You spend a lot of time thinking about what you put *in* your body, but equally important is what you put *on* your body. Your biggest organ (and for some reason the one that gets most often overlooked), is your skin
! It absorbs both the good and the bad, nutrients and chemicals alike.
A rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t feed it to your skin! We use so many of these toxic products every day that changing our routine might seem daunting at first. As with most things, the first step is awareness. And now we’ve got that one covered, here are a few quick and easy tips to detoxify your skin care routine. (It’s all about baby steps, folks!)
1. Always read the ingredients.
The goal is to find products with the fewest toxic ingredients. Avoid brands with the following: Paraben, Phthalates, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. These harmful chemicals have been shown to cause cancers or other damage, and they enter your bloodstream via your skin.
Note: You probably won’t see paraben on the label, but it might say something like methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben. Don’t be fooled! These are ALL types of parabens and very harmful.
2. Make your own.
One sure way to know exactly what goes into your beauty products is to make them yourself! This also saves a bundle of money. You can find many great recipes for scrubs and cleansers using simple, real ingredients from your kitchen (such as lemon, olive oil, sugar…etc.) online.
Essential oils make great moisturizes for your face and body and can be found in health food stores. A great multi-purpose oil I love is coconut oil
– I use it to cook, as a moisturizer (can work on your hair as well!), and you can use it to take off eye makeup. And it works as a diaper cream, too!
3. Re-think your need for chemicals!
There are many alternatives you can try instead of slathering your skin with chemicals. For example … Got cellulite? A $10 dry brush is more effective than that $75 bottle of “cellulite reducing” lotion that doesn’t reduce anything but your bank account! Just dry brush for about 10 to 15 minutes daily. This stimulates circulation, tones skin, and you'll see the results almost immediately!
4. Replace the toxic stuff with natural stuff!
Unless you have an unlimited budget and a ton of time, make it simple. The next time you finish a product like a body lotion or shampoo, replace it with something organic and natural. Over a few months, most of your products will be replaced and nothing will have gone to waste, including your sanity! (One brand I like is Pangea Organics
5. Remember: You are what you eat!
People tend to focus on food as energy, but they forget that vitamins and minerals are vital to good health and long-lasting beauty. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, here are some key foods you can add to your diet to get you started.
- Kiwis are a a great source of vitamin C, which helps keep your hair shiny and beautiful. It also helps protect your skin from sun damage.
- Avocado is full of vitamins A, E and B and biotin. Avocados help your skin stay hydrated and your nails and hair stay strong and vibrant. They are a good source of zinc, which cleanses and detoxifies your body.
- Cucumbers have silicon which fights wrinkles and helps skin elasticity.
- Eggs are high in protein, which helps build strong healthy hair. They also have vitamin E, which hydrates and strengthens your skin.
- Greens like spinach, kale, romaine, swiss chard and collards are also great sources of essential vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin C and E, which are antioxidants and help protect the skin from aging and sun damage. Their deep color comes from “carotenoids,” which have been shown to enhance our natural glow.
- Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that helps prevent free radicals and oxidative damage to your skin (and internal organs as well!) Tomatoes also contain silicon, which helps keep skin elastic.
- Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids. These create strong skin cells that are more resistant to sun damage and better at keeping out environmental toxins. It also has astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity and helps prevent wrinkles.
- Raw chocolate contains flavanols, which improve the skin's appearance and skin texture and increases blood flow. It’s also high in zinc, which prevents, acne, aging and skin damage such as wrinkles.
- Green Tea & Rooibos Tea: Green tea is an excellent source of polyphenols, which are potent antioxidants. Rooibos tea is also high in antioxidants, but has no caffeine which can be dehydrating.
- Water: Speaking of hydration … water improves skin complexion. It moisturizes the skin and keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. It also helps reduce wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!
When you eliminate synthetics and toxic ingredients from your skin care routine, your skin will naturally improve. Another benefit is that with healthier skin, you'll need fewer products and have a simpler skin care regime than before. Less time in the bathroom and more time on the beach? I’ll take that! :)
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com