As you get all dolled-up for holiday parties or out buying gifts for your loved ones, you probably don’t think much about how jewelry, clothes and makeup may harm our skin and body… Guest blogger, Gwen Lewis, is here today to share with us how our adornments may be an unhealthy choice.
Do you believe in the saying ‘You are what you wear’? While this might mean you’re fashionable and stylish, are you sure it doesn’t mean that you’re also unhealthy? There are many items you wear that can harm your skin and body without you even realizing it at times, so avoid them these holidays.
Watch Your Metals
Although it’s a jewelry trend to wear lots of different metals together, be sure these metals are not irritating your skin or causing allergic reactions, such as redness, dryness, blisters, or rashes.
You can prevent these conditions by avoiding costume jewelry, nickel, copper and brass – the last two also tend to make your skin green. You’re probably going to spoil yourself this festive season with a new piece of jewelry, so bear these tips in mind:
- Choose blends of metals (known as alloys) that contain palladium as a healthier alternative to nickel or copper because it’s hypoallergenic.
- Wear fine jewelry that rates high in purity. This means fewer metals have been used in its production so you lower your risk of irritation.
- When buying sterling silver, always check for a ‘925’ stamp as this signals a high level of purity. Gold should be 14 karats or higher as anything less means the piece probably contains a mix of other metals.
- Avoid jewelry that’s silver- or gold-plated as it could contain skin-irritating metals underneath.
- Choose natural diamonds that have been sourced in an eco-friendly and socially-conscious way so that you are getting something genuine that hasn’t caused harm to others. This might not directly affect your skin but it will make you feel happier and be healthier, especially if you consider the issue of blood diamonds.
Sometimes jewelry pieces get very close for comfort – think tongue rings or belly rings that are literally in your skin. You should always choose body jewelry labelled as ‘nickel-free’ or ‘surgical’. Remember to clean these pieces regularly to prevent infections.
Body jewelry that isn’t in your mouth should be washed with antibacterial soap and warm water for a few minutes. Tongue or lip rings should be soaked in antibacterial mouthwash. After washing body jewelry, always reinsert them immediately to avoid germs from coming into contact with them.
Is Your Skin Full of Toxins?
What you wear comes into direct contact with your skin on a daily basis so you want to choose items made with human-friendly substances. It might surprise you to discover that this isn’t always the case. Cheap, mass-produced clothing often contains chemicals.
Studies that tested clothing from various global fashion brands found that most of it contained nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). These chemicals disrupt your hormones, which can make you sick.
There are other chemicals lurking in fashion, such as formaldehyde that can lead to breathing problems, skin irritation and even cancer. When you wash clothing that contains chemicals, this releases them into the water supply where they can harm the environment.
When choosing what to wear to glamorous festive season parties, make sure it’s healthy and stylish:
- Only buy clothing made from eco-friendly and organic materials, such as organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. These are gentler on your skin and feel softer. They make you look fashionable without putting your health at risk.
- If your skin is sensitive, avoiding synthetic fibers can keep your skin free of conditions such as eczema because synthetic materials such as rayon, nylon, and polyester don’t allow skin to breathe.
Beauty without Skin Cruelty
Besides jewelry and clothing that can irritate your skin, take a closer look at your makeup box these holidays. Many popular makeup brands contain harmful chemicals that can cause skin issues, such as rashes or dryness, or health conditions. It doesn’t help that your skin will absorb up to five pounds of chemicals in makeup every year!
- Choose natural, organic beauty products that don’t make use of chemicals. These should be the case for skincare and makeup products.
- Never go to bed with makeup on, even if you’re tired after a Christmas party. This clogs pores and can cause skin reactions such as acne.
- Always try makeup samples before buying products, even in the case of organic items, to be sure you’re not sensitive to any ingredients.
There are many ways in which you can harm your skin, so pay closer attention to the products you’re applying to it as well as clothes and accessories you love to wear. Stay gorgeous and healthy this festive season!
About the Author
Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the makeup and fashion industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.
Is there any jewelry, clothing or makeup that you avoid for health reasons?