What are you really putting on your skin?

1374It is important to realise what ingredients are contained in the cosmetics we use everyday. People usually assume that if a product is on sale at a supermarket or a drug store, it must be safe. However,  The Food and Drug Administration agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. Also, products labelled as “hypoallergenic” or “Natural”, can “mean anything or nothing at all,” according to the FDA.

I would recommend to visit www.ewg.org/skindeep/ which is the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database. You can search thousands of products to see how safe/dangerous they are from a rating of 1-10 and to also see what effects they have on the human body. If a product you are looking for is unavailable, you can simply ‘Build Your Own Report’ on the top left hand side of the screen. On the website you can also find a user’s guide, myths on cosmetic safety and shopping tips.

Some people would think that a lot of things we consume like over-processed foods or things we do in our everyday lives such as spending hours on mobile phones can cause harm, so why should we care about the cosmetics we use? Firstly, what goes onto your skin enters your body, just like what you put in your mouth enters your body and sources say that our skin absorbs 60% of the products we use. Secondly, further research into the topic of what are the actual ingredients involved will surprise you. Here are just some:

  • Placenta: Human and animal placenta help to condition hair and skin
  • Crushed Beetles: Used commonly in red lipstick and blusher. According to The New York Times, when they are full of cactus juice, the insects are boiled, dried out and crushed.
  • Infant foreskin: Full of antioxidants, natural growth factors and proteins, it is often used in anti-ageing products.
  • Whale vomit:  Often used in perfumes, and apparently present in Chanel perfumes
  • Dynamite is found in exfoliators, natural toothpastes, deodorants and powders
  • Bull semen is used in some European salons to condition hair
  • Rust:  Used for the colour pink in make-up
  • Wool wax: Produces lanolin which provides protection against chapped skin, and provides moisture
  • Fish scales: Gives shimmer and sheen to the product.
  • Chicken bone-marrow: Used in moisturisers for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Decaying animal fat by boiling animal carcasses to help in the production of  lipsticks, eye shadows and soaps.

It’s not just the ingredients that are used in products, it’s the lack of information contained on the label. I want to know what is in my products, choosing to use it or not is another choice.

Sources and useful websites: 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/13-surprising-and-gross-cosmetic-ingredients

http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/gross-ingredients-in-beauty-products

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4188/Chemicals-in-Your-Beauty-Products-Infographic.html

Taking Risks

Take ‘riskseveryday. Risks can be anything from saying “hi” to a stranger, to talking in front of 2000 people spontaneously or even asking someone out. We all have our comfort zones and the more we get out of them, the bigger they get! I know individuals who can’t walk in a class when they’re late because they’ll get embarrassed in front of “all those people”, or others who refuse to walk in Harrods because they don’t look like they “fit in” and also people who refuse to make eye contact with teachers. Why squeeze in a little tight space when you can get out, explore and discover to widen your comfort zone? I’m not going to get into various reasons to take your risks. I’m going to say to just do it. Without too much thought, just do it. Taking risks is not an ability, it is simply a choice. Expanded your comfort zone? Hey, there’s more to roam!

What risks did you make today?

You do have a choice!

You always hear that you have a choice, but what does it actually mean? Usually, people think that they have a choice when there is a decision to make. However, I think differently. I believe that you have a choice in how to live every moment in your life. Every moment in your day can be special, you don’t have to win the lottery or travel to another country to have special moments. For me, those little moments in the day are actually what makes up my life, memories and smiles. Regardless of the decisions you make, rules in your house (if you live at home with family), or any ‘barriers’, you have that choice. Be free! Freedom doesn’t mean that your parents let you out the house whenever you can, it is simply a thing from within that makes you truly free in how you live every moment, emotions, actions, and reactions. Choose to make the most out of every moment in your life, and love it!

For example, I had a big argument with my mum the other day, and it lasted for 30 minutes. It was rage. Shouting, screaming, swearing and just pure anger. Afterwards, I thought about all the energy we wasted on that fight. I told my mum that we could have used that energy to create peace. We could have cooked something together, danced together, even given charity online. However, was it really wasted energy? No, because we learnt something from it. Choose to make the most out of your mistakes. Learn from them and carry on. Not everyone gains the same lessons from mistakes, so praise it when you truly learn from your mistake. Let it help to develop yourself.

Essentially, you choose how you spend your energy, you can use it to create peace, happiness, and love in every moment in your life. Regardless of where you live, who you live with, rules, or any barriers. That is freedom.

In my eyes, there are two ways of doing something. Say you want to tone up and slim down. You can do it because you hate your body, you dislike your physical features and want to change. And you can do it because you love your body, want to improve yourself, and want to discover and grow with yourself in your amazing body and journey. There are two ways in how you eat that tub of ice cream. Enjoy it, make the most out of that moment and smile as you eat it, or think ‘this is going to make me fat, I’m going to regret this, I hate my life’. There are two ways to do almost everything, enjoy it and make the most out of every moment! You have a choice!