One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape and eat healthier.  Ok, those are good resolutions and they are on the top of my list always and they should be for everyone.  Eating healthy and exercising are great, but do you also know that the skin is the biggest organ of the human body and the organ with largest exposure to outside ailments including the environment and the products that you put on your skin.  Perhaps you should think about including this resolution: ‘Start my journey to healthier skin care products.’

 GIVE YOUR SKIN SOME LOVE

The FDA isn’t giving your skin some love so you need to do it yourself.  There are over 20,000 chemicals that are on the market and in personal care, beauty products and skin care products.  Many of those chemicals haven’t been tested for long-term effects and some of the chemicals are proving to be toxic for various reasons.

How do you know which products contain harmful ingredients?

Learn what ingredients to avoid market and read all the labels.  By law, ingredients are always listed from most used to least used.  Before switching to natural skin care I used products from ‘you know that store in the mall with all the nice smelling lotions’, but I started reading their labels and 3 things were alarming:

  1. If I am buying a lotion that says ‘Shea Butter Lotion’ Shea Butter should be the first ingredient listed (not the 10th)!
  2. If fragrance is listed before the Shea Butter, no wonder why it smells to strong (although many are lovely), but then again it is a synthetic fragrance which can be irritating and toxic. The European regulation for fragrances on leave-on products is 2% of the contents. There are no such regulations in the US (clearly).
  3. Benzyl Alcohol is an ingredient (although listed towards the end of the list) and was most likely included to be a preservative; however, this alcohol is known to actually dry out the skin and one that I always avoid if I want something to moisturize my skin.

Here is a list of recommended ingredients to avoid.

 BENEFITS TO THE SKIN

According to Greek mythology, nature is considered to be sacred and needs to alteration.  I strongly believe this when deciding on which skin care I use. Why? Because the products that I use on a daily basis contain olive oil, honey, chamomile, and lavender (just to name a few).  These products have been used since the ancient times and they still work today – I have seen my skin change since making the switch to natural products.   Here are a few of my favorite natural ingredients for skin care products:

  • Greek Olive Oil: Olive oil is full of antioxidants that moisturize the skin, repair & renew skin cells, and will not clog pores.  (Remember not olive oil is the same – avoid the mixed blends often found in the supermarket).  If you want to start out with an olive based product our soaps are great for your body and face.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: Softens the skin, mild, full of vitamins A, B & E, helps reduce skin inflammations, and renews skin cells.  It’s moisturizing and deep cleansing. I like to use almond oil to remove my eye make-up.
  • Lavender Essential Oil: One of the most popular used essential oils, soothing and mild to the skin, natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory properties have been known to treat skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and oily skin.
  • Honey: Honey has anti-bacterial properties and can help with acne and to soothe the skin.  I love this in a lip balm and is great to add to a face mask.
  • Green Clay: Green Clay draws out impurities, cleanses the skin, and helps to normalize sebum production which helps to reduce acne. I love using this as a mask and mixing it with rose water.  We also created a green clay soap for others fighting acne.
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: I make a homemade toner with this ingredient and I swear by it.  It has helped with clearing up my cystic acne. I mixed 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts of bottled water.  I sometimes add chamomile hydrosol to the water mix or tea tree essential oil.

 BOTTOM LINE:

We are all learning about how to get healthier and we are in this journey together.  In the last few years I have been switching to an all-natural skin care regiment, but now for 2017 my goal is to continue to find natural make up and use more natural household cleaning products.  Switching out products takes time and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen over a year.  I encourage you all to get on an all-natural skin care routine in 2017.  May you have health and happiness in 2017!