The Hidden Toxicity of Most Beauty Products
In our world of mass produced beauty products it is the unfortunate reality that everything from household cleaning to personal hygiene are made from synthetic ingredients which are either untested or are harmful.
Harmful chemicals include parabens which are known to be harmful. Parabens are a common ingredient in body wash, scrubs, shampoo and lotions. It’s typically included as a preservative but the build up of these chemical in our bodies can disrupt hormone function and has links to increased breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Other chemicals include synthetic colours which are extracted from petroleum or tar and fragrances which cause allergies and respiratory issues.
Many of these artificial skin care products contain hormone disruptors – or compounds which are not synthetic but act in the same manner as certain hormones produced naturally in our bodies. This has far-reaching implications for your health like disruption of the menstrual cycle and therefore fertility.
Using natural skin care is an excellent solution – it will work to beautify your skin as well as a long list of other benefits for your overall health like improvements to your immune system, better digestion, and more energy.
Why can we buy them if they aren’t safe?
There is actually very little government regulation for skin care or beauty products. In the U.S the law does not require cosmetic products and their ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market. This includes products which are applied directly to the skin. This is particularly concerning as we know the skin absorbs these chemicals.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oils have been used for hundreds of years to topically combat pimples, redness and general inflammatory responses occurring in the skin. Tea Tree oil is a known natural source of anti inflammatory, anti bacterial and anti fungal making it a popular and versatile skin care tool.
The essential oils come the Tea Tree plants are native to Australia and the main active anti microbial ingredients are terpene hydrocarbons, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Researchers have noted that tea tree oils contain hundreds of different chemical components and hydrocarbons that are able to travel through air, absorb through the pores in the skin and through the mucus membranes which is how it delivers healing benefits. This makes tea tree one of the best home remedies for acne.
Labeled a super food – Coconut oil has benefits that include removing dead skin cells, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties, anti inflammatory uses, strengthen the skin against UV and improving the underlying epidermal tissue.
You can use coconut oil in your care routine to cleanse and moisturize as well as to remove makeup. Use just a thin amount of oil rubbed gently into the skin.
You can also supplement your diet with coconut oil as well which will benefit your overall health. Your skin is like other organs in the body which needs a continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients, as well as having toxins and waste pulled away. So supporting your digestive function is important for the best possible skin health.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a toner to remove excess oils on the skin. It is also a naturally occurring anti bacterial so it will kill of acne causing microbes living on your skin to prevent breakouts.
People also consume diluted apple cider vinegar to improve gut health. Apple cider vinegars other benefits include acetic acid, vitamins such as potassium and magnesium which work together to boost liver function, balance bacteria in the digestive system and detoxify the body.
You want to look for sea salts which are untreated in order to retain the natural minerals and nutrients like calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium present. These minerals are used by our skin cells and throughout our body and so sea salt is a good product to balance and restore the skin. It also contains anti inflammatory properties to sooth the skin, particularly breakouts. It also scrubs away dead skin cells, helps remove excessive oils and will help balance the production of oils.
You can make your own facial masks, scrubs and toners including sea salt. Making your own products is the best way to ensure you know exactly what you are applying to your body.
To make your own homemade scrub, mix two teaspoons of seat salt – or try pink Himalayan salt, with four teaspoons of raw honey. Rub gently into the skin and let it settle for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. You can use this several times a week to clear blocked pores and reduce acne breakouts. If you find the salt is too rough on your skin, use sugar in the recipe as an alternative therapy.
Raw honey has been used a natural remedy to prevent breakouts on the skin, moisturize the skin and hair, as an antiseptic to encourage healing and reduce scarring. It is a wonderful source of enzymes, vitamins, nutrients and skin boosting acids.
It is important to use raw honey as it is unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed unlike most honey you will find on the grocery store shelf. The unprocessed nature of raw honey means it retains all of its nutrients.
Raw honey has been used as a particualry good homemade natural anti-acne skin care product. Its very simple to use, for a cleanser take a teaspoon of honey and warm in your hands. Gently spread onto your face and leave for up to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. You can also soothe dry skin by adding two cups of honey to a bath, relax in the water for 15 minutes and then add one cup of baking soda to your water and soak for a further 15 minutes.
Another use is on the dressing for burns or wounds, treating bacterial infections, healing dandruff, diaper rash and more – all due to the antimicrobial makeup of raw honey.