Looking back at the beauty products I was using when I was much younger I remember there was always something new to try. Always something that would give me the ultimate glow. A new serum that would make me instantly look even younger. And although we all know it’s a myth and it’s all about money, women still buy these products. When entering a beauty store we get distracted by advertisements or young sale ladies. When I was in my twenties I loved everything fashion or beauty related. As a student I was working as a make up artist and advisor and for a period of time even made it as a manager while still studying. The money that goes around in the beauty industry is enormous and never ever they would talk about the health hazards. And I could tell very clearly that woman can be suggestible. Women buy anti age crèmes from a 16 year old girl believing that they will end up having a young skin over time. I’m absolutely not suggesting that women are naïve, but on some sort of level we do get unconsciously influenced (shops, tv, advertisement, magazines, woman around us) and we never talk about the health hazards. And men, this also applies to you. What do you use? Perfume, deodorant, aftershave?
The moment I started reading into what exactly I was putting on my face or my skin, I was utterly shocked. Our skin is our largest organ. For some reason, we forget that everything we put on our skin will be absorbed by our body and will end up in our bloodstream within 30 seconds.
Environmental Working Group is a great website where you can find information on the products you use to protect your health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself from everyday exposure to chemicals for cosmetics and personal care products. Their aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. EWG’s Skin Deep is the world’s largest personal care product safety guide.
Rather have an app? Think Dirty, a free iPhone app, gives a product a score after scanning the barcode for ingredients and chemicals. Sweet!
And for some of us it may be hard to accept, but our skin will age. No product will stop that. However, how we treat our body can determine how we age or how quickly.
As we have alternatives for cow milk, there are alternatives for toxic beauty products.
Switching to beauty products that don’t harm our body is a process that took time. I slowly replaced all the products with a healthier version. I’m happy to see that there are more and more healthy beauty products being launched these days.
How to have a healthy and chemical free skin
My skincare routine
It has been difficult to find products that are not only safe but also work well for my skin. As a teenager I didn’t know I should first and foremost focus on hydration and healthy eating. Instead I was eating chocolate, barely drank water and kept covering pimples with the newest product that would promise a flawless skin. Oh well, fortunately we all learn over time.
My routine nowadays is very easy and cheap. I rather spend my money on good organic food.
I start my day by cleaning my face with rose water. This bottle is 2 euros and when on a budget I’d buy it at the nearest local Moroccan or Turkish shop. I prefer to buy my rose water online though. The “PURE Rose” Drinkable Bulgarian Rose Water is the best so far.
Rose water smells so good! I always carry with me a spray bottle with some rose water to hydrate my face but also to fix my mineral makeup.
I hydrate my skin with raw organic coconut oil which I use for many other purposes as well.
I also love Skin Food from Weleda. This product is amazing! Sometimes I will switch to products from A. Vogel (in Dutch: ‘Anti rimpel’ or ‘Droge huid’). Since I tend to spend my winter holidays in extreme cold climates I sometimes would use one of the following products to protect and nourish my skin even more:
I love Weleda’s Coldcream for super cold days. The cream restores and protects the skin with essential fatty acids of almond oil and beeswax against damaging environmental influences. It’s a thicker cream that leaves your skin nourished with a deep glow.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Cream is also one I love for the deep glow. The natural ingredients are super nourishing and protecting from dryness and irritations.
When I feel my skin needs the full nourishment (mostly in the winter) I’ll use pure shea butter. The butter has a harder consistency, that softens when warmed up with the hands or massaged into the skin.
But coconut oil is actually most of the times all I use. Then I will use mostly Dr. Hauschka make up if I need to go out and meet people. Otherwise, I will just leave the door all shiny for the first hour 😉
When the sun is out I will use a sunscreen. It was very difficult to find a safe brand, but I’m happy that at one point I’ve finally found a good SPF. I’m using for some years now Aubrey Organics. which has very little health concerns and is actually comfortable to wear.
In the evening I love to take off the ‘day’. So relaxing…So again I use coconut oil to melt the make up and dirt away. I do so with circular motions and was it then off with luke warm water. Sometimes if my diet is not very raw, I eat too much or if I eat too many nuts I notice that my pores gets clogged. Flushing out the bowel with water will help in that case and switching to a different oil also helps if that is too drastically for you. I will use then oregano oil which I dilute with olive oil because of the high price. I bought a batch of the purest brand I could find in Marrakech. Also almond oil is a good option. After rinsing of the oil with luke warm water I again use rose water as a tonic and coconut oil as a moisturizer. That’s it!
For my legs I use almond oil and As a deodorant I either use coconut oil, lemon juice or (my favorite) a crystal block which you can buy at any organic health food store.
What I noticed is the following, the less you ‘do’ with your skin the more healthy it looks. Same applies for the hair by he way. I know it’s boring.
Also, if you address all skin issues with a holistic approach, which means look what you eat and look how your bowel is doing your skin will start looking good and clean.
I brush my skin daily (not my face though). I leave my skin just as it is. Super boring, I know! But believe me, I have tried everything already in the past.
This may sound radical for some of you, or not, but this works for me. It may not for you or it may take you more time , but treat your skin as a significant part of your body.
It doesn’t make sense to cover an organ with chemicals.
If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.
You don’t have to panic over the rate and the health hazards. It will be already of so much help if you would pick the products with the least impact. My Weleda crème is not perfect, but it has way less impact than other alternatives. Transitioning to chemical free is super overwhelming. The good news is, you can take it slow and just replace products as you run out.
Let me help you out a bit
This great cheat sheet is from There’s Lead in My Lipstick and I still carry it around in my wallet and check products against it.
Did you know that unlike natural substances that can be easily broken down and removed by the body, the chemicals found in most beauty products can ruin your metabolism and can disrupt your hormones? \
Oops, your lipstick is making you fat?
Any safe favorites you’d like to share with me? I would love to know your routine.