Recently a reader asked me a GREAT question about how to adopt a natural beauty routine. I know it might seem overwhelming at first — but this is about all about baby steps and gradually getting those toxins out of your daily routine. I mean, did you know that when a product lists "fragrance" on the label it essential means "hidden chemicals"? Basically, that means it could include any number of over 3,000 chemicals used in the fragrance industry? YIKES!
Your epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, and the largest organ of the body! In our modern age, the skin is commonly believed to be a strong barrier that protects the body (and it is), but it is often forgotten how permeable it is! Lotions, potions, deodorants, sunscreens, makeup, anti-[insert symptom here] cream, you name it — gets rubbed on, lathered, and re-applied.
But where does it all go? How many pounds of parabens, sulfates, glycols, and chemicals you can't pronounce is that a year?
Those chemicals get absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body. Eventually they end up getting processed by the liver, and IF you have the right nutrient stores on hand, they will be eliminated via urine or out the digestive tract. But what if you don't have the right nutrients on hand in your liver to process the chemical burden? Then what happens?
When the liver can't process something properly for removal, it often stores it in adipose tissue where it is safer than it would be if it were to be left circulating in the body. However, over time these toxins can add up, and before we know it, we are carrying around a huge toxic burden. Not to mention these chemicals are often found in cancer samples.
"New research has detected the presence of paraben esters in 99 percent of breast cancer tissues sampled. Parabens are chemicals with estrogen-like properties, and estrogen is one of the hormones involved in the development of breast cancer" (Dr. Mercola, 2012).
So what can we do about this? First, reduce your toxic burden by using food on your skin. I like to [try] follow a simple rule: If I wouldn't eat it, my skin probably doesn't want to either. Of course there are exceptions from time to time, but the key is the reduction of chemicals going into the body.
Here's how to get started at home:
1) Be prepared
How can you get started with a natural routine if you don't have essential supplies on hand? No one wants to have to go to the store every time they see a new recipe or great beauty tip (talk about an inspiration killer!). The following staples I find essential for making a transition such as this!
Foods for your skin (just a small list to get you thinking, read more ideas here)
- Essential oils: (my personal favorite) can be used to make your own beauty products, household cleaners, as well therapeutic plant medicine 🙂
- Coconut oil: works well to moisturize any part of the body (works great mixed with Aloe Vera), can also be used as a base to make your own deodorant, and toothpaste!
- Aloe Vera: great to moisturize, but be sure to check the ingredients for additives, they often sneak in there!
- Jojoba Oil (like this) great diluted with water on the face, or another area of the body.
- Tea Tree oil: Great for inflamed ingrown nails, it's a strong anti-fungal/anti-microbial
- Shea butter/beeswax/coconut oil/zinc oxide/vitamin E oil: great ingredients to make your own sunscreen or lotion
- Vitamin E
- Beeswax (like this)
2) Start in the bathroom.
Read why this blogger stopped using toothpaste.
Toothpaste Alternatives by The Nourished Life
3 Ingredient Homemade Mouthwash
Coconut oil Tooth Scrub by The Coconut Mama
Homemade Squeezable Toothpaste by Homemade Mommy
Homemade No-Fluoride Toothpaste by Small Family Footprint
Try oil pulling:
What is oil pulling by the Crunchy Moose
Does oil pulling work by Our Small Hours
3) Stop buying products and start making your own natural beauty products.
DIY Roll On Perfume with Essential Oils
Make a great lotion:
Anti-bacterial Body Butter
Coconut Oil Lotion Bars by The Coconut Mama
Mint Chocolate Whipped Body Butter by The Nourished Life
Homemade Face Cream by The Elliott Homestead
4) Learn about less toxic makeup brands.
If you want to buy a product, you need to get educated on less toxic skincare (some ideas here). I use EWG’s Skindeep database as my #1 tool and authority for researching product safety. They rate skincare and beauty products on a 0-1o scale (10 is the most toxic to your health) so you can make informed decisions before making a purchase.
Don't forget to eat well
Lastly, don't forget build up nutrients in the body by eating real food and strengthening your digestion. This will help create more available nutrients and co-factors needed by your liver to ensure that you have on hand what your body needs to process any toxins you do take in from skincare and beauty products.
PS — I also have a Facebook group you can join if you want more natural tips!
Now it's your turn. Please share you best DIY natural beauty & green living tips in the comments!
READY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS IN YOUR HOME?