Avoid Toxins : Six Natural Skin Care Tips

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I’ll never forget the day I began freakishly eliminating chemicals from my food and skin care supply.  I was at work at 4 AM one morning.  I poured myself a cup of coffee with a nice dose of hazelnut creamer and sat back to enjoy it for a minute.  It was quiet.  None of my office mates were around (I don’t know too many people crazy enough to start work before 4AM). So I read the label on the coffee creamer for some entertainment during my break.  O.M.G. It was like God suddenly opened my eyes.  How had I never noticed or cared about this before? What could all of this junk be doing to my body?

I was like “really?? Why does all this stuff even need to be in here? Is this “food” the only thing with this much junk or is it everywhere”?  I started running around the office picking up everything with a label and reading it.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  Everywhere I looked chemicals.  Even my beloved lip gloss.  Into the trash that crap went and I never looked back.  Enter Hippy Nicci with natural or no makeup, using dirt to wash my hair (seriously its called no-poo), and coconut oil for lotion.

The Concerns

Lotions and body washes, like most commercially produced personal care products, are high in chemicals that have shown to be neuroimmune endocrine toxins.  Neuroimmune endocrine is just a couple of big words for saying something is having an effect on the nervous, hormonal, and immune systems. In the case of lotions and body washes that effect is negative. 

The negative effects are not always obvious as in rashes or outbreaks seen on the skin where the products are applied.  They are seen in PMS, immune disorders of the over and under active varieties, migraines, and other nervous system disorders.  There is even evidence linking personal care products commonly used in showers to cases of hermaphrodite animals pulled from lakes with high shower run off from homes. Since that discovery researchers have also linked similar reproductive and gender identity difficulty results in children exposed to toxins from personal care products in utero(Rich et al, 2016).

The point being, what we’ve sold as safe isn’t necessarily.  For us or our future children. The biggest issue I have with lotion and body wash and why I am focusing on them today is that these are two of the dirtiest personal care products we use and they get spread over the largest portion of our bodies.

Our skin is absorbing that stuff and if we put it over a very large percentage of the surface area of the skin our bodies are having to process a lot of chemicals. Meaning lotion and body wash have some of the greatest potential to cause harm to us. The good news is they are super easy to replace.

Six Tips For Using Natural Skin Care

Body Washes

1) Using natural soap doesn’t require doing anything different, it works just as well.  Just buy one with ingredients you can pronounce and do the same lather and rinse. You are more likely to find these online or at your local health food stores.  Dr. Bronner’s soap is a great and widely available option.

2) Don’t wash it all with soap; at least not every day.  Most days hitting the hot spots, or genitals and pits, is enough to keep us clean and in good hygiene.  This will allow your natural skin flora to grow back to be protective and you won’t be stripping and drying skin out daily with soap.  Thus, you will have less of a need for moisturizers in the first place. In fact, not soaping my belly and other stretching places very often is one of the tactics I am using to prevent stretch marks.

3) Use Norwex cloths instead of soap.  These super high quality microfiber cloths are impregnated with silver.  The microfiber is slightly exfoliating and removes dead skin cells and other dirt and debris, trapping them inside the tiny threads.  The silver in the threads is naturally antibiotic so it deals with keeping the cloth sanitary for repeated use.  All you need to use with a Norwex cloth to get clean is water! This saves you from harmful toxins and money on soaps.

Lotions

1) Use oils or natural lotions. These could be cooking oils from your kitchen like coconut, olive, tallow, or emu oils. If you are using oils based products to moisturize with do it when you are still damp from the shower as oil locks in the water as moisture. You can also order oil based lotions from Primal Life Organics, try Dr. Ron’s Ultrapure or doTERRA’s Spa Hand and Body Lotion. You can add quality essential oils to any of these to enhance specific functions like promoting clear skin, slowing the aging process, reducing cellulite, decreasing stress, invigorating for the day or just to smell perfumy. Basically good essential oils are therapeutic and will turn any natural moisturizer into a better version of the so called miracle product you picked up off the shelf at Ulta last month.

2) Using nothing.  Eat good fats and digest them well. Stay hydrated. Do dry brushing which not only removes the upper layer of dead skin cells it detoxes the lymph system and reduces cellulite. Doing these things will ensure your skin stays naturally moisturized without lotions, especially if you aren’t soaping all of your skin every day.

3) Use a shower filter.  Chlorine and other nasties found in municipal water supplies are absorbed through the skin.  If possible you want to avoid that.  Chlorine also is very drying so filtering it out of your water will mean you need less lotion and other commercial skin treatments that may be damaging your health.

Wrapping It Up

Lotions, body washes and other personal care products can be toxic and damaging to our health, our future children’s health, and the health of our environment.  Its worth it to consider switching to natural alternatives. Use some of the tips here and throughout this series to make those changes in your own life.

Its taken me a couple of years to find my happy balance with safe, natural personal care.  I now wear makeup and wash my hair with a true foaming shampoo.  I don’t think I look as much like I have gone too far to the crunchy mama side as I did before.  Many of the tips for implementation that I’ve included in this blog and the whole series are responsible for that.

This will conclude the series on practical tips for switching to natural personal care, but it doesn’t have to end here for you.  Natural shampoo and conditioners don’t require you to do anything different with your routine and work great. Simply start using them.  

Look into healthy alternatives for cleaning your homes, like essential oils and Norwex.  For more safe skin care and make up options contact a Beauty Counter consultant, like my beautiful friend Erin who is as passionate as I am about safe skin care and healthy living. 

Living a natural lifestyle is a mindset change.  Once you understand the benefits of natural personal/home care and what natural means its easy to start applying these changes to all areas of your life and environment.  Do yourself and your family a favor and start making some of these changes now.  Share this information with people you care about by simply clicking the icons below for social media platforms. Not everyone is going to have an aha moment like I did:)

References

Rich, Alisa L. et al. Environ Health Insights. 2016; 10: 163–171. Published online 2016 Sep 8. doi:  10.4137/EHI.S39825

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