How Natural Is Your Skincare Routine?
You may have chosen to eat organic fresh and seasonal food, but what do you feed your skin? Any chemicals we put onto the skin are absorbed into our bodies much faster than through the digestive tract, as they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. This makes it really important to make sure you use only natural skincare products. I have a rule that if I wouldn’t eat it, then it’s not going on my skin! What I mean by that is if I can’t understand the ingredients, and it doesn’t come direct from mother’s nature larder, then I stay well clear.
Many of the chemicals in skincare products are not recognised by the body, which means that when they enter the blood stream the immune system can go into overdrive, trying to throw out this foreign object, resulting in allergic reactions, such as itching, dry skin, inflammation, swelling and rashes. The immune system keeps a log-book of all the substances entering the blood that shouldn’t be there – think of it as being like the headmaster’s book listing all the naughty children. Then each time one of these naughty children re-enter the blood the alarm bells go off in the immune system, potentially causing it to go into overdrive, leading to more allergies as it becomes over-sensitive. This can sometimes even lead to the body attacking itself, resulting in the creation of auto-immune conditions.
Some of the key skincare products out there are absolutely riddled with carcinogenic chemicals and xenoestrogens from the ingredients (such as parabens) or plastic containers. Xenoestrogens can make both women and men oestrogen dominant, which can cause men to grow female characteristics, as well as experience low libido and sexual dysfunction. In women, it can result in extreme hormone imbalances, reducing the sex drive, as well as mood swings, irregular menstruation cycles, anxiety, fibroids and even oestrogen based cancers.
This week, I invite you to go through your cupboards and look at what you are rubbing directly into the internal rivers in your body – your blood. How polluted are your internal rivers?
Some examples you may find:
- Toothpaste – Sodium Fluoride is a by-product of the aluminium industry and is also used in pesticides and even some rat poisons! Do you really want to be cleaning your teeth with something like that?
- Showergel and Shampoo – SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulphate). This creates the bubbles, but can have many other effects, including breathing problems, skin irritation and eye problems. There has been limited amount of investigation on how this mixes and plays with other chemicals – but some mixes can result in carcinogenic substances. Not the ideal thing to rub all over your body!
- Conditioner – Propylene Glycol is used to create that shiny and enriched look. It is now being discovered that this chemical could be linked with liver, kidney and even brain damage and disruptions. When factory workers handle this substance they have to wear full protective clothing, but we are told it is safe to rub in our hair completely naked!
Over the last fifty years, our bodies have had to deal with over 6,500 new chemicals being added into our lives, between our food and household products, building materials and furniture. Do we want to welcome all of these into our homes with open arms?
With that in mind, the other thing to consider is if the product is organic. I was almost caught out myself the other day by some gorgeous natural-looking vegan company that even flirted with all the right words to imply it was all natural, nutrient dense and nothing but pure goodness for my skin, but when I started to look under the covers I realised that none of the ingredients was organic. So they failed to inform me of the secret added ingredients…pesticides!
My advice is to always do your own research and don’t believe any of the marketing words on the bottle. Turn it over and dig deep into the ingredients. Remember, many of the ingredients will be in Latin, so don’t instantly dismiss them – if the ingredients are natural, the companies will want to shout about it. This means that generally you’ll find a name you can recognise next to the Latin version. Get to know the names of the chemicals you want to avoid and always look for organic. There are some great companies out there and, where possible, support local home-grown companies. Two companies I love to use are:
Heavenly Organics – I am blessed that this amazing company is local to me. All of their ingredients are organic and natural and the company was plastic free long before all the cool kids began to ditch the plastic. Health, wellbeing and ethics are high on their agenda and, even better, their products are fantastically nourishing for your skin. So if you want to try out this delicious skin food that treats your skin without harming the planet, click on the image above.
I love going into the Neal’s Yard shops. They always make me feel relaxed – even though my purse is usually lighter on the way out! Most of their packaging can be recycled and their trade-mark blue glass bottles can be returned. They are also now doing refills on their popular products in some of their stores, as we go in full circle. I remember saving my bottles and doing this as a child. Their products are rich and luxurious click on the link above for a treat for your skin.
What companies do you like to use? Have you noticed a difference in your hair or skin since changing to natural products? Were you shocked about what you found in the products in your bathroom? Share your experiences below, as I’d love to hear about your journey…