It is no surprise that we are living in a world where genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, thrive. This happens when plants and living organisms are genetically altered to make them more “beneficial” to humans. This means that none of them are ever natural anymore.
GM foods have been around since 1996, and they have comprised a large portion of America’s food supply since then. But while we are used to GMOs in our food, they could also be found in our skincare products! We are then left wondering -- would we want our skin to use these potentially harmful chemicals?
How GMOs invade the skin:
The very first cosmetic products are derived from plants. This might sound au naturel, but not until the existence of GMOs. Quite a large percentage of agricultural sources have already been modified through biotechnology, assisting farmers in their day-to-day production of crops. This boils down to skincare companies that take their basic ingredients from these very same plants.
An example would be lauric acid, a saturated fat that can be used as moisturizing agent for creams and lotions. While it can be taken from coconuts, it can come from canola. Since there is a high demand for lauric acid in the cosmetic field, canola is often genetically modified to produce higher levels of the ingredient. Just when we thought we have purchased a natural deodorant, we are actually feeding a GMO product to our skin!
The potential health risks of GMOs:
While the Food and Drug Administration has not concluded yet that GMO food or plant sources are less safe to use than natural skincare products such as an organic chemical free deodorant, consuming GMO food have been known to affect healthy bacteria in our intestines. There have been several cases when kids with severe allergies had less allergy attacks after they avoided GMO foods. With this finding, it may be possible that such health risks can occur, in one way or another, from patronizing GMO skincare products.
Ingredients to watch out for:
GMO may now be easily found in both cosmetic and skincare products, including anti-aging creams, body washes, lotions, and deodorants. Usually, the ingredients for these products may be derived from GM plants and crops, which include canola, corn, soy, and papaya among others. To make sure that you are getting only natural skincare products, always read the labels and choose ones with less chemical ingredients. For instance, most organic aluminum free deodorant don’t have the following potentially GMO-derived ingredients: amino acids, citric acid, lactic acid, sodium citrate, alcohol, vegetable protein, and even corn starch.
How to steer clear from GMO skin products:
It’s true that we are living in a GMO-infested world, but there’s no stopping us from wholeheartedly loving our skin and investing in natural products! When choosing for skincare and personal care products, know this mantra by heart: shop organic!
Check out labels as much as possible; there’s no knowing what you feed into your skin by not doing a little reading! Some brands often place a “GMO-free” label on their products to help customers know what they’re buying. While organic standards don’t tolerate GMO ingredients in their products, it is still better to research about a certain organic/natural brand if they are truly certified.
Our skin only deserves the best TLC we could give, and it is better to invest in skin care products that we are sure to be beneficial to the body than they are harmful. There’s no harm in going green for your skin!