In this day and age, it’s becoming increasingly important to be an aware consumer. We often hear about the dilemmas in non-organic food sources, but a lesser-known facet of health and wellness is the issue of toxicity in products. What we put on our skin is equally important as what we eat. Skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs whatever is put on it, which means all products with harmful chemicals run the risk of causing illnesses.
Recently we chatted with Jamie Costa, of Spa at The Essex to ask her some questions about the conversations around holistic, safe skincare products. Jamie has been working in the spa industry for quite some time and has seen the evolution of awareness around product ingredients shift and change.
For those of you wanting to better understand how to protect your health while still enjoying skincare products and spa treatments, read what Jamie has to say below!
Jamie, lately, we’ve heard more and more about the impact of chemicals in our products, is that also affecting spa/wellness products?
“Absolutely. I have found over the past 3-4 years more and more spa-goers are checking ingredients on our products in our spa boutique as well as asking more questions before purchasing. This leads us to review what we are selling and offering in our treatments and the long-term impact it could have on our health. There are over 500 ingredients in the UK that are banned but allowed here in the US. We are prioritizing educating ourselves and letting our clients know that we are committed to only using safe products with safe ingredients.”
What are some of the known ramifications of using products with chemicals? What chemicals and ingredients should we be watching out for?
“Your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it within 26 seconds. Think facial creams, body oils, and lotions. This is why crucial that we pay attention to the ingredients listed in any product we are applying to our hair/face/body. Products that carry a lot of ingredients can eventually impact our immune system with toxin overload and make us more susceptible to chronic illnesses and cancers. I’m sure you have heard it before, but watch out for parabens while scanning ingredients, you absolutely do not want to put parabens on your body. Next would be any synthetic colors or fragrance. Remember, generally speaking, the fewer ingredients, the better!”
What is a manageable strategy for us to implement to begin using safe products?
“This can feel overwhelming and personally took me over a year to complete! One strategy is to focus on one item at a time, for example, start with skincare. Slowly replace items as you need them with healthier, safer versions. It would not be cost-effective to throw out everything out at once. After your skin, you can focus on your cleaning supplies and keep moving from there, replacing products as you run out.”
What are some of the main benefits of using holistic, safe, and organic products?
“Using safe, holistic products reduces our toxic load, which is key to a long and healthy life. The processing method is also cleaner, made from chemical-free farms and stored in more recycling friendly packaging.”
What types of products or brands do you recommend?
“I highly recommend the app Think Dirty. This app is the easiest way to learn more about the potentially toxic ingredients in your products. All you have to do is scan a bottle of your favorite moisturizer or type in the name, and it will tell you on a scale of 1-10 if its safe or not.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share on this topic?
“Not all spas and salons are committed to only using safe products with safe ingredients, so please do not be afraid to speak up and ask questions. If the staff is not educated in answering your questions, you’ll have your answer.”
Thank you, Jamie, for taking the time to share this incredibly important information with us. We know your wisdom, insights, and tips will benefit the community greatly.
For those of you shopping around for a safe, non-toxic spa getaway, we recommend booking a stay and treatments at The Essex, which you can do right here!