You may already know that beauty products can be a major source of our exposure to unhealthy chemicals. And since the skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs most of what is put on it, we need to make sure all of our beauty products are healthy and non-toxic!
The challenge we face today is that healthy products are not the norm. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):
“The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily. Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers, and they do. Consequently, some common cosmetic ingredients turn up in people’s bodies. Among them: industrial plasticizers called phthalates; parabens, which are preservatives; and persistent fragrance components like musk xylene.”
Here is a an assignment I give to all of my health coaching clients. Take the time today to count how many beauty products you are using. I’m talking about everything from your makeup bag to your shower. Surprised? Now, read the ingredient labels on those products. Look them up at EWG’s Skin Deep database and see how they rate for things like cancer, immunotoxicity and reproductive toxicity. Do those same products make you feel beautiful now? If not, you are not alone.
You might be feeling like you just don’t want to know. You’ve been using the same moisturizer, cleanser and toner for a decade and they work—end of story. If that is your mentality, I hope you will reconsider. Two years ago, I was reading a wellness blog by Kris Carr (she is a wellness advocate, writer, cancer survivor) about the toxic ingredients used in skin care products and the lack of regulation in the beauty industry, and her words really resonated. Here I am, working so hard to be the healthiest I can be, dedicating so much time and energy to good nutrition and exercise, yet I’m using skincare products that are full of toxic chemicals. And I’m absorbing them right through my skin.
Here are a few simple ways to start cleaning up your beauty routine.
1. Cut down on the number of products you use each day. Sometimes, cutting down on your body burden is as easy as simplifying your beauty routine. Less is more! These days I have only two products in my skincare routine. I wash my face with Beautycounter's Cleansing Balm and I use the Hydrating Face Oil as my moisturizer. That's it!
2. Start reading labels. EWG has created this handy list of the top ingredients to avoid for women, men and kids. If you have a smart phone, check out these great apps - EWG’s Skin deep. or Think Dirty
3. Choose a safe sunscreen. This is one of the easiest healthy changes you can make! We're all going to be buying sunscreen and enjoy the outdoors this summer. So why not choose wisely? I love All Over Sun Protection by Beautycounter. It is 19% zinc and goes on transluscent.
Of course, it is not just about what you put on your skin. In addition to using safe skincare products, do you know what makes my skin glow? Taking AMAZING care of myself.....eating nourishing foods, staying hydrated, sweating every day, managing stress and getting plenty of rest. Having a non-toxic skincare routine is essential, but it is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to looking and feeling your best.