You might have heard that sure, parabens and other chemicals are bad if ingested, but they can’t penetrate your skin so you don’t have anything to worry about. The fact is, that much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. Just think about nicotene and birth control patches. While there may be some chemicals that are too large to enter your bloodstream most are small enough to penetrate. We have had studies done on everything from umbilical cords of unborn children to adult urine and have found alarming levels of cosmetic chemicals. So I say you’re better off doing your best to avoid all known harmful chemicals because chances are they’re entering your bloodstream.

The next thing you want to think about is the level of exposure you’re getting from the products you’re using. Different products mean different levels of exposure and concern. For instance, if you use a lotion all over your body and it soaks into your skin all day, you’re getting a lot more exposure to those chemicals than if you were to use the same ingredients in a face cleanser that is quickly washed off. So be strategic– try to get the best ingredients in products that you have a lot of exposure to (shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, etc…) and if you want relax your standards a bit for products like hand soap that gets washed off.

When we try to be perfect, we get paralyzed. It can get so overwhelming to constantly worry about each ingredient in every product that we just want to forget the whole thing and buy a bar of soap already. The way to avoid this is by choosing when to demand a certain standard and when to relax. That way you don’t have to worry about every ingredient all the time and you still drastically improve the overall quality of your beauty products.

Top products to look for cleanest ingredients

1. Anything you soak in a bath

2. Anything you apply and do not wash off, such as lotion, face cream and body oil

3. Body powder

4. Shampoo and conditioner (it is a wash off, but has high exposure due to where you use it and how it goes over your entire body)

5. Any product you put on your child

Top products that have limited exposure and you can relax your standards if you choose

1. Eye shadow, pencil

2. Face cleanser

3. Bar soap

4. Blush

5. Leave in hair care products