of the suspicious ingredients that may be lurking in your products. It is also not enough to rely on labels claiming natural, organic or clean on beauty products because the regulation is simply not there to enforce the accuracy of these claims.
This may leave you looking for natural products but wondering where to begin. Without further ado, here are our picks to help you choose the best beauty bigshots. These safe flowers and plants will naturally enhance…
Roses seem to be the star of all flowers. Capable of sending messages when given, have you ever seen roses in your beauty products?
Rosewater is gentle and can be used as an astringent or toner. Using rosewater will help firm skin, reduce redness, tone down pores, fight inflammation and moisturize.
To make your own rosewater, pull off the petals of a rose, heat in a pan of water on low for about 20 minutes. Strain the petals and compost them. Keep the rosewater in a sterilized jar in the fridge and spritz as often as desired.
Lavender is known for its relaxing scent, but did you know it is also beneficial when placed on the skin? Lavender has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities. This makes lavender a perfect natural tool against acne and clogged pores.
Lavender can speed healing in cuts, abrasions and burns and may even help treat eczema, psoriasis and sunburns. It contains natural antioxidants that may guard against signs of aging.
You can find many products like creams, lotions and toners containing fresh and dried lavender flowers and lavender oil.
Like lavender, bergamot has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Bergamot oil, when diluted with a carrier oil, can be placed on acne, cysts and pimples as a spot treatment and left on overnight.
Bergamot has a reputation for taming wild, unruly tresses. To give it a try, mix a few drops into shampoo or mix the drops into a carrier oil and massage into the scalp and leave on to soothe and lightly scent your scalp and hair. You can also make a strong tea out of the flowers for this same purpose.
Calendula, also known as marigold, has edible petals that accelerate wound healing. The flowers can be made into a paste to reduce blemishes. The flowers can also be used to treat burns, scratches, insect bites and sunburns. The flowers can also treat less severe issues like dry skin, fine lines or other signs of aging. Calendula flowers can be used as an oil, or they can be found in many creams.
Simply inhaling the scent of jasmine can help relieve anxiety, increase your energy and promote a calm feeling. When it comes to the skin, jasmine has restorative qualities that improve elasticity and reduce dryness.
Found in lotions, oils, perfumes and bath products, jasmine soothes, clarifies, cleanses, scents and hydrates. You probably didn’t know that jasmine tea can assist with weight loss. Jasmine may even help regulate insulin levels and lower blood pressure.
If you have jasmine tea, you can steep it, let it cool and splash it on your face as a facial tonic.
For other flower options, makeup is a good place to start, especially for the lips. There are flower balms that apply clear and shift to a shade that is unique and determined by your skin’s PH. Some of these contain real chrysanthemums in the lipstick.
There are flower jelly lipsticks and glosses that also start clear and then shift to a personalized shade. Made with jelly, gold specks and a tiny, visible flower, these are picture-worthy and interesting cosmetics to consider.
The popular song from the singer Scott McKenzie about San Francisco had the lyric, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.”
No matter where you are going, flowers don’t have to be limited to being worn in your hair. Flowers can be used for your hair, skin and other personal care and cosmetic needs.
Many natural flower and plant ingredients are backed by science when it comes to efficacy. However, it is important to remember that there is very little regulation and oversight. Claims like organic, natural, clean, eco or green may not hold much weight. It is more important to familiarize yourself with ingredients. Start reading those labels and don’t wear rose-tinted glasses when you do. However, wearing roses in your hair, on your wrist or using them as products on your skin is highly recommended.
If you would like more information about flowers, ask one of our florists at A Roses Petals serving Paterson, NJ, . Whether given as gifts or used for the uses we just shared, we would love to a part of your floral journey.