Recently, a natural deodorant company in the UK (Biosen), revealed in a study that the average woman applies over 500 chemicals a day to her body via her beauty routine. Additionally, a study out of the University of California, Berkeley found that lipstick can contain up to nine different metals! And that's just lipstick! The conclusion of the study reported "This preliminary study of the metal content of 32 lip products suggests that toxic metals in cosmetics should be regulated to protect women’s health in the United States, as has already been undertaken by the European Union through their Cosmetics Directive." The key here is "SHOULD be regulated", but is currently not.
Ladies in the US-- that means it's up to YOU to decide what products you want on your body. I hope this post empowers you to take control of your beauty routine by switching to natural skin care products, as a measure to support your own health and well-being.
What your skin eats- you eat!
Your epidermis is your outermost layer of the skin, and the largest organ of your body. It's known as a strong barrier protecting your body, 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 your blood stream and circulated around your body! Eventually, they end up getting processed by your liver, and IF you have the right nutrient stores on hand they will be eliminated via urine or out your 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 your 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 your body. However, over time these toxins can add up, and before you know it, you are carrying around a huge toxic burden. Unfortunately, these chemicals are also 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 you do about this?
1) Reduce your toxic burden by using a natural skin care routine. 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 your body.
2) Build up nutrients in your 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 what your body needs to process toxins.
Know what you're putting on your body and know natural skin care alternatives
Commercial skin care products often contain:
- Triclosan - a pesticide that can affect hormone levels, commonly found in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.
- Parabens - a germicide and preservative found in most body care products like shampoos, deodorants, lotions that is banned in Japan and Sweden.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - an engine degreaser that is found in most personal care products. SLS is linked to hair loss, skin irritation and organ damage. It's currently banned in Europe and Canada.
- Fragrance - often means "hidden chemicals" due to a loophole in the chemical labeling system that means it could basically include any number of over 3,000 chemicals.
- DEA - stands for Diethanolamine a chemical compound used as an emulsifier in many personal care and cleaning products. DEA has been linked to certain cancers, reproductive damage, accumulation in the liver and kidneys, irritation to the skin, as well as the nose/throat if inhaled.
- Propylene Glycol - can damage cell membranes and is linked to liver disease, kidney damage and cause inflammation of the skin.
- Phthalates - a known carcinogen linked to birth defects, reduced sperm count and certain cancers often found in body care products (banned in Europe).
- Metals - like lead, aluminum, arsenic, mercury, nickel, iron! These have estrogenic effects, and increase the risk of cancer! Metals are especially common in things like antiperspirants.
All you REALLY need in your natural skin care routine...
- Coconut oil - I like to use virgin coconut oil on my skin.
- Essential oils - particularly lavender, frankincense, lemongrass, carrot seed oil.
- Jojoba oil - a golden colored liquid oil from the seed of the jojoba plant.
- Miscellaneous - cocoa butter, beeswax, vitamin E, etc.
Essential oils can be especially therapeutic and beneficial to your natural skin care routine. My favorites are:
- Lavender - most popular uses are for soothing the following: hay fever/allergies, occasional sleeplessness, insect bite/stings, cuts and scrapes and bruises, minor burns, and scars/skin issues.
- Frankincense - is rejuvenating to the skin, helps prevent scarring and aging, with a history of use since biblical times.
Essential oil safety note: Please do your own research and only purchase essential oils from a company you know and trust. There are a lot of sub-par oils out there with additives and fillers that your body could react to, so purity and sourcing are huge. Besides- buying low-quality oils that have been diluted doesn't do your body or wallet any favors! I trust the company I get my oils from because they are the only essential oil company that OWNS their own farms! And I get them at wholesale prices!
Less Toxic Makeup Action Plan:
Take a look in your makeup bag. Try replacing just 1 beauty product every month with a less toxic product. By the end of the year, you'll have nearly transitioned your whole makeup bag without the hassle, stress, and cost of doing it all at once.
If you want to buy a product, you need to get educated on less toxic skincare. 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.
Natural Skin Care Action Plan:
Start off by replacing 3 commercial products with the natural skin care suggestions from below (just a small list to get you thinking, read more ideas here):
- 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!
- DIY Roll-on Perfume - diluted essential oils in a jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil base.
- DIY Body Butter - a mix of cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils whipped to a luxurious consistency.
- DIY Face Cream - a simple coconut oil base with essential oils, and optional Progest E.
- DIY Lip Butter - chapstick made from a mix of cocoa butter, coconut oil, beeswax and essential oil.
- All Natural Deodorant - a quick and easy all natural deodorant with a base of coconut oil, arrowroot powder, aloe vera & beeswax.
- Aloe Vera - ideal as a moisturizer, but be sure to check the ingredients for additives, they often sneak in there!
- Jojoba oil - great diluted with water on the face as a moisturizer or makeup remover.
Don't have the supplies for to get started?
You can get them here at wholesale prices!
When you're ready to make the switch, I'll be here waiting to support you. If you have a question you can post it in the Facebook Group: How to build your natural health toolkit with essential oils.
Do you follow a natural skin care routine? Please share in the comments!