organic products grown in a sustainable habitat

7 Ingredients to avoid in cosmetics

13 March 2014

environment, health, social reponsibility

Nowadays, cosmetics have a long list of ingredients ending in words like “-oxide” and “-amine". Unlike food, the FDA does not regulate the contents of cosmetic products whereas in Europe, the EU created a cosmetic ingredients database in order to ensure the highest level of consumer safety.

Certain ingredients have been linked to cancer, organ failure and birth defects. When reading cosmetics labels make sure to avoid the following ingredients:

Pyridoxine HCL
This chemical has been shown to cause reproductive problems and endocrine disruption, and there is evidence it could cause cancer. It is most often found in your conditioner, shampoo, hair gel, or facial moisturizer (Hampton 2013).

This chemical is the soft, mineral oil jelly used in lip balms and lipsticks. Petrolatum, which is also used for gasoline, is the grease in a balm that helps your lips feel moist. However, this chemical interferes with the body’s natural ability to create moisture and it will cause dryness in the long term, which is the reason that makes you use more of it (Environmental Working Group 2013).

Parabens are synthetic chemicals that are used as preservatives to inhibit the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts. They are the most commonly used preservatives in makeup in products such as foundation, sunscreen, moisturizers and deodorants. Parabens have been called toxic and said to imitate certain hormones, which can lead to breast cancer. A 2004 study by Dr Phillipa Darbre at the University of Reading found evidence of parabens in breast tumors.

Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea
These preservatives mix easily with water and are often found in water-based cosmetics, such as shampoo, shower gel and hand wash and hypoallergenic products. They have germicide, fungicide and disinfectant properties. The bad news about these popular cosmetic preservatives is that they release formaldehyde, a toxic carcinogen substance linked to eye, nose, and sinus problems and various forms of cancer (Mind Body Green 2012).

This chemical is a synthetic dye that gives makeup its color. On a cosmetic label FD&C will be followed by a color and a number (for example FD&C Orange 1). This synthetic dye contains cancer-causing agents and could lead to breathing problems (Huffington Post 2013).

Phthalates are added to cosmetics to help stabilize fragrance compounds and are widely used in deodorants, hair care, aftershave lotions, skincare, make-up and perfumes. Phthalates may have implications on fertility and increased incidences of asthma and allergies, as well as their impact on the body's hormone system (Bloomberg 2011).

Getting to know the ingredients of your favorite products is a must in order to protect your health and prevent skin irritations or skin reactions. When deciding on a cosmetic purchase, consider if your desired purchase has an organic alternative.

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Blog & News

Palm Oil Is Everywhere

Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) originates from West Africa. Once planted, after 3-4 years’ palm oil trees start to producing its first fruits and will continue all year-round for up to 30 years. Oil Palm is high yielding; it produces more oil per hectare than any other major oil seed crop.

Did you know that half of your items in your house contain palm oil?
Palm oil is also the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet

farmers, social reponsibility, environment, organic

Why Farm Organically?

With a growing population, nearly 10 billion people by 2050, and an increasing demand for food, agriculture is placed under extreme pressure. We heavily rely on services that the industry provides to us, such as food, clothes, wood, and many others. Unfortunately, with biodiversity losses and deforestation practices that accompany modern agriculture, these services are currently at risk. Therefore, we must take actions to sustain biodiversity, soils and forests for the generations to come

social reponsibility, environment, farmers, organic

An Important Role of Intercropping in Modern Agriculture

Population of our planet is constantly growing. The threat of insufficient food supply in the near future encourages intensification of the search for more productive agricultural technics. At Natural Habitats, we believe that well-planned intercropping is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to increase agricultural productivity.

Intercropping, as well as other forms of multiple cropping, is an ancient method of intensive agriculture that involves cultivation of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field

environment, farmers

Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

Deforestation caused by many palm-oil producers, harming wildlife habitats, has been a widespread concern around the world. However, more and more palm oil is now being sourced sustainably with a help of the certification initiative promoted by a non-profit association Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) that aims to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Natural Habitats as 100% organic and sustainable producer was certified with RSPO standard in 2013.

In May 2013, Natural Habitats in Ecuador (Exportsustent) together with Solidaridad and National Association of Oil Palm Growers (ANCUPA) developed a pioneering project Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

farmers, environment, partnership, social reponsibility

An Ongoing Education of Farmers

Natural Habitats believes in doing business in harmony with the environment. This is the reason for us to continuously encourage smallholder farmers in Ecuador and Sierra Leone into getting involved in organic and sustainable production of palm oil.

On a regular basis, we educate and train our smallholder farmers in nature preservation and organic farming practices for not only their own good but for the betterment of the society

farmers, partnership, social reponsibility

Fair Trade Explained

Today, we are surrounded by numerous certifications on the products we buy at supermarkets. It is getting more and more confusing to figure out what exactly most of them stand for. Some labels are self-explanatory and some are not. Fair for Life Social and FairTrade certification belongs to the second category. Therefore, most of the consumers do not even realize that while they purchase Fair for Life or FairTrade certified products they contribute to the empowerment of poor around the world

farmers, social reponsibility, environment

Why Healthy Palm Oil is not an Oxymoron

When people hear about palm oil the first thing that usually comes to their mind is heart disease. The logic is pretty simple: fifty per cent of the oil consists of saturated fat that supposed to be bad for the heart, therefore, palm oil causes heart disease. However, numerous studies continue to confirm that palm oil does not promote heart problems and, if anything, it protects against them

cooking, health

Sustaining Food Security

Pressure on the world’s food supply is constantly increasing due to population growth, changing diets and government policies promoting biofuels. Current estimates suggest that by 2050 the food demand will be twice what it was in 2005. Biotech companies have strongly promoted the idea that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the key to “feeding the world”. According to Environmental Working Group , recent studies show that this promise has fallen flat

environment, farmers, social reponsibility