Updated: Jul 6
After you've been working on your health for a period of time, it's natural to start wondering about the safety of the things you're putting onto your body as well as the things you're putting into your body.
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Adults have an average of about 22 square feet of skin, and every pore on your body is permeable. This means it can absorb anything that's slathered on it. And since the the law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, except for color additives, to be approved by FDA before they go on the market you may be absorbing some pretty nasty stuff.
Do you know which pores on the body are the most permeable?
So it's a good move to start switching out some of the worst skin offenders with gentler and more natural products.
Here are a few of the worst offenders for your skin:
DMDM Hydantoin & Urea
These preservatives can release formaldehyde in the body. This toxic substance can cause insomnia, headaches, and chronic fatigue. You can find this treasure in shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and makeup.
Once you start looking for parabens in your products, you will find that they are everywhere. And these lovelies will completely mess with your hormones. Parabens are referred to as "endocrine disruptors" and can affect your endocrine organs- the pituitary, hypothalamus, pineal gland, #thyroid, thymus, pancreas, #adrenals and the testes or #ovaries.
Even though you may take in a large amount of parabens in your personal care products, very little of these are excreted in the urine. This means your body stores them as estrogen-like toxins.
And the estrogenic effects of parabens have been associated with a higher risk of estrogen-driven cancers.
I could go into this for ages, but suffice it to say, we live in a fallen world and things will never be perfect. You could rub your face with organic aloe from the remotest Indian Ocean island every day and still have screwed up hormones if you're not taking care of yourself well.
Balance, my dears. #Balance.
If you're looking to ramp down your absorption of some of the nasties, it's always a good idea to have some alternatives.
Below, find my top five natural skin and hair products.
Kevin Murphy Hair Care
My hair guru (who is also my dear sister in law) introduced me to these products a few years ago. Not only has my hair never been healthier, but I feel so much better using hair care that is free of parabens and sulfates.
I use the moisturizing products because my hair tends to be dry and frizzy. I love the way the conditioner sinks in deeply. And again, I'm not worried about the ingredients at all. Score!
Jason Vitamin E Oil
This is my all-time favorite skin product. It moisturizes my face and my body. It does this weird and amazing trick where it seems to make wrinkles a little less visible. It's cheap as all get out. I have little bottles of these at home, in my travel case, and in my car. Use sparingly, as a little goes a long way. But use, for sure! It's got a ton of Vitamin E, which helps nourish and smooth skin. It's also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and petrolatum.
Le Prunier Oil
It's usually my friend Sarah Franey that turns me on to my new favorite natural skin care gems, and I was not surprised to find that I just loved this one. She is a generous gift giver. She also extensively researches all of her beauty products, and is mildly obsessed with purity as she suffers from a variety of autoimmune issues.
Le Prunier is definitely a winner (albeit a pricey winner).
It's basically oil from plum seeds. Sweet, sweet oil from plum seeds.
It's super lightweight and it smells absolutely divine. I use it on my face, neck, and arms.
It's a UVA/UVB protectant and it's been shown to lighten and brighten skin tone. It's free of essential oils, parabens, sulfates, preservatives, fragrance, and chemicals.
It's pricey as hell, but I think it's worth it.
Lipstick can be scary. I mean, you basically eat little bits of it all day. The average regular lipstick might contain parabens, phthalates, BHA, chemical preservatives, mineral oil, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, petroleum, "fragrance" and possibly even lead or aluminum or cadmium. Yikes. I much prefer to snack on carrots.
Kosas lipstick, another gift from Sarah, is made with a blend of nourishing oils and is free of all of this junk. It does contain green tea oil, grape seed oil, rosehip seed oil, orange oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, mango seed butter, castor oil, coconut oil, candelila wax, lanolin, carnauba wax, beeswax, and rice bran extract. It's gluten free, which is important to Sarah and also to anyone else who is gluten intolerant.
I'm obsessed with the Darkroom color she gifted me. It's sultry and stays on forever.
I'm pretty much a minimalist when it comes to makeup. If I'm going to be on camera, I will go a little heavier on my products. But for the most part, I want some mascara and a tinted lip gloss.
And I have always loved Burt's Bees for this. None of their products contain parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or sulfates.
Plus, you can find their product line at Walmart! And it's not prohibitively expensive by any stretch of the imagination.
Here are a few of my favorites:
What are some of your favorite products? Head on over to Facebook and let me know!