A daily shower is a vital ritual for many of us, waking us up in the morning and getting us ready for the day ahead, or rinsing the stresses and challenges of the day off before bed. The products that we use in the shower can not only improve the look and texture of our hair and skin, but also help to uplift us and add to the beauty of the ritual. It’s worth knowing that what we put on our skin is always absorbed into the body, and what we breath in is also taken into our system, so choosing the right beauty products to use in the shower is equally as important as choosing the right make up or skincare products for after it, especially as the products that we use in the shower (our body wash, soap, shampoos, conditioners, scrubs, shaving foam etc) tend to wash over large areas of skin (so have more opportunity to be absorbed).
When we choose to use many traditional supermarket, pharmacy or department store brands there are often scary endocrine disruptors present in the formulations – such as parabens, a routinely used preservative – which disrupt the body’s normal rhythms. The fact that they come in small doses in our shampoo or shower gel is no comfort, as it is their small size that allows them to impersonate our own natural hormones and cause the most damage. Endocrine disruptors can cause havoc with our metabolism, mood and reproductive system and have been linked to health damage such as birth defects, metabolic issues, cancer and reproductive issues. The thought of using these products on young children, with their little systems still developing, is almost too much to think about.
Many products, from brand names that we learned to trust over the years, shockingly contain known carcinogens, meaning ingredients that are known to cause cancer. It’s mind-boggling that this is legal, but for some reason it is. Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, is present in many make up, body and skincare products and is often described as one of the following, making it difficult for most to spot (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, quaternium-15).
The only way to be sure that the ingredients that you are putting on your skin are safe and free of harmful toxins and chemicals is to learn about which ingredients to avoid (Parabens, Formaldehyde Releasers, Phthalates, synthetic Fragrance, EDTA, 1,4-Dioxane, Ethanolamines (surfacants such as SLS, SLES, ETA, DEA), Chemical Sunscreens, BHA, BHT etc.). Use ewg.org and run your favourite products through their Skin Deep Database to see how they rate for safety.
Thankfully, these days, finding brands that are safe, ethical and which perform well are much easier to find. The Clean Beauty Edit is built on Independent, sustainable brands that produce botanical-based, natural and toxin-free beauty products, and here are some of our shower favourites - for a truly clean feeling:
Evolve Beauty – Citrus Blend Aromatic Wash, €16
Antipodes – Hallelujah Lime & Patchouli Cleanser, €26.95
Olio E Osso – Shave Oil, €45
Innersense – Pure Harmony Hairbath, €29.00
Innersense – Pure Inspiration Daily Conditioner, €29.00
Evolve – Citrus Blend Aromatic Lotion, €18