Natural Skin Care 101
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Shifts are being made on our plate, and it is now beginning to sprout into our makeup bag and personal care products. Natural, toxin-free personal care is becoming the next organic, in my humble opinion. As a whole, the global skincare market is estimated to be worth 180 Billion USD ((yes, with a B!)).
Not only is it the largest market, but skin also happens to be the largest organ of the body and one of the 6 organs required for detoxification. The American Journal of Public Health stated our skin absorbs up to 64% of contaminants found in everyday drinking water (1). Additionally, the Environmental Working Group uncovered women use an average of 168 chemicals on their body every day, while men use about 85 chemicals each day on average, (2). That is a lot of unneeded carcinogens in our body... don't you agree?
Look, I'm not stating every chemical applied to our skin is absorbed because that would simply be untrue and unfactual. Some chemicals ARE absorbed into the skin, in as little as 26 seconds, but not ALL. There are many variables involved in the absorption process due to the size of the molecule, type, fat and water content, etc.,
The main problem with our average everyday CVS, grocery, or outlet store products is the disruptive chemicals that function adversely beyond the surface. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences funded a study that concluded high levels of urinary phthalates, parabens, and other phenols within Latina adolescent girls, leading to the possible association between products and reproductive health/development, (3). In fact, common hormone-disrupting ingredients include phthalates, parabens, musks, and triclosan.
These products are suggested to not only adversely affect women's health and fertility, but male health, in particular fertility, is also compromised with exposure to phthalates and other environmental contaminants, (4).
It's even evident within the FDA website that there is no enforcement of regulation on the cosmetic industry:
"Under U.S. law, cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, do not need FDA approval before they go on the market. Cosmetic manufacturers have a legal responsibility for the safety and labeling of their products. FDA can and does take action against cosmetics on the market that do not comply with the law."
This blog post is not intended to scare you in any fashion. It is simply intended to inform you as a consumer and empower you to be an autonomous advocate for your health and well-being.
Fortunately, I never had teenage acne, major breakouts, or "bad" skin. It wasn't until I hit the age of 20 that began to care for my skin, because I started to break out from my hormones... it's been interesting, to say the least. I'm totally not complaining because I was privileged, in fact - more people commented on my skin than anything else and asked "what do you use" my simple answer - nothing. It was true, I used NOTHING on my face - not even sunscreen.
For a short while, I worked in a dermatology clinic as a medical assistant and saw first hand what poor skincare could do. There were more cases of skin cancer than I wished to be apart of but it shined a light on how easy it is to develop and how important sun protection actually is. I was not only fascinated but curious about what else could be done outside of pharmaceuticals for other conditions. From my research and experience, the recipe to good skin is simple - a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, fats, etc., proper hydration, everyday sweat, and last but certainly not least, maintenance of the skin itself.
Mindful of the role skin plays in our ability to detox, I investigated for roughly like 4 weeks (I wish I was lying, I am a bit EXTRA sometimes, can you tell?!) and finally found products I trusted to purchase. I started with facial care, worked my way into makeup, and eventually, full-on head to toe body care.
(I even got my boyfriend on the non-tox personal care train!!)
Through trial and error, I found a routine, diet regime, and different products that worked for my skin. Investing in natural products was a longitudinal process. I used up products I had before I even thought about going out to buy new ones because seriously let's not be wasteful.
Since I've been searching, I have also made a lot of masks and cleansers from natural at-home products - let me know if you would like the recipe!
My advice: keep ya old products, use them until they are gone ((then recycle (if you can)) and buy non-toxic, eco-friendly, and YOU-friendly products.
Anyways, let's get to the good stuff, shall we?
Welcome to Natural Skin Care 101, a post made simple and easy for you to navigate the wonderful world of skin. I did all the leg work on scouting products (& trying products) that actually work and hold the value of clean beauty with integrity.
First, let's handle what we don't need..
Ingredients to avoid:
parabens (propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-) - hormone disrupter
petroleum distillates (allergic reaction or irritation)
butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) & butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) - (hormone disruptor)
phthalates dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP) - (male reproductive damage)
formaldehyde (bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, & quaternim-15) - carcinogen, allergic reaction and irritation
coal tar (potential carcinogen, known toxin)
toluene (allergic reaction and or irritation, birth defects, reduced fertility)
hydroquinone (darkening and disfiguration of the skin) ** avoid if pregnant
fragrance / perfume (allergic reaction and irritant, toxicity with long-term exposure)
diethanolamine (DEA) - irritation, toxicity
sodium laureth or lauryl sulfate (irritation and carcinogen)
oxybenzone & octinoxate (allergic reaction or irritation, hormone disruptor)
boric acid & sodium borate (allergic reaction or irritation, hormone disruptor)
butane & isobutane (possible contaminant for carcinogen)
p-Phenylenediamine (skin irritation)
synthetic colors (unapproved color by FDA)
ingredients ending in -linone (irritant and possibly toxic)
carbon black (carcinogen)
PABA (changes in cellular structure)
talcum (possible carcinogen)
siloxane (hormone disruptor)
triclosan (thyroid and reproductive disruptor, bacterial resistance)
any contaminant listed by the FDA
wowowow... now that's out of our way... onto the good stuff!
Examples of natural skin care ingredients (not limited to):
-Almond Oil -Jojoba Oil
-Alpha Lipoic Acid -Macadamia Oil
-Argan Oil -Magnesium Sulfate
-Arrowroot powder -Mango Butter
-Baking Soda -Squalane
-Beeswax -Omega Fatty Acids
-Beta Carotene -Raspberry Seed Oil
-Camelina Oil -Shea Butter
-Castor Seed Oil -Sea Kelp or Algae
-Cholesterol/ - Spirulina
-Coconut Oil -Tetrahydrocurcuminoids
-Coenzyme Q10 -Vegetable Glycerin
-Dead Sea Salt -Vitamin A
-Essential Oils -Vitamin C
-Ferulic Acid -Vitamin E
-Grapeseed Oil - Witch Hazel
Loved & Trusted Non-tox Skin Care Products
Ocean Cleanser by Osea
Brightening Cleanser by Indie Lee
Matcha, Turmeric, MacaBeet Stick by Cocokind
Chlorophyll mask by Cocokind
Rosewater Facial Toner by Cocokind
Atmosphere Protection Cream by Osea
Squalane Facial Oil by Indie Lee
Moisturizing Cream for Men by Weleda
Cocokind Brow Balm
100% Pure Better Naked Pallet
Attitude Natural Sunscreen
Acure Shampoo and Conditioner
Aleavia Enzymatic Body Cleanse
Whole Soul Company Quench Body Butter
David's Tooth Paste
Schmidt's Cedarwood + Junpier Deodorant
Hemp Body Mitt by Body Shop
Dry Brush by Saje
& anything Dr. Bronner's
Other brands I love: Biossance, Everyone, Avalon Organics, Pacifica, Josh Rosebrook, Ursa Major, RMS Beauty, Farmaesthetics, Vapour, Rahua, Naturopathica, and True Botanicals.
Take care of your birthday suit with these products, a good diet, LOTS OF WATER, and be sure to laugh on the inside (it prevents wrinkles, you'll thank me later!!).
Comment and share one of your favorite non-toxic products! && let me know if you liked this post, I'd love to connect with you.