The one thing you should never put on your skin… according to this organic beauty boss
Mukti, the author and founder of the eco beauty brand, Mukti Organics, is no stranger to the natural beauty game. In fact, with a background in complementary medicine and over 20 years in the skincare industry, she practically invented the game. Her range of Australian-made certified organic beauty products are gluten free, vegan and cruelty free and housed in environmentally conscious packaging. In her new book Truth in Beauty she takes a deep dive into the beauty world and explains everything from how to read your ingredients label to how to make the green beauty switch. So yeah, it’s safe to safe she knows her stuff.
And, while we all want to live a cleaner, greener life we also know how hard/exhausting/ expensive and just plain overwhelming that can be. So we asked her: when it comes to what you put on your face and your body, what are the absolute no-no ingredients that a natural beauty boss would never put on her skin? And the answers surprised even us.
Yes really, fragrance. And the reason why is because you just don’t know what’s in them - and the fragrance companies don’t even have to tell you. Mukti says: “Ingredients aren’t listed on the label of perfumes as they are shrouded under the guise of trade secrets. A common chemical found in perfume is diethyl phthalate, which is a known endocrine disruptor - this means it mimics hormones and other biological processes.” In addition to this something called musk xylene is present in pretty much everything that has a fragrance (think: candles, personal care, room sprays), which is both a skin and respiratory irritant, and even synthetic musks (called tonalide and glaxolide) have been found to have some dubious side effects like contributing to brain cell degeneration. “Mix all these ingredients and a couple of hundred fragrance constituents in alcohol or another solvent and you have a free pass into the body via absorption, inhalation and even ingestion,” says Mukti. Can’t give up your signature scent? Her advice is to spray on your clothes instead in a well-ventilated area… and preferably only on special occasions. However, you can also look to brands like Ellis Brooklyn which is only one in a crop of new, green fragrances that are phthalate free.
Talc and Talcum powder:
Believe it or not, talc is not just the white clouds of lavender dust your granny used to douse herself in. It’s also found in a heap of makeup products including powders, blush and eyeshadows. Mukti says they’re a hard “no”, especially in the traditional baby powder form, because “they have been directly linked to ovarian and other types of cancers and can be poisonous when inhaled or swallowed.”
So, what are the alternatives if you’re looking at making the green switch? For scent, Mukti recommends high quality essential oils - but always with a carrier oil. If you’re really into the nostalgia of baby powder talc, try arrowroot starch, corn starch, tapioca starch, kaolin clay, rice flour, oat flour.
And a final note: we totally get that greenifying your beauty routine can be overwhelming, but Mukti says making these choices is all about empowerment and starting simply. “Become a label sleuth. Don’t place your faith and trust in regulatory bodies or manufacturers. Learn what to look for and what to avoid and err on the side of caution. Start with swapping out products that have the greatest potential to penetrate or be absorbed. Anything that covers all your body, anything that you put under your arms and anything that you inhale or ingest.”
Truth in Beauty, $59.95 is available now, and you can buy it - and all the organic beauty goodness - here.