We spend so much of our time and energy trying to make ourselves look and feel better, we are spending huge fortunes on stocking our cupboards with products that promise to do just that. But are we doing more damage than good? Are we in fact contributing to making ourselves more unhealthy and God forbid – accelerating ageing?

Many, in-fact I would daringly go as far as saying that the majority of health, cosmetic and skin care products on the market are full of hidden chemicals, even many of those claiming to be natural.

A part of the reason I decided to develop Abbey Jade Cosmetics was because over a period of several years I began experiencing some major, mysterious ailments. I say mysterious because to this day after many doctors visits, followed by many unpleasant tests, I still do not have any answers to what caused my conditions or even what they were. My symptoms have ranged from skin irritations, dermatitis, cramping, migraines (which continue to be an issue), irritated eyes, three separate cases or severe hair loss (alopecia). I finally decided that I needed to take a closer look at what I was putting in and on my body.

To say I was surprised at the outcome is an understatement. Mortified might be close. I simply could not understand how companies were getting away with slowly poisoning us. Now I sound like a conspiracy theorist, well maybe they are onto something. When I began to look closely at the ingredients in products I used every day in my home and on my body, I was horrified at what I was putting on my skin and into my body every day. Digging further only appalled me more as not only were these harmful ingredients in our body care and home care products but also in most of the food we eat.

So here I am. My new aim in life is to try and make the environment I am raising my young family in, as healthy and as chemically free as possible. But also to educate as many people as I can about what we are really doing to our bodies, often even when we are trying our hardest to use healthy and safe options. So many companies misuse the terms, natural and healthy, and that is simply unfair.

I understand why they choose to lie to consumers and pretend they are providing a healthy or natural option, when in fact they are doing the complete opposite. In developing my own natural, mineral products I have discovered how difficult it is to actually produce true 100% natural products. It is certainly NOT the cheapest option. It is much cheaper to fill my products with chemicals. I have also had to exclude many products that I initially wanted to include in my range, because I have been unable to develop a truly natural option for such products at this stage. This has been disappointing but I am determined to stay true to my vision.

So, in order for these multinational companies to take advantage of what they see as the latest faze and produce products on a mass scale, they use all the right words in their huge multimillion dollar marketing campaigns, cover their products and websites with the pretty pictures of nature products and trust that consumers will ignore the truth that they are not being honest, and sadly most of us do. Because what we don’t know won’t hurt us right? Wrong! Life is much easier just to ignore reality and just look pretty, right? Wrong! All that is fine until, one you start experiencing health issues caused by their secrets or two, you are left with no alternative but the damaging ones because all the brands trying to do the right thing have been pushed out of the market completely. Be careful what you wish for people.

Sorry, I am letting my passion get the best of me, let’s stick to the facts.

Fact one – almost all the products found in the cosmetic or personal care isle in supermarkets or department stores or today, online are full of chemicals.

Fact two – most major brands don’t sell a 100% natural product range (despite their claims).

Fact three – the cosmetic industry is highly unregulated – so it’s up to you, the consumer, to regulate it.

Fact four – many studies indicate links between chemicals used in cosmetics and other every day-use products and cancer or other health issues, including rising rates of asthma, autism, and reproductive problems, as well as ageing of our skin.

Fact five – in Australia ingredients have to be listed on packaging but are often hidden behind names like fragrance and others we have no idea what they are.

Fact six – we use hundreds of products every day, loaded with chemicals that build up in our bodies.

Fact seven – anything applied to our skin is quickly absorbed through our pores directly into our bloodstream.

What you really need to decide is what is important to you.

Is it important that companies (especially the big multinationals who produce most of the products we use) are honest and transparent about what they use in the products we purchase and take responsibility for the health and safety of their consumers?

Is it important that you are able to purchase products that are undeniably safe for you and your family’s health?

Is it important that the products you purchase are of the highest quality and that products do what is promised?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then it’s time to take a step back and really look at what is in your home, cupboards, draws and handbag. Take a little time to study all the ingredients on each product and research the company’s manufacturing the products. Yes, it is time consuming and probably a bit confusing but at the end of the day, nothing else matters if your’s or your loved one’s health is poor.

For a more detailed list of chemicals to avoid check out my  next blog – Chemicals to avoid in your Cosmetics.