Guest writer for Wake Up World
“The best way to read a personal care product ingredients list is to read each ingredient as if it were something that you might put in your mouth… If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin!” ~ Marie Be
It’s no secret that Big Pharma and cosmetic companies generate billions of dollars each year by selling a huge array of body-care, personal-care and body-cleansing products. But what you may not know is that most of these chemical-based products include harmful ingredients that are toxic when absorbed into the skin. Manufacturers funnel revenues into lawmakers’ pockets to ensure their ongoing support — in particular, the classification of their products as “external” despite being absorbed by the skin — and, with the support of deceptive media and marketing techniques, the general public (particularly North America and Japanese markets) have been led to believe that not only are pharmaceuticals the best line of defense against poor hygiene, but that they are the only things keeping us safe from the perils of disease-causing bacteria, germs and viruses.
And yet, toxic ingredients like mercury, lead, aluminum and other heavy metals, formaldehyde, parabens, chemical fragrances, fluorides, plastics, petrochemicals (among many others) are found in everything from hand-washes, lipsticks, eye-liners, mouthwashes, shampoos, deodorants, conditioners, toothpastes, body washes, lotions, sunscreens and moisturizers. As a result of regular use, these products can cause untold damage to our health and our immune system — ironically, the strength of which actually relies on exposure to germs and bacteria.
Thankfully, nature provides us with some potent and affordable non-toxic body-care alternatives that will keep you fresh, clean and ready to be seen!
Why Risk Commercial Body Care Products?
The skin is a truly remarkable organ. The largest organ in the body, it is our protective barrier to the outer world. However, since the skin is also incredibly absorbent and is exposed to everything we come into contact with (be it natural or man-made), it is understandable that the skin is also one of the most susceptible organs to health problems. That’s why it’s important we take good care of it — but not in the way pharmaceutical companies would like us to!
The skin is our body’s detoxification pathway where it pushes toxins up through its three million sweat glands. When we are constantly applying thick creams, moisturizers and commercial sunscreens that are full of toxins, we actually counteract our skin’s natural detox process. As Marie Be described in the insightful article, Skin Science – Debunking Cosmetic Industry Propaganda:
“The skin absorbs that which is applied on its surface directly into the bloodstream and lymphatic system, so unlike toxins taken in through the digestive system, toxins absorbed through the skin bypass the body’s natural defense mechanisms . In fact, recent studies have shown that we may actually acquire more toxins through skin absorption than through the foods we eat . … If it were widely known that the skin actually absorbs everything we apply to it, [skin care products] would be classified as an internal product and be subject to far stricter regulations. .
“U.S. researchers identified 10,500 industrial chemicals used as… ingredients, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxics, endocrine disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and surfactants. … Triclosan, for example, is a common chemical used in anti-bacterial hand soap, toothpaste, facewash, deodorant, a host of personal care products; it pollutes the human body but also breaks down into persistent substances that are highly toxic to wildlife and aquatic environments .”
This is why it is imperative to use healthy and natural products on your skin, instead of using chemicals that may feel good to the touch but which put the body’s natural systems under pressure. Or, better yet, MAKE YOUR OWN! That way you know exactly what is going into the products you and your family use each day, and you can feel safe knowing there is nothing toxic entering your body or flowing down your bathroom drain.
Making Your Own Non-Toxic Body Care Products
I’ve listed some great natural ingredients for your homemade body care recipes below. The products you can make with these ingredients include: whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, sunscreen, moisturizer, bug-away spray, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, facial cleanser and deodorant.
To learn how to make these products using all natural ingredients, download my FREE Natural Body Care Recipes at www.earthiemama.com.
Because they’re all-natural and non-toxic, you can also try experimenting with combinations of these ingredients yourself at home.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar not only has many benefits to your internal body but also is an excellent beauty product for all your hair and skin needs, from head to toe. ACV is cheap, abundant and, due to its high acidity, balances the pH levels of your skin and hair while leaving you with a soft beautiful glow.
- Baking Soda (also known as Bicarbonate of Soda) is a gentle alkaline powder that cleans, whitens and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Baking soda will also draw out toxins, which makes it a wonderful ingredient for your homemade products. You can find baking soda at any grocery store and it is very cheap.
- Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees in their beehive. Beeswax has many uses, but in skin products, once applied to the skin, it forms a protective and moisturizing layer on the skin’s surface. It also contains anti-bacterial properties. (Just be sure to buy beeswax that is produced ethically.)
- Organic Virgin Coconut Oil has so many great uses and can be used for almost all your body care needs. Coconut oil has anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, and helps to improve circulation while moisturizing, and decreasing redness or puffiness in the skin. It is effective for treating dermal conditions like dry, itchy or scaly skin, works as an effective makeup remover, and is ideal for oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that helps to improve the balance of flora in the mouth, thereby addresses the systemic causes of many dental issues.
- Jojoba Oil is a botanical extract from the seed of a jojoba tree. It can be used as a make-up remover, conditioner, facial cleanser, massage and bath oil, body moisturizer, lip conditioner and much more. It has been said to be very close to the consistency of human skin oils, thus it is able to clean the pores without clogging them.
- Macadamia oil can help your to skin retain moisture, promotes healing, reduces acne and other scars, and helps the skin to regain/retain its elasticity. Containing Omega-7 fats, is a great source of nourishment for the skin’s collagen, which both strengthens the skin and reduces the appearance of lines.
- Vitamin E Oil is a strong antioxidant that prevents premature aging and promotes healing. An ideal moisturizer, it is used in many products for the skin and nails.
- Citrus Juices such as orange and lemon juices are great as a natural “chemical peel”. They clear pores, help to smooth and clarify the complexion. Best to use them in combination with other moisturizing ingredients, as lemon juice in particular may dry the skin slightly.
- Castor Oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It is effective for spot treatments, such as acne, and is also useful for treating persistently dry/cracked skin.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera juice is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and is great for moisturizing the skin. It is also full of vitamins, including vitamin A, C and E, for healthy skin, hair and nails.
To download my FREE Natural Body Care Recipes e-book, visit me at www.earthiemama.com.
To your health and hygiene!
Recommended articles by Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du Toit:
- 7 Ingredients for Natural Cancer Prevention – Health Tonic Recipe Included!
- Treating Anxiety Naturally
- Immune Support Tonic – Delicious Natural Recipe
- Natural Antibiotic Ointment Recipe!
- Make Your Own Bug-Away Spray (Easy Recipe)
- Nature’s Most Powerful Antibiotics (Recipe Included!)
- 10 Health Benefits of Cucumbers
- Dirt is NOT Dirty – How Playing in the Dirt Benefits the Immune System
- How to Make Kombucha
- Practical Tips for Raising Earth-Conscious Children
- Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe
- Turmeric Milk Recipe: a Natural Mood Enhancer and Depression Fighter
About the author:
Alexandra is a true Earthie Mama, helping others tune into their most natural, thriving state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives. She hosts a well-known blog, EarthieMama.com, where she writes about health and wellness, conscious parenting, green living, self sustainability and getting off the grid. Alex also has an MA in Psychology, and is a registered Yoga Instructor, environmentalist, conscious mother, green living advocate and natural birthing expert. She also sells all natural products and her ebooks through her website.