The beauty/makeup/skincare industry is a major multi-billion dollar industry. These companies rake in so much money that they can afford so spend many millions of dollars bombarding us with ads in magazines and on TV that tell us beauty comes neatly packaged in a bottle. They make moula hand over fist selling products to us that are “supposed” to make us look ten years younger, give us soft, glowing skin, and hide all our imperfections. The ads want us to believe that if only we buy their products we too can look like a supermodel. But they are not nearly so forthright in telling us that their products are full of nasty chemical ingredients that can do more harm to us than good. When you do your homework you may come to realize that looking younger in the moment is just not worth the price. For beautiful skin and good health on the inside as well we need to rediscover natural skincare ingredients and products. Your skin is your biggest organ and it needs to be treated with tender loving care.
We moms often go to great lengths to make sure everything we put on our baby’s skin is safe and natural but often times we forget this wisdom when it comes to products for ourselves. Why is that? If you really care about your health then you must make a resolve to get rid of most conventional products and start using organic and natural ingredients in your beauty routines. Here are some easy ways to help you go more natural:
1. Healthy skin starts on the inside and it stems from a healthy, well balanced diet and plenty of fluids to flush out toxins. They say rockin abs are made in the kitchen right? Well, so is beautiful skin.
2. Use natural oils and natural moisturizers that won’t clog pores like olive oil or coconut oil. You usually only need a small bit around the nose and under their eyes. The stuff that hides out in the pantry for cooking can serve as double agents in the bathroom.
3. Use coconut oil as a moisturizer for your driest spots like lips, heels and elbows. My fave is the Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Moisturizing Cream from Tropical Traditions. Use tip #8 first for best results.
4. Skip washing your hair everyday as the soap can dry your skin (and your hair). When you do wash your hair use a shampoo bar with natural ingredients and healthy oils. Try these Coconut Bar Soaps and Shampoo Bars, both can be used as shampoo.
5. To wash make-up off just rub some olive oil onto your face and wipe off with a soft, dry rag that will exfoliate your face as well. Microfiber cloths are particularly nice for cleansing the face.
6. If beauty does come in a bottle it is more likely to be a in a bottle of fish oil pills or Vitamin D3 rather than an anti-aging miracle cream. Supplementation can help us get nutrients that our food is lacking.
7. Not sure what is in conventional beauty products? Well take matters into your own hands! Make your own skin care products with every day ingredients like salt, almond meal, oatmeal, milk, honey, coconut oil, or avocado oil. They are cost effective and you know exactly what you are putting on your skin. You don’t need a chemistry degree to create beauty products of your own.
8. Dry brush your body to exfoliate your skin and slough off dead skin cells. This is an ages old practice and it really helps with the appearance of your skin to get those dead cells off and showcase the new.
9. When purchasing new products read the ingredient listings carefully and only buy products with recognizable ingredients, organic if possible, without parabens or fragrance. Check the Skin Deep Database to find out how each product/ingredient rates for safety.
10. Get some sun every day but not too much. Your skin needs sunlight for optimum health but staying out too long and damaging your skin isn’t good either so strike a balance and wear protective clothes and a big sun hat if you can instead of using chemical sunscreens. See also: Natural Sunburn Remedies.
How you keep your skincare routine natural and safe?
A few nights ago I was noticing that my facial skin was rather dull and needed a little exfoliation badly. I thought about running out to the store and looking to see what they had but I knew I would stand there and agonize over the ingredients in the cleansers and then ultimately come home empty handed. So I looked through my pantry and spied some almond meal thinking that might work on its own or with other ingredients. I picked up my copy of the book Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self and saw that almond meal was the main ingredient in several different exfoliating cleanser recipes. In fact one recipe was easy peasy, just a couple teaspoons almond meal and water.
I went up to the shower straight away and was delighted to find that it works quite well AND it tastes good too! It reminds me of baby cereal. I am excited to dig deeper into the book and see what else I can make. ;) In fact it spurred me to make a bunch of my own house cleaners the next day too and I want to post about that but I am trying to locate the email addy for the gal who sent me the essential oils I used in them. If that rings any bells with someone, please give me a holler!
Added to the Homesteading Link-up and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways
Over the years that I have written here on this blog I have rarely reviewed makeup or skincare items. I have turned down opportunities to review products along these lines somewhere in triple digit amounts. The reason for this is simple…I rarely if ever wore makeup, creams, lotions, or other skin enhancement products. I didn’t want to devote the time to skincare products and makeup application and since the world of beauty ingredients is so confusing and potentially toxic it just seemed a better idea to opt out. If I could’t or wouldn’t USE the products it seemed hypocritical to review them.
My attitudes about makeup and skincare lotions and potions began to change recently though and I am sure it is no coincidence that I hit the big 3-5 this year. I am suddenly more concerned with aging and appearance and more apt to pick up some of these products and yet I am woefully uneducated on which ones are the safest and healthiest to buy. I am playing catch up big time.
For the past month or so I have been using some items from the Style Essentials line by Lisa D Liguori. She has spent many years doing extensive research in the field of healthy beauty care products and has been involved in the industry in some capacity for over 30 years. After being disappointed in the offerings in the industry, Lisa founded Style Essentials, an online boutique to offer a truly healthy alternative. I feel confident that what I have been using from her store is safe and healthy for my skin. They are also effective and luxurious. Even with my minimal makeup exposure in recent years I know enough to recognize high quality products.
Lisa was kind enough to send me some of her products to try free of charge but before she did that she asked a bunch of questions to ascertain what type of makeup and skincare would work best for me individually. Even with my vague and surely unhelpful answers she managed to send me items that knocked my socks off, each and every one of them.
Here is what I have been using:
Pure Bliss Eye Cream – This is a very rich and soothing cream meant to help with wrinkles, loss of elasticity, puffiness, hyper pigmentation and the reversal and prevention of free-radical damage. I LOVE how creamy it is and it feels so good to rub this around my eyes, which are the first place I have seen some signs of aging. I would not have picked up something like this on my own but now that I have tried it, I love it. I like to apply it before applying the makeup because I tend to have dark circles and this seems to help with that. I also put some on before bed. 79% organic ingredients.
Pink Mineral Complexion Bar – This is a cleansing bar and it is the creamiest and most luxurious bar I have ever used. Ever. It lathers immediately and feels like pure silk. My skin does not feel dry after using it at all, which was a concern. It just feels silky. Other members of the family (like my husband) keep trying to steal it away for their own use so I have to hide it. I am also a fan of the pink color! Made of French Clay, Glycerin, and Essential Oil of Camomile.
Peppermint Lippy – Speaking of super silky, creamy goodness…this lip balm is another winner in that regard. I have never used such a silky, creamy lip balm before. I absolutely adore it and now consider it to be my new fave. I like to wear it on its own and also on top of color from a lip liner/pencil (usually nude).
Matte Finish Powder – This is a mineral makeup finishing powder that is perfect for skin that leans towards oily. I first tried it without any sort of foundation and it looked very ghost-like and made my skin feel tight and dry. Not so flattering. Then I tried it as “finishing” powder (imagine that) over top of foundation and found I quite like it. It gives you a bit of air brushing and absorbs oil. The brush is also the perfect size for just a light smattering of the powder.
Champagne Ice Mineral Eye Shadow Powder – LOVE the color! I am all for nude and barely there color and this one meets that criteria. You can use it as eye shadow, brow highlighter, and as a shimmer for your cheeks. I am kind of anti-blush because I think I look clownish in it, so I really liked this product.
All of these products served as a great introduction to the line. I would also love to try some of their other offerings such as mineral foundation, eye pencils, mascara, lip pencils, and lip color which are the other things I would generally use on those special occasions that call for makeup. There have been many more of those moments this year with my resolution to have more fun, more frequent date nights, and a surge of business trips and events. I meant to pick up some more items before I leave for Detroit later this month but the time got away from me. I am for sure going to have to place an order before Blogher12. I love knowing that I don’t have to sacrifice my health to look a little better and feel a little more confident in my own skin and no woman should have to make that trade IMO. Style Essentials is definitely one of the good ones. A++
I used to be a big time perfume lover. All throughout my teens and early adult years I wore Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door perfume. Just ask my husband, he is still sulking that I no longer wear what he considers my signature scent. Eventually I stopped wearing it because who has time for perfume when you have to change messy diapers and supply breast milk on tap 24/7? Then after a few years I decided I didn’t WANT to wear it because conventional perfume is some seriously toxic and nasty stuff and I wanted to abstain from toxic beauty.
Sadly, this is a largely unregulated industry and perfume companies can put nearly any chemical they want in their formulas and get away with it. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group created a report that shows how hormone-disrupting chemicals and chemicals that could cause allergic reactions (asthma, wheezing, headaches, and dermatitis) are often found in perfumes. Most of the “scents” in these perfume are not sourced from anything natural either. They are lab created with chemicals.
The good news is that we don’t need their stinking products (no pun intended)! There are many wonderful all-natural perfumes that are just as exquisite and lovely as the department store brands, but these botanical wonders contain no phthalates or preservatives. They just make better sense for ladies concerned about their health who still want to smell all pretty.
Here are a few options:
Pacifica Perfume - This brand has many, many lovely and safer scents. Indian Coconut Nectar or Mediterranean Fig? Yes please! These contain natural denatured alcohol (corn source) and Pacifica’s own fragrance blend with natural and essential oils. No parabens, animal testing, animal ingredients, or artificial colors. 100% VEGAN and Gluten-free. Price: $20
Lavanila Roll-on Perfumes – These clean vanilla scents start with a base of organic sugar cane alcohol which is the infused with pure essential oils. Price: $34-$56.
Red Flower Guaiac – Organic perfume with a woodsy blend of leaves/bark, pink grapefruit, and rose with organic oil as the base. It is also packaged in 80% post consumer recycled paper and made with wind power in the US! Price: $48
Golden Earth Perfume – These perfumes are made of 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils and are infused with crystals. The Euphoria blend, which is what we have tried, is rose, jasmine, and agate crystal. No synthetic fragrances. Price: $20
Enjoy and feel free to link up to any natural perfumes you have enjoyed below…
Ever come across a product that you may have hesitated to buy at first and then it ends up changing your life and you cannot imagine life without it? The Diva Cup is one of those for me. I think I first wrote about this wonderful product about 7 or 8 years now. The concept of reusables came into my life via cloth diapers and then cloth pads for moms. While I have lots of love for those too it was the Diva Cup that ended up being the real game changer. After the second month using it I knew that I would be using a menstrual cup until I no longer needed them anymore (menopause). Also being the big fan that I am, I will happily introduce these to my daughter from the get-go. I only have a few more years until I am likely to do that. Yikes! Where does the time go?
My motivation in trying the cup was to reduce waste and eliminate the need to buy disposable pads and tampons. I also HATED both of these products with a passion. They are more like modern day torture devices and I can see why so many women refer to that time of month as a curse when those are the standard options. Who wants to deal with adult diaper rash from pads and the dryness and possible Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from tampons? Not me, thank you. Cloth pads I found, were infinitely more comfortable but they also required more work. Storing them until wash day and then actually washing them was not going to make my top ten favorite things to do list. Then I came across a mention of menstrual cups on a cloth diapering message board and I ordered one. We have been likes peas and carrots ever since.
If you are not familiar with The Diva Cup, it is a cup that is inserted just like a tampon is. The “cup” catches your monthly flow and when it is full you simply empty it, wash with soapy water, and reinsert. It is made of soft medical grade silicone, which is latex-free, 100% hypoallergenic and odorless. It comes with a lovely carrying case so that you can keep it clean between uses and hidden away so kids won’t be inclined to steal it and play with it in the tub like it some kind of toy. Not saying that has ever happened but it could…hypothetically. I will say that it is really fun to explain to any male child that happens to be handling the cup, what it is and what it does. ;) This may be why I recently had to replace mine though. After one such conversation it mysteriously disappeared after bathroom cleaning duty. I think it disappeared into the trash. I wasted no time buying a new one and if you need one in a hurry you can find them at Whole Foods usually.
Reusable menstrual products are healthier to use and infinitely more comfortable. They may take some adjustment as some women/girls may be uncomfortable dealing with menstrual blood because of years of using disposable, traditional products. I will admit that I am not squeamish in that regard. Caring for them is pretty easy too.
Have you tried a menstrual cup yet? What are you waiting for?
Related: Alternative Menstrual Products – Ditch the Disposables