5 Hidden Ingredients in Your Skin Care You Might Not Know About - Melissa K. Norris

5 Hidden Ingredients in Your Skin Care You Might Not Know About

By Melissa Norris | Natural Medicine Cabinet

Sep 21

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Our skin is our biggest organ and what we come in contact with affects us. It’s important to know what the ingredients are in anything we’re putting on our body, not only the ones that are harmful, but also the ones that are beneficial, and how they work with our bodies and skin.

No matter where you’re at on your journey, but especially if you’re just starting out on trying to use more natural ingredients and products, don’t become overwhelmed and try do it all. Just start small and move forward.Learn what these 5 hidden ingredients in your body and skin care products are and how they affect your skin. You might be as surprised as I was! Don't pay money for filler ingredients that don't benefit you, learn how to read the ingredient label and what those ingredients really mean


Many reasons most of us don’t make a change is simply because we didn’t even know we needed too. I had no idea until the interview with Molly that I was affecting the ph level of my skin and possible aggravating my blemishes (that just sounds nicer than acne) more. But now I do, and I’m on week two of only using oil cleansing (listen to the podcast and you’ll totally get it) and the first few night I was like, this is so weird, I’m going to break out…. but guess what, I haven’t! And I haven’t had those dry places, even with the weather changing to fall.

There’s many different areas of health, our skin, our food, the products we use to clean our home, the way we move our bodies, because let’s face it, we’re complex beings and there’s more to us than just one thing.strong>Listen to this post Episode #89 (just push play below) and all our episodes of the

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Molly, never put on your skin what you wouldn’t put on your  mouth. I thought everything you buy in the store was healthy and safe and people and companies were looking out for me. From the time my two babies were newborns I used to very common and popular products to bathe my kids in, not realizing I was dousing them with toxic ingredients.

Here I was spending all this time making raw milk yogurt, our own cheese, butters, and soaking grains. I spent a lot of time doing all that but never took into consideration I was feeding my kids toxins through their skins.

5 Hidden Ingredients in Skin Care Products

This is a simple lotion formula, though you likely won’t find any products that have this small of a list in the store, but this is the basic lotion or cream formula to make skin care products and we need to understand this formula to see how it affects our skin.

If you look at the products in your home probably all of them have water as the first ingredient, which means it’s the largest quantity. Water breeds mold and bacteria when its introduced to other ingredients. The same way a grapefruit will mold on the counter top but if you dehydrate it will last indefinitely.

  1. Water If you add water to a product, the FDA requires a strong preservative to combat the mold and bacteria.Most of us know to stay away from or have heard the term parabens.
    Melissa: Yes, and pthalates, those are ones to stay away from.Molly: Right, we know to stay away from them. But then you see an ingredient that says
  2. Grapefruit seed extract and you think that sounds pretty healthy, like I could eat that. But grapefruit seed extract started out as natural, but it goes through a 7 step process that involves an acid. I’ve yet to find one grapefruit seed extract that doesn’t have a preservative added back in. Melissa: That’s crazy. I’ve always looked at ingredient labels and when I saw water as the first main ingredient I thought, well our bodies are made up of mainly water so this is probably a good thing. I mean, water is natural, I never thought about it like with the mold or bacteria, and same thing with grapefruit seed extract. I’m already learning a ton!
  3. Healthy Plant Oil– Except it’s not in its original state so you’re not getting the full nutrients.  Fractioned coconut oil is a fraction of coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and that causes a problem for formulators because it’s not always a creamy consistency. They take it into a lab and remove the parts that solidify, so it’s always liquid, which makes fractioned coconut oil.There’s also RBD coconut oil, that stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. It’s kind of what we did with the milk industry, we couldn’t regulate it so we just pasteurized and homogenized everything so there wasn’t anything left in it. That’s what happens with a lot of our plant oils, they really don’t have the nutrients that you want in them by the time they’re added into the skin care product. 
  4. Emulsifying wax- necessary to mix oil and water together. We used to use whale flubber, but for obvious reasons not anymore, one of them is cetyl alcohol, they’re usually a cocktail of a bunch of toxins. They don’t have to list all of the ingredients in this cocktail, if I use cetyl alcohol in my product, I only have to list cety alcohol, not all of the ingredients used to make the cetyl acohol. When you’re looking at an ingredient list, you’re not actually necessarily seeing all of the ingredients.Out of these simple 4 ingredients, only 1 of them is actually beneficial to your skin. Water can be beneficial because it plumps your skin up with the water but then it dehydrates and your skin goes back. You’re basically buying and paying for a tiny fraction of actual beneficial ingredients.
  5. Vitamin E. Most vitamin e oil’s are isolated in a lab. For example, with an avocodo, they go in and extract it, that’s the best case scenario. Worst case scenario is they mimic in a lab what vitamin e does and create a synthetic form of it.

Those are things you might not have known about and things that are more hidden. When a product says cucumber extract you think you’re getting something healthy, but there’s a lot of other things in there that are not beneficial to the skin.

Why does this even matter?

It’s an issue of health. When you detox your body you feed your body good healthy ingredients and your body is able to process that food really quickly so it can take the rest of its time to go in and heal your body. Its not necessarily the food that’s helping, it’s just your body isn’t need to spend the time to process the junk and can focus on healing.

The same happens with your skin. When you just feed it beneficial ingredients, it doesn’t have to process out the dyes, perfumes, cetyl alcohol, emuslifying wax, then it can just go about the work of healing your skin and not flushing all that other stuff.

We’re finding a lot of people are having eczema, psoriasis , and acne are finding relief because they’re removing the unneeded ingredients and the skin is able to heal itself. You have this good nourishing things that’s full of all beneficial and not cheap fillers.

Melissa: I love this, because I’ve already done this with our families diet. Before this recording Molly and I had emailed but we’d never talked before. This is so me, this is the path I’ve taken with my family and my health. We started with food and this is my motto too, take baby steps so it sticks.

Molly: Recently the news had said we’re not doing anti-bacteria anymore. The skin has 3 layers, the dermis, epidermis, dermis, and subcantaneous tissue. The epidermis is your protective layer and it’s the bodies first line of defensive against things in the environment. Your skin should be slightly acidic, the body alkaline, but the acidic level of your skin protects against irritation, inflammation, aging, so the product that’s in everything that’s sudsey is sodium laryel sulfate.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Soap on Your Face

It’s found in heavy duty cleaners, engine degreasers, shampoos, soaps, but hardly any  of us get truly dirty enough to use a heavy duty cleanser like that all over our bodies. I would never recommend using a cleanser for your face, I haven’t used a cleanser on my face in over 10 years.

What happens is the caustic cleanser (even Castile soap) strips your skin of it’s naturally occuring oils that help to protect it. It changes the ph level of your skin. You strip your skin and the body says I need way more oil and it starts producing oil, then you add moisturizer and it says, oh, I don’t need more oil. And you create this roller coaster.

To enhance what’s already there you want to keep it balanced and whats already there. A lot of the reason our skin feels dry is our skin is confused because you’re stripping it.

Oil cleansing is using oil to cleanse the skin instead of soap.

What to Use for Acne and Skin Issues

Melissa: I have combination skin and have acne, plus I use makeup, so I always wash my face at night with Castile soap and then I use Jojoba oil, because it is close to the ph level of the skin.

Molly: For acne, people think the oil would be the worst thing. That’s not the case, it depends on the type of oil and the combination of them. The oil production needs to be kept steady. People like to use castor oil, but I think that’s really drying so I’d stay away from that.

We have two oil cleansing products, Nourish and Cure, Cure is a bunch of plant oils and lavender and grapefruit essential oil. The grapefruit help clean out the pores and the oils have a lot of Omega 3’s and 6’s which help keep the oil levels and ph levels balance. We had it tested in a lab and it consumed the yeast and bacteria that was introduced to it.

Your helping kill the bacteria and dirt, but you’re keeping the moisture level. Many people don’t need to use moisturizer twice a day any more.

Quick Tip for Reading Ingredient Labels

If it has numbers or Capital letters, you want to stay away from those, like DEA or Propylene glycol, they’ve been made in a laboratory. Even water in the skin care product, because it requires so many other items your skin doesn’t need.


About the Author

Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.

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