Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Love-up the Skin You're In

Skin – it’s our largest organ and it’s exposed. Many of us don’t really think too much about what we feed it from the inside or don’t realize that our diets directly affect its condition. Rather, we wash it and scrub it and slather it with products that promise to make it silkier, smoother, and wrinkle-free.

Like the toxins in the food we eat, the air we breathe, or the water we drink, a skin diet of heavily processed personal care products adds to our body burden (thetoxic chemicals we're carrying in our bodies).

The trouble is, most of the products on the market today are chock full of unregulated chemicals, including antibiotics, parabens, and phthalates that either get absorbed through our skin, eyes, nose, or get swallowed or washed down the shower or sink.

And they can trigger different reactions like allergies or sun sensitivity or mimic hormones like estrogen and increase the risk to certain cancers. You can check out the products your family uses in the Skin Deep Database here and watch a great video from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that explains what’s going on with the personal care products industry here.

In the mean time, what do we do? For one thing, switch to organic, plant-based, all natural items. Safe, natural, organic brands are in abundance and can be found on the internet – and even at your local pharmacy and Target. You may just need to experiment to find the ones that work for you.

Secondly, many common foods can also substitute as beauty products and are typically found in the kitchen. For example, baking soda makes a wonderful gentle scrub for the skin or clarifier for hair. Simply add a bit into face wash or shampoo and cleanse as normal. Coconut, olive, and sesame oils soften and moisturize the skin and avocado and honey make a nice hair mask.

Using items from the kitchen will accomplish two things: it reduces the number of products you and your family are exposed to and it will simplify your personal care routine.

So today, think of ways you may be able to clean up your beauty act. I’d love to hear them!

: )

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