"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hormone-Friendly, Non-toxic & Easy Skin Care

Whether we like it, or want to believe it or not, our skin absorbs pretty much everything we put on it or expose it to (chemicals from the air, etc). It's rough, but most makeup and skin care brands out there are chucked full of chemicals and ingredients that are messing with our hormones in a negative way. Thankfully, skin care doesn't have to be toxic, difficult, time-consuming, or expensive! Sweet, right? 

I do want to start by saying, that the best skin care starts with your diet. If you keep a food journal & track your symptoms, you can easily discover which foods are not promoting great skin. For example, when I eat low quality dairy, I usually get zits along my chin line by the next day. But anyway, there are other things we can do as well to take care of our skin. Check out just how simple your skin care regimen can be!

Makeup Remover
Any of the nourishing oils I've listed in the moisturizer section below should work for a makeup remover. All you need is a few drops on a cotton square & then gently rub your eye make up off.

You may need to try multiple options to find a good fit for you/your skin. For example, I tried coconut oil first & had red patchiness around my eyes from it after a couple of weeks. The response was delayed enough that it took me a little longer to figure out what exactly caused it. Same thing happened with olive oil.  Who would have known, but avocado oil has been fantastic for me. 

Most mornings & evenings (before bed) I simply use hot water to rinse my face (after removing my eye makeup during my night routine). If you're interested in a deeper cleanse, you can try the Oil Cleansing Method. I don't feel like I need that deep of a cleanse very often, since I try to stay away from the foods that cause skin problems for me, but your experience may be different. 

Why do we need to exfoliate? Skin tends to look dull and old if there are too many dead skin cells layered up on it. I love this option because all you need is baking soda for an effective, non-toxic, & quick exfoliant! Simply wet your face & use about 1/2 tsp of baking soda to rub in gentle, circular motions all over your face. Be careful around your eyes. I exfoliate 1-2 times a week, tops. 

The main point of using a toner (among other reasons), is to bring the pH levels in the skin back in to balance. I have some toner all mixed up but haven't felt like I've needed it much lately. It is super easy to make since all it requires is filtered water, a spray bottle, and unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (it should be cloudy looking, Bragg's brand is great and can be found pretty much anywhere). Use approximately one part unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with five parts purified water. Shake it up in a spray bottle and then spritz your face with the toner after cleansing and before moisturizing (or as needed). 

Listed below are the nourishing oils I referenced earlier. Pick an oil to try based on your skin. You know your skin best, so try the options that resonate with you. So far, my best fit has been avocado oil.
  • Jojoba oil - works pretty well for all skin types as well as eczema and rosacea
  • Coconut oil - use for skin types prone to fungal infections
  • Olive oil - great for really dry skin
  • Avocado oil - use for psoriasis, eczema, or sensitive skin
  • Grapeseed Oil - for all skin types or sensitive skin
  • Borage oil - for skin prone to redness, eczema, rosacea or acne
  • Apricot Kernel Oil - for all skin types
All you need is a few drops of oil to put on your face in the morning and evening (after cleansing and toning) to keep it moisturized nicely most days. Because so little is needed, the bottle of avocado oil I bought is going to last a long time, so there has definitely been some savings there compared to the expensive, hormone-disrupting moisturizer I was using before!

Hand & Body Moisturizer
I use my avocado oil for my hands as well at night but also like to use Badger Balm when my hands really need some extra care and moisture. The nourishing oils work great for any skin areas though. Especially in dry climates, your arms & legs will soak them right in & look great!

Lip Balm
Many lip balms, even "natural" products use canola oil, which you don't want to use or contain ingredients like menthol and even alcohol (yikes!) that are actually used to dry out quickly so you have to keep applying the product. For lip care, I actually only use plain bees wax as needed, which is usually only at night. I keep small containers of it all over (the care, diaper bag, etc.) for those few times I need something during the day. Many people simply use coconut oil but I decided not to go with that option because of the reaction I had with it around my eyes. There are some great brands out there for lip balm like Primal Life Organics, Tropical Traditions, local companies, and you can even make your own really easily!

So that's it for basic skin care! What hormone-friendly & non-toxic skin care options have you tried?