Natural Skin Care
Brightly colored packages, convincing advertisements, celebrity endorsements and product placement can make it seem like we all should be using Brand A, B, or C shampoo, aftershave or lipstick. Apart from the question, “do I really need this product at all?”, it’s prudent to consider the number of chemicals and unnatural compounds we’re regularly applying to our skin, where they are readily absorbed.
The skin absorbs from 60-100% of skin products. Typically, women use an average of 500 personal care products daily such as hair dye, makeup, lotions and nail polishes. Most of these products contain toxic substances that can negatively impact health and wellness. The more of these products we can substitute or eliminate, the better!
Locating alternatives to conventional personal care products can initially appear challenging, although the variety of quality brands offered is increasing, and depending on how “granola” you want to go, many home-made substitutes obtain better results (with no side-effects!) than their store-bought counterparts.
Here are a few easy switches to get you started with natural skin care products:
- Baking soda can be used as a gentle but effective facial exfoliator/scrub
- Coconut oil makes a terrific body lotion
- Sunflower oil is non-comedogenic (will not clog pores) and works well as a facial moisturizer
- Apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball serves as an effective pH balancing facial toner
- Aloe vera gel (straight from the plant is great!) soothes and heals blemishes
Whether creating your own toothpaste or massage oil, finding recipes online is as simple as typing “do it yourself ________” into the search bar. Many recipes can be customized with a variety of ingredients, including essential oils to add pleasing aromas. Imagine creating a soothing rosemary body lotion, or a simple peppermint tooth scrub—personal care products can become a fun and creative mode of self-expression!
For those looking for ready-made solutions, however, many brands offer organic, more natural choices. Keep in mind that while there is no legal definition of the term “natural”, products that are only minimally processed with few ingredients will be a big improvement over typical brands. In short, look for simple ingredients and skip products containing a long list of unpronounceable substances. Health food stores often carry a variety of toxin-free personal care products.
Making sure we’re taking a close look at personal care products is important for overall wellness. Toss out those old chemical products; let’s get healthy!
Dr. Richard Gerardo
D.C., C.S.C.P., D.A.C.B.N.