In the cosmetics industry, there is very little regulation when it comes to the ingredients added to our favourite skincare products. That means all sorts of nasties are finding their way in and being applied to our skin on a daily basis. This is even though the companies actually know the harmful effects that these ingredients can have on our health.
From cancer-causing chemicals to those that can cause birth defects; we’ve drawn up a list of 5 ingredients to avoid.
At first glance, it seems that parabens are actually there to protect us, as they are widely used to prevent the growth of bacteria, mould and yeast in cosmetic products. However, these preservatives also possess oestrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. They are commonly found in make-up, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers.
2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Found in more than 90% of personal care and cleaning products, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is known to irritate the skin, lungs and eyes. It can potentially interact with other chemicals to form a carcinogen. These combinations can also cause damage to the kidneys and respiratory system. Look out for these ingredients in shampoos, body washes and cleansers, mascaras and acne treatments.
3. Sunscreen Chemicals
Ever seen these ingredients listed on the back of your sunscreen bottle – benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate? Well, if you have, throw that sunscreen away immediately. These chemicals function to absorb ultraviolet light, but they also disrupt the endocrine system and may cause cancer. The endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones for regulating things such as metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, reproduction, sleep, and mood.
4. Triclosan and Triclocarban
Both of these ingredients have been linked to hormonal disruptions, bacterial resistance, impaired muscle function, impaired immune function and increased allergies. They are found in toothpaste, deodorant and antibacterial soaps.
5. Retinyl Palmitate, Retinyl Acetate, Retinoic Acid and Retinol
Products containing Retinol have been found to become carcinogenic in sunlight. These ingredients are often used in anti-aging products and sunscreens; both of which are meant to protect the skin from further damage.
Once you have cleared your cupboards of any products containing these ingredients, check out of range of 100% natural skincare products. We don’t use any harmful chemicals. Instead, we harness all of nature’s goodness to nurture, nourish and protect the skin.
Top reasons why using natural mineral sunscreen is safer and better than the chemical stuff…
First off – product labeling can be very misleading! When you’re standing in the aisle with an army of sunscreens staring you down and making it difficult to choose, you might start to reach for the one that says “organic” first (isn’t anything labelled “organic” naturally better for you?). After all, you care about your loved ones’ health and safety – that’s why you’re going to buy the best and safest organic sunscreen, right?
If you want to avoid the nasty chemicals by getting the organic sunscreen, make sure you read the rest of the label first since chemical sunscreens are most often termed “organic” because they contain carbon compounds.
The safe natural sunscreen you are actually after is often called “inorganic” since the active ingredients that provide protection are minerals. Some mineral sunscreens, like Eli and you’s SPF40+ Natural Sunscreen, are labelled “organic” because they also contain organically produced ingredients which provide great health benefits for your skin!
With that cleared up – let’s get to why the mineral sunscreen is naturally better…
- It’s safer for the whole family
Mineral sunscreens, also called physical blockers, and chemical sunscreens, known as chemical absorbers, work in completely different ways to protect your skin from being damaged by the sun’s UV (ultra-violet) rays.
Mineral sunscreens have an active mineral ingredient, zinc oxide in our case, which works by forming a protective shield on top of your skin that deflects and scatters the dangerous UV rays AWAY FROM your skin.
The good news: Zinc oxide is the only sunscreen ingredient approved by the FDA for babies and is naturally one of the most effective broad spectrum protectors against both UVA and UVB rays.
On the other hand: most sunscreens (which are chemically based) give protection by absorbing the sun’s rays and UV radiation INTO your skin and through a chemical reaction converting the energy into heat that is dispersed in your skin.
The problem? Chemicals – called UV filters – get absorbed by the skin and penetrates into your body and according to the Environmental Working Group, are linked to allergic reactions, hormone disruptions, and cell damage. Because these chemicals break down quickly from sun exposure, they are combined with preservatives and even more chemicals. More toxins not meant to be in your body and especially not in young children…
A few especially objectionable chemical ingredients in popular sunscreens include:
Oxybenzone: It acts like oestrogen in the body and has been associated with endometriosis in women. High allergy alert!
Homosalate: It disrupts hormones, including oestrogen, androgen and progesterone. It is suspected that it releases harmful compounds when it breaks down.
Octinoxate (also known as Octylmethoxycinnamate): Has also been linked to hormone disruptions.
- It’s gentler
Mineral sunscreen is less irritating for sensitive or problematic skin, where chemical sunscreen has a much bigger chance of irritation and stinging (even more on dry or damaged skin) because of numerous ingredients that are combined to create broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
- It works immediately and lasts longer
While we recommend always reapplying your sunscreen every two hours, mineral sunscreen lasts longer when exposed to the sun, because the mineral protective ingredients don’t decompose in the sun like the chemical UV filters do. And where chemical UV filters need around 20 minutes to start working after you’ve applied chemical sunscreen – mineral sunscreen protects your skin as soon as you apply it. Score!
- Contains no harmful additives (not if it’s a good one)
Less is in fact more and especially when it comes to additives like preservatives, synthetic fragrances and parabens. Mineral sunscreens in general contain less additives than chemical sunscreens, as chemical UV filters need to be stabilised. Eli and you Natural Sunscreen is a pure mineral sunscreen with NO preservatives or harmful ingredients.
- But please remember…
As essential as using a safe and natural mineral sunscreen on a daily basis is – always be vigilant when you and your family are spending time in the sun. Wearing protective clothing and hats and limiting sun exposure is still vital in the hot summer sun.
With that said – have fun and stay safe!
Eli and you Natural Sunscreen is a safe and highly effective broad spectrum natural mineral sunscreen for the whole family. With SPF 40+, UVA and UVB protection, it is an essential summer companion!
Buy it from our online store and at selected health shops and retailers.
We are celebrating our latest product launch and are thrilled to introduce to you our new and even more effective Natural Sunscreen by Eli and you – the people with a “Passion for Purity”.
Giving our tried and trusted natural sunscreen a facelift entailed so much more than new packaging for the precious content. Now with a certified SPF of 40+ and with organic moringa oil, this natural sunscreen is the ultimate in safe, long-lasting sun protection for daily use and during extended sun exposure.
Keeping the whole family safe has always been our objective – and even more so with a sunscreen that says NO to harmful chemicals and YES to natural and organic ingredients.
The rising awareness of the dangers of chemicals found in everyday skin care products simply demands a better answer for daily sun protection – and we are only too happy to provide it to everyone who values their own health as well as that of their loved ones.
Specially formulated to be kind to sensitive skin, Eli and you natural sunscreen is made with organic and natural oils and extracts that are high in antioxidants to protect against free radicals caused by UV radiation.
Created to provide broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, our sunscreen acts as a physical reflective barrier to the sun – effectively minimising premature skin ageing and decreasing the risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer).
There are great benefits to this pure product – here’s just a few!
• Natural and organic ingredients
• Safe for sensitive skin
• Family friendly
• NO preservatives
• Broad spectrum UVA & UVB
• No fragrances
• No chemical filters, parabens or oxybenzone
• Water resistant
• Moisturising and nourishing
• Replenishes and protects
• Safe for the environment
Light and silky with great spreadability, Eli and you natural sunscreen leaves no embarrassing white residue – now show some love for your skin and make sure you get the best in natural sun protection this summer!
Eli and you natural sunscreen is now available in-store and online from our shop.
Caring for your baby’s skin
Protect your baby’s perfectly pure skin from the day of birth.
- Resist the urge to bathe your baby frequently! WHY, do you ask?
- Your baby is born with a fatty layer and an ‘acid’ mantle designed to protect the delicate immature skin. At this new stage of your baby’s life it is so important not to interfere with this layer.
- Baby is born with a skin pH about >6.0, dropping to about 4.95 after birth.
- In this first week of their life, bathing and using harsh soaps causes baby’s skin to become vulnerable to potential allergens. As the skin is thin, irritants, harmful chemicals and harsh soaps are rapidly absorbed through the baby’s skin. Because of this the skin can dehydrate due to transepidermal water loss.
- After baby’s birth, blood, cellular debris and meconium can be gently wiped off with a soft clean towel, after which the baby can be placed on the mother’s chest until his/her temperature is stabilised. The baby will also be comforted by her body warmth and beating heart.
Researcher’s advice on cleaning neonatal skin:
A premature baby should definitely not be bathed until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Never use skincare products on premature babies. It takes a week for the natural fatty layer to be absorbed by the skin, IF IT IS NOT WASHED OFF.
A full term baby only has to be bathed every 3-4 days using water alone in the first 2-4 weeks of life. Thereafter a 100% natural pH neutral cleanser, such as Eli & You Baby Bath and Body Oil alternating with water only every 3-4 days can be used.
- When bathing your baby create a warm, draft free environment. Ensure that everything you need is ready for use. The muslin cloths, towels, oil wash and barrier balm (when you start using these) should be within reach while bathing your baby. Always have a clean nappy and clothing at hand for when you take your baby out of the bath.
- It is important to ensure the correct temperature of the bath water before bathing your baby. The temperature should be between 34 and 36oC and should not exceed 37oC. You can place your wrist in the water as a natural heat gauge. Alternatively, use a bath thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- The bath water should only be deep enough to cover the baby’s chest. Wrap your baby securely in a muslin cloth and gently place the baby into the bath. As your baby’s skin is still fragile do not bathe him/her for more than 5 minutes. Ensure the baby stays warm from the bath by wrapping him/her in a warm towel.
- Always pat rather than rub your baby’s skin dry after bathing.
- If the water in your area is ‘hard’ use an oil based wash to protect your baby’s skin.
- Do wash all new clothing before your baby wears it, and always wash all your baby clothes separately from the family wash with mild chemical free laundry soap.
- Avoid lotions and emollients for the first 2-4 weeks of baby’s life.
- Eli and You have specially formulated 100% natural and safe products that you can use with confidence on your baby’s fragile skin.
- Start using Eli & You Baby Barrier Balm when his/her natural barrier is depleted in order to protect the baby’s nappy area. You can also make use of Eli & You Baby Bath and Body Oil for additional moisture and protection.
- Never use products designed for adult use on your baby. Be diligent and read through the precise ingredients listed on the product label. Eli & You recommend that you scan the list of ingredients on any product BEFORE purchasing or using it on your own or your baby’s skin. Take note it is the product’s label with the actual ingredient list that reveals what’s truly inside, NOT the words ‘natural’, ‘organic’, or ‘pure’ on the front of the product!
A baby first forms a connection through the touch of the skin and then the bonding process begins. The skin is known to be the first sensory organ to develop, and is also the largest.
You can encourage the bonding process through massaging your baby even if you are not experienced with massage techniques.
The benefits of baby massage:
- Research shows that massaging your baby encourages both psychological and physiological growth.
- Massage deepens the bonds of love and creates an environment where your baby feels loved and secure.
- There are also benefits for the parent as bonding with their baby brings a sense of fulfilment and has also been known to heal parents suffering from postnatal depression.
- Massage stimulates your baby’s awareness, brain development, motor skills, circulation and digestion. It also helps to release winds.
- Massaging with a 100% natural oil blend will protect your baby’s fragile skin and prevent it from drying out. Try our Eli and You Baby Bath and Body Oil.
- Massaging can improve sleep due to the relaxing effect on your baby.
- The therapeutic effect of massaging aids the strengthening of your baby’s immune system.
- Baby massage is useful for the overall development of premature babies.
Before you begin:
- Ensure that the ‘massage’ room is peaceful and warm (between 25 – 28oC)
- Remove any jewellery that may hurt your baby during massage.
- It is better to have short nails when massaging your baby as this will be softer on their skin.
- Be prepared with Eli & You Baby Bath and Body Oil, towels or muslin cloths as well as a set of clothes and your nappy changing kit.
Create a relaxing atmosphere:
Create a soothing atmosphere by turning off harsh lighting and playing nature sounds.
Make sure there are no distractions in the room like lively pets, mobiles or telephones.
When is the best time to massage baby?
Massage can become part of your night time routine that develops into cherish moments over time.
How should I massage my baby?
- Begin with baby massage once you are confident in handling your new baby.
- Start gradually with short sessions. You can lengthen these sessions once you and your baby become familiar with this special ‘meeting’ time.
- Make sure the skin is thoroughly dried after his/her bath. You can find detailed information about bathing your baby on the Baby Skincare page. (link)
- Lay your baby on the area where you normally do a nappy change, provided it is safe and comfortable for your baby, or on the floor with a thick, soft towel.
- Give your baby time to discover this bonding time with you, as you both become comfortable. If your baby shows a dislike, try again when you’re both calm and ready.
- Begin by warming a little oil by rubbing it between the palms of your hands.
- Use smooth and firm but gentle upward strokes, starting with baby’s legs as they are accustomed to touch on their legs during nappy changes.
- Gently place both hands upon baby’s chest and tummy area, spreading your fingers to the sides. Repeat a few times.
- Keep your hands on baby’s chest and make firm but gentle outward circles with your fingertips.
- Movements that are too soft and light will cause tickling, which will unsettle your baby and possibly end the massage moment.
- Do a gentle circular massage over your baby’s tummy, in a clockwise direction, to help with digestion and to expel winds.
- Use your thumbs in a circular motion on baby’s palms and foot arches, ending with lightly rubbing up to the ends of each finger and toe tip.
- If your baby is still enjoying the massage and you are comfortable to massage their back, you can do continuous up and down strokes along your baby’s spine and back. Be extremely careful to not apply too much pressure on the fragile neck and spine area.
- Complete the massage with slow movements, keeping baby as peaceful as possible.
- Remember to maintain eye contact and talk or sing to your baby during this special massage routine, ensuring your baby is kept calm.
- Massaging your baby can become a part of your daily routine. As you massage the various parts of their body in sequence, your baby will become familiar with your touch and will be comforted by the experience.
- Please note: It would be advisable to wash your baby’s hands when you are finished, to ensure that no oil agitates their eyes.
During the time your baby wears nappies, there is always a possibility that a nappy rash will occur.
- Your young baby’s skin is thin and delicate. Lengthy exposure of the developing epidermal layer to the ammonia produced by the urine and stools is compounded by the nappy which aggravates the situation.
- Most products on the market like washing powders, soaps, bath creams and even certain nappy brands contain chemicals and undesirable preservatives. (do check all labels)
- Baby wipes can contain perfumes, unnatural ingredients etc.
- A breastfeeding mother eating or drinking foods that are high in acidity will cause acidic residue in her breast milk.
- When baby is teething, has diarrhoea or is unwell, his motions can become more acidic.
- Baby’s bottom will become very inflamed, with possible spots/pimples and will be hot to the touch.
- The skin may even become raw and in bad cases the skin will be damaged by blisters.
- Eczema & dry patches will require very urgent treatment. Skin sensitive and effective ingredients which are found in Eli and You Baby Product Range will quickly soothe and restore baby’s bottom.
Measures to prevent a nappy rash:
- Wet and soiled nappies should be removed immediately. Very young babies require changing 9 to 12 times a day, while older babies should be changed up to 7-9 times.
- The entire nappy area should be gently and thoroughly cleaned using slightly warm water, ensuring the wiping is from the front to the back. If baby wipes are used make sure they are free of any chemicals, perfume or preservatives.
- Lay your baby on a soft towel leaving the nappy off for as long as possible. The fresh air will dry baby’s skin. Do this as often as you are able to.
- Once the nappy area has been cleaned and aired, apply a pure natural barrier balm which covers the entire area such as Eli & You Baby Barrier Balm, which will protect the skin from infection. When using towelling or cloth nappies, always ensure they have been washed and rinsed very well.
Treatment for nappy rash:
- Mild nappy rash will become infected by bacteria or fungus if you do not treat it immediately.
- If the rash becomes bright red with white or red pimples spreading to the folds of skin, bottom and tummy, it may be a thrush infection known as Candida. In this case it would be best to seek professional advice.
- Clean damaged skin very gently by dabbing the area with soft cotton balls moistened with pure salt water or a saline solution. Rather run warm water over the affected skin area, and do not wipe in cases of severe nappy rash.
- Your baby will be experiencing severe pain, so reducing his stress will help greatly and alleviate some discomfort.
- Lay baby on a towel after cleansing and let the sunlight fall on the affected area for a few minutes several times a day before 10a.m. or after 3p.m.
- Cover the affected area with a layer of nappy rash salve and a layer of Eli & You Baby Barrier Balm over this for added protection. Now put a clean, dry nappy on your baby.
- If using cloth or towelling nappies, it is imperative that you change baby as soon as he/she is wet so that the nappy area is always kept dry.
- If disposables are used make sure a quality product is used that has optimum effectiveness in absorbing all moisture ensuring that the nappy area is dry. Continue to be diligent in monitoring the condition of the nappy so that the dry state is maintained.