Where are these toxins coming from?Many people in the western world ingest toxins through their food every day, both from heavy pesticide use and food additives. And as the world urbanizes and more countries become industrialized, we experience higher toxicity in our air and water. We also see harmful chemicals added to our skin and hair care products! Which are applied to and absorbed by our largest organ: the skin. Think for a minute about all the creams, powders, and sprays you put on your skin every day:
- harsh soaps
- anti-acne gels
- body lotions
- makeup remover
- ... the list goes on
The Scrub Clean and Moisturize cycle - Is it really good for us?These guys get what I'm saying and go deep into the vicious, repetitive cycle we find ourselves in. You know that one where your skin itches with dryness after a nice hot shower and doesn't seem to be cured regardless of how much cream you slather on? In many cases, we strip the natural oils from our skin and hair with harsh acidic cleansers, along with the dirt, just to replace those oils with petroleum-based moisturizers produced by the same manufacturers of the cleansers that removed the oils to begin with. It's time to break the cycle.
So what can we do?
Minimize!Stop removing natural oils from your skin just to add back in synthetic moisture. Why not just let the natural oils stay? Or if we get dry, use a raw, organic, and naturally occurring oil to replenish and support our skin? Not only will you save money, you'll also reduce the amount of added toxins, allowing your body to more effectively rid yourself of the other unavoidable toxins you encounter in our modern industrial era. Our skin is the biggest organ on our body. It can heal and moisturize itself if we allow it to. Let's treat it right!
Steps to Detox Your Daily Beauty Routine!Below is a list of 9 actionable things you can change in your bathroom routine right now to reduce toxins. That could be changing how often you do something, or switching one product to another.
1. Remove harsh facial cleanersSometimes these harsh cleaners actually cause acne by drying out the skin and triggering an excess oil production. When you think about it, it makes sense. Acne medication companies stay in business only if acne remains. These are often harmful to the skin and to the environment, not to mention pretty costly. They can end up leeching too many of your natural oils from your skin, leaving your skin so dry it overproduces oil to compensate. Then that excess oil gets stuck in pores and the cycle continues. Instead, use water to wash your face and remove accumulated dirt while leaving the natural oils. If you have applied makeup or sunscreen that isn't coming off with water, you can use jojoba oil or coconut oil on a tissue to wipe it off. This works because like dissolves like and oil will dissolve and easily remove the oil based makeups, dirt, grime, and sunscreens.
2. Wash your hair less oftenI grew up thinking that I had to wash my hair every day and that it was normal to do so. It was part of my routine, as I imagine it is part of many people's morning routine. Later I learned not everyone washes their hair every day, yet I continued to fall back on this idea that my hair was too thin, fine or greasy to skip washing. But I've learned that isn't true. I went from someone who's hair was limp and greasy after about eight hours post wash to someone who regularly goes three, four, or five days between washings. And the surprising thing is my hair looks so much better! With reduced shampoos, your hair will be fuller and thicker. it may style better. And you'll also use less shampoo which is good for the bank account and mother earth. (See how detergents can negatively impact our waterways here) You'll also strip fewer oils from the hair so you'll need less conditioner and hair oil. This doesn’t mean you have to skip showers. Go ahead and shower, just wash your hair with water and forego the shampoo every other time.
3. In general, wash less oftenNow I'm not saying to not wash your hands after gardening or touching raw meat, but we are a little clean obsessed in the modern age. And that obsessive cleaning could be affecting our microbiome in a negative way, and be completely unnecessary. This study looks at the effects of washing in newborns and shows washing disrupts our natural balance and pH and can make the skin less stable. More specifically, washing disturbs the natural protective membranes of the skin and can dissolve fatty acids, potentially leading to dry and squamous skin. In adults, excessive use of antibiotics can disrupt our microbiome and potentially lead to personal health problems or public health issues like drug-resistant organisms. So if you're not dirty, consider skipping the wash. #savewater #healthierskin
4. Natural oils make better moisturizersMany moisturizers on the shelf are petroleum-based and full of preservatives, anti-bacterial agents, and fragrance. Not only are they less likely to truly nourish and hydrate your cells, but they are also more likely to spawn an allergic reaction. To truly moisturize the skin cells, opt for natural and unrefined oils like coconut oil, shea butter, and olive oil. My personal routine is to use coconut oil on my face year round as a moisturizer and makeup remover and as a body lotion in the summer. During the dry winter season, I switch to using sesame seed oil as a body moisturizer during the transitional seasons of spring and fall I use hemp oil as a body moisturizer. I stick with coconut oil on my face year round because it doesn't react as well to the thicker oils. I also think this method is significantly cheaper. My oils range from 3-8 dollars per bottle and last about 6 months.
The moisturizing oils I use
- Unrefined Raw Coconut Oil
- Organic unrefined sesame oil
- Organic unrefined Hemp oil
5. Makeup and Makeup-RemoverOur skin can absorb chemicals very quickly. When you are putting foundation on your skin or liner and shadow on your eyes, the components of those products will absorb into your body via the skin or eye.
In the US we allow many products that are banned as known carcinogens or toxins in other countries. We have loose regulations and as such you could have damaging chemicals on your skin all day every day. Pay attention to the makeup brands you wear. I personally prefer Beauty Counter products but there are a plethora of clean makeup brands starting to emerge. Look at the ingredients, read about the brand's mission, and make sure they aren't changing one ingredient but still keeping a majority of the toxic ingredients. Bonus, those natural oils that make great moisturizers also make great makeup removers. Using a thin cotton swab or kleenex, lightly rub in coconut oil over eyes and face and then wipe to remove makeup.I personally use coconut oil all the time. It's my face lotion, my body lotion, and my eye-makeup remover. I can even add essential oils to turn it into a bug repellent. More details on that recipe here.