Guest Contributor & Edible Beauty Founder, Anna Mitsios tells us why Edible is the new Clean in skincare
I feel so strongly about products being so pure that they are literally ‘edible’ that I created an entire skincare brand with this concept at its core. Our ‘Edible Standard’ means that if you would not put in your mouth we would not put it in our products. We are proud to set the bar high and be world-leaders on toxin-free, botanical skincare.
This story all begins when I was practising as a Naturopath at a fertility clinic in Sydney. As a wholistic practitioner I would recommend that in addition to changes to their food and lifestyle routines, my clients also make changes to their beauty & personal care products. A large percentage of what we apply to our skin is absorbed directly into our bloodstream (a staggering 60-80%) meaning what we are using topically becomes just as important to our inner health as what we are eating. I was astounded to find that options available for skincare products that matched the ‘edible standard’, and were also luxurious and therapeutic were few and far between. And so I embarked on the journey of creating a results-driven, botanical and truly "edible" skincare line.
What this means is that not only are our products free of the usual nasties – parabens, sulfates, phthalates etc., they are also free of propylene glycol, benzyl alcohol, all preservatives, colours, synthetics and any ingredient that you wouldn’t find in your food. Every single ingredient in our products is pure, botanical AND good enough to eat!
'Edible’ vs ‘Organic’?
Organic does not mean a product is pure enough to be edible. In fact, many ‘organic’ products can also contain synthetic chemicals and preservatives along with organic ingredients. Our products are made with organic ingredients which are also always pure enough to eat (we don't actually recommend eating them - however you literally could!).
Being edible also does not mean that we compromise on the effectiveness of our skincare range. It's actually quite the opposite! The healing, regenerating, and anti-ageing benefits of our skincare products are enhanced through the inclusion of hydrating, antioxidant, nutrient and mineral-rich botanical extracts, which we find provide better results than conventional skincare chemical ingredients. Plus, these ingredients look after your health long term too.
Why is edible skincare important?
Our skin is the largest organ of our body and absorbs around 60% of the products that we place on it. Whilst it’s easy to think ‘well it is only a small amount of chemicals that end up in the body', using three or four products with nasty chemicals in them can add up. This could also be creating a "cocktail effect" of different synthetic chemicals, a theory that has led researchers to say that the effect of endocrine disrupting chemicals “may be significantly underestimated” (UNEP State of Science Endocrine disrupting Chemicals report)
This leads us to the next question of why you want to avoid the absorption of sulfates, parabens or other chemicals through the skin? A few of the key health issues that have been linked to the use of these toxins include autoimmune disease, endocrine disruption, fertility and cancer.
Auto-immune disease – toxins including the chemicals from our beauty & personal care products have been one of the reasons proposed for the increased incidence of autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease is far from uncommon, with one in twelve Americans developing an autoimmune disorder. There is overwhelming acknowledgment among the scientific and medical community that environmental toxins and chemicals to which we are increasingly exposed to are interfering with the immune system’s ability to function in a healthy way.
It cannot be argued that our exposure to toxins has increased over time. In a 2005 study, researchers found 287 industrial chemicals, including pesticides, phthalates, dioxins, flame-retardants, and the breakdown chemicals of Teflon, in the fetal cord — these chemicals being transferred to the infants by their mothers’ both before and during pregnancy. This alone should be the impetus for clean beauty & personal care products to be prioritised.
Endocrine disruption – A staggering 800 chemicals commonly found in skincare products are known or thought to be capable of interfering with hormone receptors, hormone production &/or hormone conversion. Endocrine disruption can affect fertility, metabolism & weight loss, tumour growth potential and adrenal health.
Fertility - Perfluorinated chemicals (PFC’s) are just one of the chemicals commonly found in skincare products that have been shown to affect fertility. A study conducted by UCLA researcher Chunyuan Fei, and published in the journal Human Reproduction, states that women with high levels of PFC’s have been shown to have a 60-154% higher risk of infertility.
Unborn babies - It is terrifying to think that our unborn babies are absorbing what we are putting on our skin whilst we are pregnant. Two specific studies screening for more than 400 chemicals have found chemicals in the umbilical cords of babies. One showing 287 toxins detected within the umbilical cord blood of newborns. Of these 287 toxins, 217 were neurotoxins, and 208 are known to impact growth & development & may cause birth defects. The toxins noted by the studies included BPAs and synthetic fragrances, both which are often found in skincare, cosmetics and personal care products.
Carcinogens - Sulfates, parabens, and even phthalates found in fragrances have been identified as carcinogens.
+ Parabens are often used as preservatives in moisturisers, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving gel, and facial cleansers. These chemicals are often absorbed through the skin and have been identified in tissue biopsy from breast tumours.
+ Sulfates are commonly used as foaming agents in shampoo, body wash, and facial cleanser. They are known to cause skin and eye irritation, and can also form carcinogenic nitrates when combined with other ingredients often found in these formulas. A study reported in the Journal of the American College of Toxicology found that sulfates could enter the bloodstream & body through the skin and build up in the heart, lungs, and brain.
+ Phthalates are used in products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics & thus the feel of the product. They are also regularly found in fragrances. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early onset of puberty, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
I truly hope after reading this you share my desire to make edible and toxin-free beauty regimes mainstream. In 2020 there is no need to compromise on results or luxury by using truly natural, edible beauty.
If your skincare or personal care products have ingredients you wouldn’t consider eating, then consider making the switch!
Adv. Dip. Naturopathy. Adv. Dip. Nutrition. B.Com (Honours)
Edible Beauty Founder