what are you putting on your body

Do You Know What You Are Putting On Your Body?

Body Care Ingredient Series

This is the first of a series of blog posts about how we, as Australian consumers are protected (or not) by regulations for body care ingredients, the difficulties these cause, and how you can become more informed about the ingredients in the products you choose for your family.

I will attempt to clear up some of the confusion about body care ingredients in products we use every day.

  • why ingredients for personal care products can be labelled with different names
  • how to read labels on personal care products, and
  • where to learn about ingredients used in your products

so you can make confident decisions when buying for you and your family.


Few days go by when I don’t see something about the dangers of toxic chemicals hidden in our body care products.  From shampoo to sunscreen, research1 by the Environmental Working Group shows

“the average adult uses 9 personal care products each day, with 126 unique chemical ingredients”.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body and the only one exposed directly to the environment.  It works along with our kidneys, liver and lungs to eliminate toxins from our bodies.

Studies show that chemicals from products applied to skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream in as few as 30 seconds.  Our small children are especially vulnerable because their thinner skin absorbs substances more quickly. They also have more difficulty processing toxins because their immature kidneys do not work as fast as adults.

We are more concerned about toxic load from our body care products.  Along with environmental toxins and additives in processed food.  The incidence of skin disorders and allergies is growing.  Our immune systems have to cope with a much higher load than in our grandparents time.

So there is a tide of change towards more natural solutions.  But as we look for better alternatives, brands are changing their marketing to meet our expectations.  There is little regulation around the use of the terms ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘non-toxic’.  It is hard to know which marketing to believe and which is greenwashing.2

My friend Abbey has worked in marketing her whole career.  As we are becoming more informed consumers, she’s increasingly asked if she can “greenwash it up a bit”, by her clients!


These days, we all want to be better educated and use our spending power consciously.  We want to choose effective and safe products – for the better health of ourselves, our families, and the planet.  We know we should steer clear of parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals etc… but do we really know what they are?

Would you recognise them in an ingredients list?

Did you know the very same ingredients can be have different names on product labels?

And some products don’t even need to list all their ingredients.

The next post in this series will be about ingredient labelling.  Why different names can be used for the same ingredients.  And how you can tell if all the ingredients are listed or not.  Follow us on Facebook or Instagram or subscribe to our VIP newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.


    1.  http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/2004/06/15/exposures-add-up-survey-results/
    2. http://www.greenwashingindex.com/about-greenwashing/