We hear a lot about harsh chemicals in makeup and women’s skin care, but when was the last time you gave any serious thought to the harmful ingredients in men’s grooming products? For both men and women, an important part of caring for your body is considering how your personal care products are affecting your health. Substances from shaving cream to deodorant are absorbed by your pores, so the products you put on your skin merit as much attention as the food you put into your body.
Here are some of the easiest ways for men to replace harmful, commercial grooming products with effective, natural alternatives.
Care for your hair
John Edwards, Artistic Regional Manager and Creative Design Team Member for JCPenney Salon, says it’s particularly important to avoid hair care products with sulfates and parabens.
“Sulfates and paraben dry hair and strip it of vital natural oils. Men’s bodies respond to this by creating an excess of oil in order to compensate. Luckily, the industry is responding to consumer awareness of harsh ingredients in grooming products, and it’s increasingly easy to find shampoos and conditioners that remove dirt but maintain an appropriate amount of natural oil on the scalp and hair.”
Edwards says the key to finding a perfect product is personalization. “Do your research and test out a few different products to see what works best for you. Every scalp is different, but you can find a lot of information about great products online.”
Switching to paraben- and sulfate-free hair care has never been easier! With many quality brands on the market, you’re sure to find a natural men’s shampoo that keeps your hair strong, healthy and smelling great.
Pamper your ‘pits
According to The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, aluminum is the most common and widely distributed metal on Earth’s crust. We encounter it every day, from aluminum cans and foil in our kitchens, to airplanes and building supplies. But did you know that many deodorants also contain aluminum to combat underarm wetness? In small doses, aluminum isn’t harmful. However, many people develop allergic reactions to the aluminum in deodorant, causing itchy red bumps that are uncomfortable and unsightly.
Switching to a men’s deodorant that doesn’t have aluminum reduces exposure and your risk of developing an allergy that can negatively affect your health. Some deodorants also provide skin-nourishing benefits, with ingredients like coconut oil, aloe and tea tree oil. It’s a great way to pamper your ‘pits!
Score a smooth shave
When it comes to pampering a guy, you can’t go wrong with luxurious, all-natural products for the face. Regular shaving is tough on skin, and keeping skin looking and feeling great can be a chore. Many common shaving creams contain Propolene glycol, a chemical commonly found in antifreeze. Even worse is Triethanolamine, used as an emulsifier. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rate Triethanolamine as a skin irritant, and recommend wearing gloves when handling it. That certainly doesn’t sound like something you want on your face. It’s also an eye irritant, so be careful shaving with creams that contain Triethanolamine!
Instead, look for men’s shaving products that feature botanicals like chamomile to help soothe skin. For a really great shave, start by washing the face with a gentle exfoliant and warm water. This opens the pores and softens hair so it is easier to shave. Next, work up a good lather with a natural shaving cream. Pro tip: put a little bit in a cup and work into a lather with a natural shave brush. Once you’re done shaving, finish the job with a skin-rejuvenating post-shave balm.
Nourish your skin
Sensitive areas aren’t the only place where your skin will benefit from healthier products. In the shower, watch out for soaps that dry skin. Men especially want to steer clear of products that include phthalates, as some have been shown to damage the DNA in sperm. Opt instead for a soap that pampers your skin! Look for shower gels that have essential oils and extracts like calendula and chamomile. You’ll be squeaky clean and your skin will feel and look fantastic.
You don’t have to absorb harsh chemicals to look and feel your best. Switching to products like deodorant, shaving cream, and soap that offer hydration and nourishment for your skin will help keep your skin and your whole body healthy.