Healing Sensitive Skin

Skincare trends come and go, but if Google’s anything to go by, many of us experiencing sensitive skin are looking for long-term solutions.

Google searches for “sensitive skin” have more than doubled in the last five years worldwide with conditions like eczema increasing in urban populations since the 1970s.

This is partly due to changes in our skin microbiome and the multiple ingredients we use on our skin. 

Fragrance is one of the most sensitising ingredients in skincare, and one of the most common skin allergens.

Skin-wellness brand Ethos & Co has set its sights on helping to soothe the nation’s sensitive skin.

Ethos has released a new fragrance-free rich body moisturiser, designed to calm sensitive skin, and help people avoid harmful fragrance ingredients.

While fragrance adds to the sensorial experience of using skincare products, both synthetic and natural fragrances can irritate sensitive skin and impact our health.

Ethos co-founder Hana Wakefield explains, “synthetic fragrances can contain several hundred unknown ingredients, none of which are required to be disclosed, including phthalates.”

Phthalates are known hormone disruptors liked to altered gene expression, including critical genes that impact placenta function in pregnancy.

Dermatitis, asthma and migraines are all linked to fragrance ingredient allergies.

Alarmingly, a 2018 report by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) found three-quarters of the chemicals associated with chronic health effects (including cancer) that were detected in 140 personal care & cleaning products, were fragrance ingredients.

Unfortunately, natural fragrance is somewhat implicated too.

It can contain irritating isolates, while plant ingredients like lavender and tea tree oil are also linked to endocrine disruption.

Repeated exposure to essential oils can likewise cause skin allergies to develop.

Ethos & co’s new fragrance-free rich moisturiser is made from 100% natural origin ingredients and preserved with gentle plant-origin ingredients which also condition the skin.

“It took us over two years to formulate using plant-preservation, but we chose not to use cheap synthetic preservatives like phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol or methylisothiazolinone,” explains co-founder Gerard Wakefield.

The hero ingredient is a unique, traditionally processed Cambodian virgin coconut oil, made from fresh coconut milk which is hand-squeezed and then naturally fermented, maximising its anti-inflammatory plant polyphenol levels.

Ethos & Co’s fragrance-free moisturiser is pH balanced in line with our skin’s optimal weakly acidic pH supports a healthy skin microbiome and skin barrier function.

With quality ingredients like virgin coconut oil, shea butter and mango seed butter, fragrance was an unnecessary addition to the moisturiser, and likewise, there was no need for harmful ingredients to neutralise or mask the base formulation.

Soothing and hydrating with Ethos spreads a little goodness in the world too.

“After living in Cambodia back in 2009, we set our social impact brand up to increase incomes and create fair wage employments in Kampot, Southern Cambodia,” says Wakefield.

“We do this through ethical trade and partnering and supporting a Khmer social enterprise that produces the coconut oil. Profits go back into sustainable development in Cambodia, including replanting coconut trees for future village income and carbon capture.”

Here in Aotearoa, Ethos & Co also donates its virgin coconut oil to families with premature babies to protect their underdeveloped skin barrier.

Here’s to beautiful skin, and beautiful impact.

Find out more about Ethos & Co here.

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