beautyproducts

The Issue

By learning how hormones are metabolized in the body, I now know that I need the least amount of toxic chemical exposure possible. This isn’t just for people with endocrine issues like me, but for everyone trying to improve their overall health. Common personal products and toiletries are FULL of chemicals that not only put a burden on the internal body, but actually contribute to making skin and beauty worse AND age your skin faster (NO THANK YOU!).

Here are just a few statistics from the Environmental Working Group and their Skin Deep project:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require companies to test products for safety.
  • More than 500 products sold in the U.S. contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union (EWG 2007b).
  • Nearly 100 products contain ingredients considered unsafe by the International Fragrance Association (EWG 2007c).
  • A wide range of nanomaterials whose safety is in question may be common in personal care products (EWG 2006).
  • 22% of all personal care products may be contaminated with the cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane, including many children’s products (EWG 2007d, CDC 2009).
  • 60% of sunscreens contain the potential hormone disruptor oxybenzone that readily penetrates the skin and contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans (EWG 2010, Calafat et al 2008).
  • 61% of tested lipstick brands contain residues of lead (CSC 2007).
  • Surveys show that on average, women use 12 products containing 168 ingredients every day, men use 6 products with 85 ingredients (EWG 2004), and children are exposed to an average of 61 ingredients daily (EWG 2007a).

Fine, Everything is Unsafe. What Now?

Don’t stress. Rethinking my products has changed my entire beauty-product shopping routine (and has saved me a ton of money in most ways). Also, my skin looks fab and you get that highly coveted, “OMG you’re skin is GREAT, what are you doing?” from people.  Muahaha, I never thought THAT would happen.

The rule of thumb is: just get the absolute most basic product possible and understand what’s in it. “But wait, I have problem skin, I need this fancy, expensive, chemical-filled product.” No, you don’t. If you have a problem with your skin, you probably just need to figure out what’s missing.

Usually skin issues are one of three things:

  1. A dietary allergy (wheat and dairy are common)
  2. A nutrional deficiency (you need a cleaner diet, take your vitamins and eat your veggies like Mom told you to)
  3. Your current skincare routine is too harsh

Using whole, natural oils is the best possible product for your skin–and actually normalizes oil production. Like nutrition, once you give your body what it needs, it clears itself.

My Routine.

I have a bunch of reused bottles and jars next to my sink. They don’t have any fancy labels. Most of them are a whole, organic oil that I’ve purchased, or something I’ve made myself.

Recipe for Toothpaste

One part coconut oil, two parts baking soda
Peppermint Oil and Stevia to taste

“But how will my teeth get super white and stay cavity free?!?!?”

WHY: Fluoride is a carcinogen. You don’t need fluoride you protect your teeth if you don’t eat refined sugar. I don’t (because sugar makes me fat, grumpy and miserable), ergo, no fluoride is needed. My teeth have been perfect for many dental checkups and noticeably whiter.

 

Recipe for Deodorant

Equal parts coconut oil and baking soda in a small jar, (this will last you!)
Add 10 drops of your fav essential oil, mine is Jasmine

“But how will I not smell bad all the time?!”

Dude, if you smell all the time, you got bigger problems. Eating a clean diet will greatly reduce your nastiness. Sweating too much is a sign of a hormonal imbalance, and you should take the time to figure that out to prevent other issues (call me, wink).

Why: Common deodorants have two functions: anti-perspirant and deodorizing. I’ve already addressed the latter. Putting a product on your body to reduce sweating through use of aluminum in the form of an anti-perspirant is a no-no. Sweating is a crucial way the body removes toxins and ensures they don’t stay in the body and recirculate creating havoc all over the place (headaches, acne, insert uncomfortable symptoms here). Sweating is good. Aluminum is bad. Sweat itself does not smell, just as the sweat on your forehead doesn’t smell. I keep a regular, full chemical brand of deodorant like Dove, in the back of my dresser for days when I didn’t eat clean, but on average, my coconut oil/baking soda is perfect, even for working out. Bonus: if you do notice that you’re less than fresh, it’s a sign your body needs something. Drink water, detox, and eat your veggies to clean out your system. Think of your odor as the exhaust of an engine — tells you how well your body is running!

Oh snap, my deodorant recipe is the exact same for my face wash.

(Repeat) Yep, it’s in the same jar folks.

Recipe for Face Wash

Equal parts coconut oil and baking soda in a small jar, (this will last you!)
Add 10 drops of your fav essential oil, mine is Jasmine

THIS was revolutionary for my skin. What a RELIEF to never have to buy expensive products for my troublesome, sensitive skin EVER AGAIN. This recipe has a little bit of scrub in it, so I love doing this before bed and washing the day off. The coconut oil leaves a protective layer of moisturizer as well as facilitating make-up removal. In the mornings, I use Michelle’s facial oil.

Moisturizer: 100% Organic Argan Oil

Use one dime size amount on face and chest. Done.

This is a light oil and absorbs into the skin nicely. It contains vitamin E and an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid that has anti-inflammatory properties, making it perfect for the skin. It is most popularly used as an anti-aging product, so amen to that. (Confession: Argan Oil is not a cheap product, I have begun diluting my Argan Oil with a high IU Vitamin E oil from the health store.) I began my Argan Oil experiment months ago with Josie Moran products, an entire skincare line made with Argan Oil. If you look for Argan Oil elsewhere (online or at your health food store), just make sure you’re buying the real, organic oil — not some Argan Oil infused product. It should have one ingredient: Argan Oil.

“Oil Free” Myth

Somewhere along the line in the past 20 years, the cosmetic industry moved towards “oil-free” advertising on the claim that oil causes acne. Excess sebum (oil on the face) can cause acne when dirt gets trapped (cue everything you’ve ever heard from acne commercials.) Skin is our largest organ and oil is a critical to protect and maintain amazing skin. These harsh, “oil-free” products strip the skin of everything it needs to stay gorgeous and make it more vulnerable to — yep — bacteria, dryness and ACNE. So it’s a vicious cycle. Ancient cultures knew what they were doing, so let’s just back to our roots, eh, and move back to natural products.

Don’t Have Time to Whip Up Your Own Products? Here Are Some Brands I Trust

Josie Moran Cosmetics

Juicy Beauty

Honest Company (Personal products, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, diapers, etc.)

See How Your Current Products Measure Up

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Use the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep project to determine the toxicity of your products. Your skin absorbs and has to digests 80% of what you put on it. My favorite page on their site is the listing of safe sunscreens for you and your kids!

 Be well!

Kelly

 

Sources:

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2006. EWG Comments to FDA on Nano-Scale Ingredients in Cosmetics. Docket: FDA Regulated Products Containing Nanotechnology Materials. Docket number: 2006N-0107. http://www.ewg.org/node/21738.

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2007a. Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/special/parentsguide/summary.php.

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2007b. Cosmetics with banned and unsafe ingredients. Table 1 – Banned in other countries. Accessed June 21, 2010. http://www.ewg.org/node/22624.

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2007c. Cosmetics With Banned and Unsafe Ingredients. Table 2 – Unsafe for use in cosmetics, according to industry. Accessed June 21, 2010. http://www.ewg.org/node/22636.

EWG (Environmental Working Group). 2007d. EWG research shows 22 percent of cosmetics may be contaminated with cancer-causing impurity. http://www.ewg.org/node/21286.

CSC (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics). 2007. Lead in lipstick. http://www.safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=223.