This infographic has been doing the rounds lately and every woman should read it carefully.
While we spend a lot of time and money picking foods that are healthy, organic and natural, we don’t often give the same attention to bath and beauty products. This would not be a problem if our skin was not a breathing, alive organ that absorbs most of the stuff that’s applied on it. In fact our skin is the body’s largest organ and does a lot of work for us, from synthesizing vitamin D in the skin to eliminating waste in the form of sweat. The other worrisome thing is that most bath, beauty products available in the market are laden with sulphates, parabens and a host of other toxic and harmful ingredients.
Almost 60% of the products applied topically are absorbed by the skin and enter the blood stream directly. This is what makes the use of toxic products even more dangerous. Foods we eat go through the liver which sorts the good from the bad and sends the nasty stuff out for elimination. With products applied directly on the skin, there is no such filter.
I’d like to take you through some of the products I use as well as provide some information about natural options for both bath and cosmetic products out there.
I use an ayurvedic soap called Chandrika
I don’t use any body lotions but I do have pretty dry skin so to keep it moist and supple, I apply Aura Cacia almond oil during or after my shower. Once a week, hubby and I exchange massages with warm sesame oil. That day I scrub my skin with an aromatic powder called Utna made of natural ayurvedic herbs which is a natural cleanser and exfoliator. For my face, I recently ordered Mercola Organic Skin Care Products. This package includes a cleanser (which I hardly use as I prefer not to use foaming products on my face), toner, moisturizer and eye cream. I’ll update this space once I have an opinion about these products.
I use Whole Foods’ 365 brand of shampoo but I’m on the lookout for alternatives. Occasionally I’ll rinse my hair with reetha, which is an ayurvedic powder made of soapnut and other herbs. I also try and massage my head with coconut oil at least once a week. If I do this regularly, I notice I don’t need any conditioner and neither does my scalp get flaky.
I managed to go make-up free for the first thirty years of my life. But honestly, now, at 31, I definitely feel the need for some ‘touching up’ once in a while, especially on special occasions. I’ve researched a bunch of natural products made with organic or natural ingredients and they are plenty of options available. However I haven’t bought anything yet. I’m browsing through the list provided by EWG.
Before I tell you about my product of choice, I want to share by very personal BO story with the world wide web 🙂 I used to have terrible body odor and as a result, I was perpetually spraying myself with deodorants or applying roll-ons. But as my diet improved the quality of my body’s sweat has changed too. When we block the pores in our armpits, our skin is not able to eliminate some dangerous toxins from the body. These circulate back into the body and almost always cause hormonal imbalance. Right now I use Thai Crystal as a deodorant, which is very good at elminating any unpleasant odor without clogging the pores or adding toxins to the body. Most Whole Foods store keep both the liquid and solid versions of this deodorant. There’s another option here.
I have some expensive Chanel perfumes in my beauty products arsenal, but I hardly ever use them. Usually I’ll dab myself with Aura Soma oils. Aura Soma oils are not just for cosmetic use though. They have healing properties. Made from a combination of essential oils, herbs, crystals and colors, their energy is powerful and helps release chakra blockages. We are naturally drawn to certain colors and combinations and those are exactly the Aura Soma oils we need at that moment to heal ourselves. To read more, check out the founder Vicky Hall’s website here. There are two distributors listed for the US (Texas and CA).
So what are your options?
If you’ve reached here, then you must really be interested in a more natural beauty regime, so here are some tips and resources to get you started:
- Read labels: like with food products, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then its probably not good for your skin
- Do your homework: before you buy a product, search for information about it online, especially on health forums/sites
- Refer to EWG’s website: they’ve done a lot of research and rate products very stringently. Their cosmetics database have over 74,000 products rated. There’s also a free guide of the best cosmetics available in the market today.
- Look for smaller, word-of-mouth brands/products. Big names are too profit-driven to care about your skin
- If its advertised, its probably not good for your skin.
- If you buy local products, you also do your bit for the environment