The skin is our largest organ and it’s important to care for it. Who doesn’t want a radiant complexion? When it comes to skin care, take the same approach as you would for your diet. The products you apply to your body are like edible treats for the skin. Fresh, natural, minimally processed ingredients will have a better impact on your body than processed, unnatural products.
What we apply to our skin is absorbed by the body and when we use products that contain harmful artificial ingredients, the body and immune system is burdened unnecessarily by a detoxification processes. Some chemicals remain in the body for many months or sometimes years before they are completely removed. Here are 5 things you need to know about natural skin care.
1. Simple is best
If a product contains a super long ingredient list, chances are it only contains small amounts of each ingredient. Even if they have great properties, minuscule amounts won’t work as well as larger quantities. When it comes to choosing a product, the fewer ingredients, the better.
2. Look for natural products
Ingredients in natural and organic products are pure, as they originate from nature. This means there’s a reduced risk of your skin reacting negatively and suffering from skin irritations or allergies.
Natural or organic products are significantly less, or completely free of, potentially toxic ingredients that may harm you or the environment. They do not contain artificial colours and fragrances, and their colour and aroma originates from natural sources such as coconut oil, mango, lemon or mandarin oils.
Unfortunately the USDA does not regulate the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ when it comes to skin care. If a product is associated with these terms, study the ingredient list. Is this list long? Are natural ingredients that you recognise at the start of the list? The David Suzuki Foundation has a great list of 12 chemicals linked to health and environmental concerns, from cancer and reproductive disorders, to asthma and severe allergies. Check the ingredient list and be sure to avoid products that contain these ingredients.
Our recommendation: Sea Chi Organics‘ team of herbalists and aromatherapists handcraft skin care products using organic raw materials. They offer a ton of botanical products, from body oils and washes, to peppermint shampoo. Soignée Botanicals is another great all-natural brand.
3. Explore the values of the skin care company
A skincare company’s philosophy and values can help guide you towards healthy skin care products. Check out their website: is it committed to reducing environmental impact? Does it test on animals?
Juniper Ridge is a great example of a company that utilises sustainable harvesting practices to wildcraft their products. They’re also the only US company to donate 10% of their profits to wilderness conservation groups each year.
4. Say No to Fragrance
According to a study by Environmental Defence Canada 17 brand name fragrances (some of them big names that you’ll recognise) were found to contain sensitising chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions. Canadian and American fragrance manufacturers don’t have to test their personal care products for safety. The report says;
“People using perfume, cologne, body spray and other scented cosmetics, such as lotion and aftershave, are unknowingly exposed to chemicals that may increase their risk for certain health problems.”
The reports notes that fragrance is considered among the top 5 allergens in North America and European countries and is linked to an array of skin, eye and respiratory reactions. Be mindful of the health effects products that list ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on ingredients labels can pose.
Here’s a great video that features Dr. Anne Steinemann of the University of Washington, discussing toxic chemicals that are released by laundry products, air fresheners, cleaners, lotions and other fragranced consumer products.
5. Follow a healthy lifestyle
A good diet and exercise regimen will support healthy, glowing skin. Eat a balanced diet that’s abundant in fresh, nutritious foods drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is a great way to help flush toxins out of the body.
More and more of us are starting to catch onto the benefits of organic products. According to Transparency Market Research the global organic personal care products market is growing at 9.3% between 2014-2020. It’s market value in the United States is expected to almost double from 2013 to 2020.
DIY natural skin care treatments
You can’t go past making your own skin care treatments to know exactly what’s in them. Coconut Oil has been shown to be great for the skin.You can rub it on your skin as a moisturiser to prevent dryness. Check out our blog post Health Benefits of Coconut Oil. Honey mixed with coconut oil make for a good facial cleanser that’s easily spreadable and helps unclog pores. Rinse with warm water.
Keep these tips in mind to care for your skin and care for your body.