photo courtesy of Vanity Fair (Horst Rechelbacher on his 600 acre farm in Wisconsin)
With so many confusing dos and don’ts regarding green and organic ingredients in skincare and cosmetics, Mr. Rechelbacher is the perfect person to shed some much needed light on the subject. I didn’t get to do a full interview but I did ask the following two questions – his answers are in red bold
There’s been so many articles on green ingredients; what’s good for you and what’s bad, the difference between the green ingredients in skincare and green ingredients in color cosmetics that the consumer has gotten a bit confused. What is the most effective way for a consumer to properly educate themselves on what ingredients are not harmful to them in skincare products and color cosmetics? Should the FDA release consumer education literature? And if one ingredient (such as silica) is harmful in skincare products, is it harmful in color cosmetics?
There are great books such as Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health … And What You Can Do About It, by Dr. Samuel Epstein, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, by Stacy Malkan and other book on an inflammation diet. In addition, there website that provide excellent information on product safety: www.safecosmetics.org and www.goodguide.com
If an ingredient is harmful, it’s harmful. The most harmful silica is in powder form because it get they both do not assimilate in the body as a food. Yet they are used in prescription drugs, vitamin and food supplements, and sunscreens.
It has been stated that several ingredients that are natural may not be good for you, such as the Algae derived Carrageenan, the Coconut-derived Laureth-4 and Wheat Germ Oil (which is said to be acne causing). What are the natural ingredients that consumers should avoid?
While skin pores are clogged on a daily basis, heavy molecular plants oils combined with pollution in the atmosphere will definitely cause the skin to breakout. These dense plant oils have a heavy molecular structure, so they can oxidized quicker. If they are not properly stored in cool dark places to preserve their freshness, they can become rancid, and their molecular structure changes further and can even become carcinogenic. The best plant oils are the ones that are freshly cold-pressed and packaged correctly. From our experiences, the best plants oils come from cold-pressed seeds, which we then energized and mix with essential oils.
I advise all you are interested in knowing the truth about Green and organic beauty to invest in these books and carefully read the ingredients on the products you buy.