The beauty industry is mammoth in size. They make billions each year selling to women the idea that beauty comes in a bottle. They tell us we need anti-aging miracle creams, moisturizers that will return our skin to the youthful state of our childhood, and numerous products that hide all our imperfections. And yet if they really worked why would women be so desperate to try the newest, greatest product on the market? Most of these products have us chasing after an illusion and worse yet they are usually harmful to our health. I am not dying to look good. Are you?
What the beauty industry does not want us to know is that the junk from their products may actually be a big contributor to why we are unhappy with the way we look. For one, they spend millions telling us we don’t look good UNLESS we use X, Y, or Z. Second, their products can make us sick with their cancer causing ingredients or the harsh chemicals can aggravate our skin and make it look worse than it did before. I know that I did terrible things to my skin as a teen by wearing so much make-up and using so many different “beauty” products. Friends used to call me Barbie when I was a teen. It wasn’t so much because I had bleached blond hair and blue eyes, it was because I wore waterproof theater make-up. I could walk through a monsoon and my make-up would still be flawless. But after years of wearing that heavy make-up my skin looked so terrible I HAD to keep wearing it… or so I thought. I also wore contact lenses because I didn’t like the way glasses looked. I wore them so much that that the whites of my eyes turned red. An eye doctor told me I needed to stop wearing contacts immediately, possibly forever, or risk permanent damage to my eyes.
It was only when I had kids that I finally put things into perspective. I knew I didn’t want my babies to be harmed by industry’s that put profit above health and yet for years I did not care if I poisoned myself. Now though I had to be an example. I wanted my kids to see someone who made healthy choices. My big basket of beauty products left the building and they never returned. I haven’t worn any make-up more than a handful of times in over 10 years. I also don’t use hair sprays, gels, lotions, or antioxidant elixirs. And yet I love my skin. I think it has not looked as good or felt as good as it does since I was very young. Oh I still have visual imperfections and scars left over from abuse as a teen. I have surgical scars on my face, neck, stomach, and abdomen thanks to numerous surgeries. But despite all that, I see healthy skin again. Here is what my beauty regimen consists of now.
Green Smoothies – Hands down the biggest secret weapon in the natural beauty enthusiast’s arsenal is going to be a healthy diet. Green smoothies makes that as easy as pie. When I first started drinking them I noticed immediately that my digestion improved and my bowels moved more regularly. Frankly you don’t realize how irregular you are until you get regular… as in a visit to the bathroom almost after every meal regular. This is really important because this is how your body gets rid of waste and toxins. Shouldn’t you be helping your body take out the garbage? The second thing I noticed is that the cells of my skin seemed to plump up. They sucked in all that nourishment and water like they were botox injections. The skin LOVES green smoothies and all the antioxidants in them that protect against further damage. I also add greens powders to my smoothies so I can get a big boost of vitamins and nutrients. If you haven’t checked out my green smoothies recipe book, you should! I market it to parents who want to help their kids eat more greens but I drink the same stuff but perhaps with a higher greens to fruit ratio.
Dry Brushing – Ever heard of it? I had wanted to try it for years but never got around to it. Then after one of my personal inspirations, Kris Carr, mentioned it in her book Crazy, Sexy, Diet … I decided to try it. I went out and got a natural bristle brush meant for dry brushing and tried it that very day I started reading the book. Unfortunately it felt as though I was rubbing my skin off with low grit sandpaper. I went back to the book in a huff to see if I had missed something or if I was just a big baby. If I had continued reading I would have seen that Kris recommended using exfoliating showers gloves. That was MUCH better. It doesn’t exactly tickle but I wouldn’t say it hurts either. Anyway I have been using the gloves for 2 months now and WOW!!! As I sit writing this post I have been continually rubbing my arms.. smooth like a babies behind. My skin hasn’t looked or felt this good in forever.
Your skin is the biggest organ you have and it constantly regenerates itself by eliminating toxic and dead skin cells, as much as two pounds of this waste material each day. When your skin is clogged with dead skin cells and toxins that cannot be eliminated by perspiration, then your skin suffers. It needs air and sunlight so getting rid of excess waste through exfoliation is vital. In addition to exfoliating your dead skin cells and removing barriers to toxin excretion, dry brushing is also wonderful for lymph vessels and capillaries. This is why dry brushing should be done using strokes that go towards the heart, aiding in the body’s blood circulation. When you get out of the shower after dry brushing you feel amazing because your circulation has improved and then in a couple hours your skin looks and feels amazing. Dry brushing also massages the lymph nodes and gets them functioning better as well and they are a big part of our immune system.
Natural Products – I don’t use much by way of beauty products but I do have some solid lotion bars, a big tub of coconut oil, and magnesium oil. In general I find that I don’t need moisturizers and lotions with the exception of on my legs after I shave them but any of the three products I just mentioned help with that. I like to use coconut oil in my hair too but really only started to need that recently… after I start swimming in a gym pool.
Drinking Water – This is important for hydration and helping your body remove waste and toxins. Most of my water comes in the form of my 2 daily quarts of green smoothie but I also have a reusable water bottle on hand each day with pH drops and a lemon slice added to help alkalinize the water.
So there it is… pretty easy and minimal and yet the most effective I have ever come across.
What is YOUR preferred way to stay green and beautiful? Any tips to share?
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011