Tis the Season
The holidays are here and no matter what you celebrate there are likely gifts involved. It's fairly common for people to give soaps, lotions, and other body products this time of year. While any gift is something to appreciate, it's important that you remain mindful as well.
I've talked about it before, but it's important to reiterate... there are almost zero federal regulations when it comes to skin care products and cosmetics in the United States. So while Aunt Marge was being thoughtful giving you a pomegranate acai face scrub, you might want to think twice before exfoliating with it unless you want to actually look like a pomegranate.
Our skin is fragile in winter and this time of year you should do everything you can to protect an nourish it's natural barrier. Products bought off of the shelf at the trendy mall shop or the local drugstore often contain harmful ingredients. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, aluminum and more are common. Parabens are heavily used as well to preserve products and prevent bacteria. However, they have also been linked to cancer. There are even common ingredients that are known skin irritants used in skincare products...ironic I know, but SLS/SLES rise to the occasion.
Then, there's the perfumes. Have you ever walked past one of the stores at the mall and felt your throat immediately seize up from the obnoxious amount of festive smells? That's because artificial fragrances are irritants. If you're someone with asthma, or happen to be wearing one of these products around someone with asthma it could be a recipe for respiratory disaster.
I could go on, but at the risk of sounding negative I will end with one final thought. You can be grateful and appreciate someones generosity without compromising your health. Share your concerns in a tactful way, perhaps in the future and not in the moment. Consider donating products you don't intend to use to a local women's shelter where women may not have access to any self-care products. Or, you can always keep the product to use sparingly the next time you know Aunt Marge may be visiting.