Today I thought that I might share my skin care routine with you because the skin is so incredibly important! Your skin literally absorbs everything that it comes into contact with. So obviously, what you conciously put on your skin is definitely important to your health (since you can't control environmental toxins).
So many lotions today are ridden with chemicals and harsh lubricants like petroleum (like the picture above). Come on people-- petroleum is most commonly used in cars!! Yuck! And of course, you have no one to blame but these companies, because they hide harsh ingredients behind yummy scents and pretty brand names that make us completely unaware of what's actually inside.
Our natural sences are what drive us away from harmful things. We have evolved to instinctively know when something may be bad for us. A few thousand years ago, that was a detrimental factor between life and death. Eat that bitter smelling root, and you're out! But nowadays, the products that we are putting on our skin are nothing more than a science experiment... So I am challenging you guys to be more mindful about what goes onto your skin, because it could be the cause for many health issues that you didn't even know about!
For example:Here is your task-- go grab your shampoo, conditioner, deoderant, and lotion. Then go through the list of chemical ingredients below, and see how many of the chemicals are in your everyday products. This will also give you a chance to learn about what long term effects these ingredients might have on you.
This is also known as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben, Butylparaben. Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. It is a medical fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer. This can also disrupt normal hormone activity in your body, and stimulate thyroid problems. There have been no successful studies to show that repeated and prolonged use of the paraben chemical is safe. It is a low-cost synthetic preservative for which many large cosmetic brands have tried to fund study to prove that prolonged usage is safe; all studies failed. Parabens are used in over the counter personal products as a preservative to extend the shelf life of the product. These chemicals can be found in face, body moisturizers, body wash, and cleansers.
A truly toxic skin care ingredient. Dibutylphthalate (DBP, DEP, also butyl ester) helps skin care absorb into skin. DEHP has been classified as a "probable human carcinogen" by the EPA. The Department of Health and Human Services has also classified DEHP as a potential carcinogen. L'Oreal is the only cosmetic company to discontinue the use of this chemical in Europe, only due to severe allergic reactions. L'Oreal in the United States, as well as many other companies continue to sell and use this harmful chemical. I personally prefer skin care that may take longer to absorb, rather than a product that absorbs rapidly, while injecting phthalates into my skin cells. Do not use it.
Almost all skin care products contain synthetic substances - petroleum (chemical) based. Studies have found that oral and topical application of petrochemicals in rodents resulted in anemia, kidney degeneration, and nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord. Even more disturbing was that several animals died before the study ended! Are you shocked that people still use these chemicals on their body? Some synthetic colors, such as FD & C Blue No. 1, are suspected carcinogens. Behentrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydrosypropyltrimonium Chloride, Linoleamidepropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate are toxic ammonium compounds for which concentrations as low as 0.1%. In the past little, was known about the long term exposure to petrochemicals. However, today we know that many of the household cleaning products, home furnishings and our food supply is loaded with petrochemicals, and this is linked to the rise in cancer, along with other diseases. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has not been proactive in removing these products from households in the United States.
Artificial fragrances are made from petroleum or coal which degrade in the environment and cause skin irritations. Cosmetic fragrance is made with cheap synthetic chemicals which replicate the natural aroma of products which already exist in nature. Companies use them because it is cheaper than using the natural scent. Our products include no synthetic fragrances - so if you are smelling the lavender in our Lavender Calm Lotion, you are smelling the actual lavender flower. Never synthetic, never chemical.
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate
Also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). This is the second most concentrated ingredient in shampoos. READ YOUR LABELS - the FDA requires that label ingredients are listed in the order of highest concentrations - meaning that the highest level of ingredients are listed first. Take a look at your cleanser or shampoo and you will find SLS is second or third. It is used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car wash detergents, and just about every soap and shampoo on the market. In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. According to the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, Vol. 2, No. 7, l983, SLS is a mutagen. In sufficient amounts, it is capable of changing the information in genetic material found in cells. It has been used in studies to induce mutations in bacteria. It denatures protein, impairs proper structural formation of young eyes, creating permanent damage. SLS can damage the immune system. It can cause separation of skin layers and cause inflammation to the skin. If it interacts with other nitrogen bearing ingredients. Do your own research - there have been many studies done on these chemicals.
Diazolidinyl Urea or Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
It is chemically related to imidazolidinyl urea and is a formaldehyde releaser used as a preservative. It was International Agency for Research on Cancer to its highest toxic class, IARC 1 (known human carcinogen). Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which provides sufficient evidence that formaldehyde causes nasopharyngeal cancer in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The label on your skin care product may not list "formaldehyde". The following ingredients break down and release formaldehyde: diazolidinyl urea (or 3-diol diazolidinyl urea) 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1 (or bronopol) DMDM hydantoin. It has been banned in Europe, after studies concluded that effects can result in: carcinogen, causes allergic reactions and contact dermatitis; headaches; irritates mucous membranes; damaging to eyes; linked to joint and chest pain; depression; headaches; fatigue; dizziness and immune dysfunction.
Knowledge is power...
As for my beauty routine, I like to take the natural route, and make my own lotion!
These are cold pressed and organic oils from plants that actually benefit your body AND smell good! And to make them smell even better, I add a few drops of my favorite essential oils like rose oil, peppermint oil, lemon oil, tea tree oil (melaluca), grapefruit oil, lavender oil, and jasmine oil.
Benefits of natural oils:
- coconut oil- naturally antibacterial, antifungal, soothes itches and dryness, and limits the amounts of microbes on the skin, cleaning up various conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and many other skin infections.
- almond oil- contains vitamins E and D which repairs collagen and creates firmer and younger skin, lightens dark circles, can be applied to hair as a "leave in conditioner" for smooth hair, and relieves itching and dryness.
- peppermint oil- can cure indigestion (when taken orally). Also contains vitamins A and C, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals including potassium, manganese, iron, magnesium, calcium, and copper which can help keep skin young, elastic, glowing, while also aiding in curing skin problems.
- lemon oil- is antibacterial and antifungal, antinflammatory, an immune stimulant, can aid in insomnia, weight loss, fevers, and asthma (to name a few).
Those are just a few essential oils out of hundreds that you can buy, and I encourage you to research on them and invest in a few bottles (they last awhile)! Plus, opening the bottles in the store, and smelling each one is sooo freaking fun and refreshing. The hard part is choosing which one to buy. ;-)
Wouldn't you rather benefit your body while smelling like yummy natural plants and flowers than messing with your hormones, killing brain cells, and irritating your body's natural functions? Plus, it is a ton of fun to experiment with different scents, and create your own!
My entire life, I suffered from a fungal infection on my arms called "tinea versicolor". It would only appear on my skin when I was tan, and would become invisible in the winter when my skin became pale. It was SO ugly, and my doctor told me that the only way to get rid of it was to rub anti-dandruff shampoo on my skin three times a day for 6 months, or to take really intensive antibiotics for two weeks. EEEK! It progressively became worse as I let it be, spreading all over my upper arms and onto my chest... So much for bikini season!
**Not me, just an example of the skin condition, and how it looked on my arms.
I ended up trying the dandruff shampoo remedy, and it worked-- temporarily... It immediately came back within weeks. I ended up just getting frustrated, and forgetting about it for the next few years, thinking that it would just be a chronic annoyance that I would have to deal with inevitably.
My family friend works for an essential oil company, and sold me some of her oils from a brand called "doTerra". I started to use them for fun because they smelled really nice, and I knew that they had health benefits when using them orally, topically, and even aromatically. Everyday I started using a lemon oil and coconut oil mixture together after I showered becuase it smelled so good, and felt amazing to rub all over my body!
To my surprise, within weeks my tinea versicolor was completely gone, even though I didn't start using the oils with the intention of getting rid of the skin condition!
You can find essential oils at your local health food store. And you can also build up your stash over time because some oils tend to be a bit expensive. But it is SO worth it!
I encourage you to experiment with all of the different scents, and come up with your own lovely smelling and healthy beauty concoction! Your skin, and body will thank you in the long term.