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From Toxic to Non-Toxic Beauty: Get Your Glow Back

According to ancient Ayurvedic medicine, which is thousands of years old, whatever you put on your skin, you should be able to ingest. We love all our skin products because they make us feel good and we want our skin to glow.  We really believe that we are doing something really good for ourselves, but what many people are not considering is what these products are really costing us, not only financially, but health wise as well.

Most of our favorite cosmetics (including skin care, shampoos, make-up, etc.) are cocktails of industrially produced and potentially dangerous chemicals that could damage our health and, in some cases, rather than delivering on their potent “anti-aging” promise, are causing us to age faster.

Research by Bionsen, a natural deodorant company, found that the average woman’s daily grooming and make-up routine means she “hosts” a staggering 515 different synthetic chemicals on her body every single day!  Wow!

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? It’s true, and most people do not that the chemical-enriched lotion, soap, etc. they are slathering on their skin is getting absorbed on a cellular level. The skin is like a sponge and once a chemical penetrates the outer layer of the skin, it can easily absorb into the dermis. The dermis is the second layer of the skin (under the epidermis/outer layer) that contains blood vessels that can deliver these chemicals throughout the bloodstream and to other tissues.

Commercial brands of skin care are hampering your skins’ natural ability to breathe. The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics states, “Loopholes in U.S. Federal Law allow the $50 billion cosmetic industry to put in unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care with no required testing, monitoring of health effects, and inadequate labeling requirements.  In fact, cosmetics are among the least regulated products on the market.”

There are tons of chemicals that comprise fragrances that make these products smell nice, but can unfortunately lead to hormone disruption, neurotoxic effects and allergic reactions.  We are learning the link to weight gain particularly in children from the effects of the hormone disruptors.  Then there are nanoparticles, created by technologies now used in the cosmetics industry.  Nanoparticles have the potential to penetrate the brain-blood barrier and can lead to health issues like DNA mutation and certain cancers.

According to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2007, products containing petroleum-based ingredients may be contaminated with a cancer causing chemical called 1,4-dioxane.  In fact, the study showed nearly ¼ of all cosmetic products may be contaminated with this ingredient. Additionally, the most commonly found petroleum product in makeup is phthalates, which are linked to endocrine disruption and certain cancers. Avoid products with fragrances, PABA, parabens formaldehyde-donating preservatives, and petroleum-based ingredients that include benzene, mineral oil, petrolatum, toluene and sulfates.

On Thursday, August 16, 2012, one of the largest cosmetics companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson, announced that they have agreed to phase out chemicals that can cause cancer and harm our health.  They said this will affect their baby and adult products in 57 countries around the world!  This is great news!

Thankfully, there are excellent alternative products available.  The products that Ayurvedic medicine recommend are plentiful and can be found online or in some of  your local markets, like Whole Foods, Fairway, drug stores, etc. Ayurvedic medicine advocates many types of all natural skin care, such as therapeutic grade essential oils, coconut oil, olive oil, and jocoba oil as great face and body moisturizers. You would use them after showering as your pores are open to absorb the richness of the oil.  I personally use these oils and love them!  I teach my clients to do self-massage with coconut oil after showering and how self-loving and de-stressing it feels.

Empower yourself by taking a leap of faith into embracing a non-toxic skin care regime.  Take one step at a time, such as using a wholesome, all natural soap for your body.  Step by step you can go all natural.  You can save yourself from those nasty chemicals, save money, and help the environment.  Why not consider making your own scrubs, moisturizers, etc.?  It’s rewarding to pamper yourself by doing this. You can take whole milk and ground coffee.  Mix together until it’s a paste and put on your face.  Leave it on for 20 minutes for super soft skin and you don’t clog up your pores. You will find coffee in lots of products, as the caffeine is stimulating to the cells and particularly good under the eyes.  This is just one example of hundreds of recipes.

I believe that natural, healthy living is the secret to inner and outer beauty.  When you eat natural, you look and feel better.  Health maintenance is necessary at the core of any beauty regime.

I hope you learned something you did not know and can implement change. You will feel better about keeping what enters your body clean and wonder how you used chemicals in the first place!

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