Posted by: kathryngraves | February 9, 2016

The Skin-ny Truth

Skin–Your Largest Organ. Have you ever stopped to consider that your skin is the largest organ of your body? All the focus we place on taking care of ourselves by eating right and exercising is good, but it is incomplete without taking into account how we treat our skin. We need to be careful to avoid putting things on it that are full of chemicals we would never eat or drink.

Toxic Products. Try reading the labels on your body lotion, body wash, shampoo, hand soaps, and make-up. Do they read like the ingredients of a toxic soup? Even non-threatening-sounding things like “fragrance” can be unhealthy. Exactly what do they put in “fragrance” anyway? Granted, there are a few ingredients that can be applied to skin that we would not want to eat, but not many. Since it can require a naturopath degree to figure out what they are, it is best to become acquainted with the ones we really need to avoid. Items like phthalates, triclosan, paraben, sulfates, and artificial fragrances are a good place to start. Fortunately, manufacturers are catching on to the popularity of products without these ingredients and will state on their labels that a certain product does not include them. Otherwise, read for natural botanicals to lead the list of ingredients.

Non-Toxic. One pure household item we can use for beauty is coconut oil. It is almost magical for its different topical uses. It moisturizes and even removes make-up. Blended with sugar, it sloughs off dead skin and softens callouses. Add an essential oil of your choice and feel like you’ve gone to a spa.

Clean Air. One area of caution that is not necessarily skin-related is with plug-in air fresheners. Again, we are faced with artificial “fragrance”, but of even more concern are the ingredients used to disperse the “fragrance” through the room. Propellants have been found to have cancer-causing properties. I avoid these unnecessary gadgets. Clean has no smell. In other words, the absence of an odor means clean. If you must add a fragrance, simmer some orange slices and cinnamon sticks in a pan of water on the stove.

What About Soy? An ingredient in skin-care products I try to avoid is soy. Soy seems to be ubiquitous in both processed foods and health and beauty aids. It is a real challenge to buy only products without soy lecithin. Even “natural” products often contain soy. Everyone doesn’t necessarily need to avoid it completely, but I choose to do so, given that it is a phyto-estrogen and I am a breast cancer survivor. However, I think most of us are simply not aware of how much soy we ingest through our foods and topical products.

I am not suggesting that we wear no make-up and do nothing with our hair. Anyone who knows me knows I wear make-up and style my hair. But I am careful to choose products that harmonize with nature as much as possible. I want to enhance what God gave me without harming it.

Beautiful Power. Information is power in this arena and I want you to have the power to make good choices. You are beautiful–let’s keep it that way by protecting your body from harmful chemicals.

 

 

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