How to care for your skin
I used to be a total beauty product junkie, buying every new glitzy makeup and skin product on the market. Not only was this tough on my wallet, it wasn’t doing any good for my skin either. In fact, the majority of beauty products (face wash, masks, lotions and makeup) contain hundreds of harmful ingredients that might actually be leading to a buildup of toxins in our bodies.
It’s clear that beauty is not only skin deep. Our skin is a huge organ and we are allowing these chemicals to be absorbed (into our bloodstream and other organs) without knowing exactly what they do. Many companies include parabens in their products, which are synthetic chemicals used to increase the shelf life of various lotions and hair products. Parabens have been found to irritate the skin, cause ecezma, disrupt thyroid balance, and are closely linked to breast cancer. It’s easy to think that these products won’t have a huge impact on us because of the small amounts, but with all the uncertainty with cancers and other diseases, why take the risk?
Other chemicals to watch out for are sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate, which are detergents found in shampoo and conditioners that strip the hair and skin of natural oils and can lead to organ toxicity, as well as propylene glycol, which weakens protein and cellular structure and is often found in stick deodorants. Also, keep an eye out for “natural” and “organic” beauty products – many companies still include these ingredients.
Luckily, there are still very simple ways to keep our skin clear and our bodies squeaky clean. In fact, when I started using natural beauty products on my face, my skin cleared up almost instantly.
I thought that in order to control pimples, I had to use salicylic acid or benzol peroxide (found in many store bought cleansers or acne spot treatments). I didn’t have severe acne, but I had small bumps around my forehead and would often get pimples on my chin and cheeks. I headed to my new favorite cosmetics store, Lush, and told the saleslady all about my skin. She gave me a simple cleanser called “Fresh Farmacy” and a moisturizer called “Imperialis”, which I love and have regulated and balanced my skin, without harsh chemicals.
I’ve incorporated these two products into my skin routine, but I often just use simple, household ingredients as well. Here are a few of my favorites.
Coconut Oil + Honey
It might seem crazy to put oil on your skin because advertisements are always boasting their products as being “oil free” to prevent clogged pores. But, many oils, including coconut, have antibacterial properties, which can help regulate the skin. Paired with honey, this makes a great, moisturizing mask. Honey is antimicrobial, and this mask will be even better if you can find “Manuka” honey, which has tons of antioxidants (tastes great too)! Use a teaspoon of each and massage into the face, rinsing after 10-15 minutes. If I have a few more blackheads than normal, this mask really does the trick. I often just skip my regular moisturizer and use coconut oil instead before bed.
Avocado + Banana
This is a great mask for combination skin because banana can help tighten up pores, while avocado penetrates with rich oils. You can even cover your face with a warm cloth to really let it sink in. This is a fun mask to make with your friends during a DIY spa day – don’t forget the cucumbers for your eyes!
Oatmeal + Plain Yogurt
This mask is great for softening, especially sensitive skin prone to redness or dryness. The oatmeal acts as a gentle exfoliator, while the yogurt helps to cool and calm the skin, eliminating patchy redness.
The cost of whole, natural ingredients is a fraction of store bought products, and we know exactly what we are exposing our bodies to. It’s a win-win!