We likely take our skin for granted most of the time. Our skin is an organ, yet we don’t often think of it like we might of …say - the heart or liver. We tend to think of “organs” as those on the inside – that we cannot see. Skin is our largest organ and needs as much TLC as the other organs of the body.
With that in mind, consider some of the concerns about products we use on our skin on a daily basis:
Mineral Oil – A petroleum product. Allergenic. Can promote acne. Becomes toxic in sunlight (photo toxic). Is cheap and plentiful. Often used in body lotions and moisturizers.
Talc – Used in facial powders and eye shadows as well as baby powders. Often contains asbestos. Known carcinogenic (cancer causing), as well as an irritant to lungs.
Phthalates – Used in hairsprays, nail polish and perfumes. It can be inhaled (during application) or absorbed into the skin. Known to cause damage to the liver and reproductive system.
Parabens – Used as a preservative in cosmetic products and shampoos. Can be allergenic and toxic. Can also disrupt hormone system by helping create xenoestrogens.
Toluene – Petroleum derived solvent most often found in nail polishes. Can cause dizziness when inhaled. Toxic when ingested or absorbed by skin.
Aluminum – Used in cosmetic powders such as eye shadows. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
This is just a short list. Combined with sun exposure, environmental toxins, inadequate sleep, poor diet and stress, its’ easy to see how the skin pays a very high price.
Food? for thought…
Detoxifying from the inside out, drinking plenty of fresh water and eating fresh fruits, veggies and avoiding prolonged exposure to sun can all help. But if you’re stuck for some natural alternatives to help make your skin glow, just head for the kitchen and try some of these suggestions:
Avocado – provides a boost of vitamins A, D, and E and can promote healing. Mash a ripe avocado and apply to skin as a mask. Rinse and see how nice your skin feels.
Camomile Tea Bags – don’t throw out that bag after you’ve sipped your tea, save and use on tired, red, puffy eyes to help rejuvenate.
Cucumber – also good for tired eyes, but the juice is cooling and cleansing and also acts as a mild astringent.
Honey – mix with a little yogurt and finely ground oatmeal to make a paste. Smooth on face for a luxurious mask for all skin types.
Papaya – a delicious fruit to eat, but also used for acne, wrinkles, sunspots and as a treatment to slough off dead skin cells. Mash a ripe papaya or use the juice. It’s loaded with vitamins and enzymes that are good for your skin. Rinse thoroughly after use as it can cause irritation if used in high concentration.
Diet is as important in beautiful skin as anything else. Antioxidants like fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries) as well as dark green veggies and raisins are all excellent foods to promote healthy skin, as well as whole grains, flax seeds and nuts such as walnuts.
So, before you decide to go under the knife, apply the needle or peel off the years, try using cosmetic and skin products that are non-toxic and non-allergenic and consider the bounty of products in your own refrigerator.