Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, soap, moisturizer, makeup, deodorant, perfume, nail polish, hair dye. I find it ironic that conventional “beauty products” are actually called beauty products. They contain hundreds of health-damaging toxic chemicals, so how is it possible that they can promote beauty? The average woman applies 168 different toxic chemicals to her body each day (1). This infographic shows where “beauty chemicals” lurk.
The toxic chemicals found in beauty products are especially harmful to our health. Instead of entering our bodies through the digestive tract, like food and drinks, “beauty chemicals” get absorbed through the skin, directly into the bloodstream. This difference is important. When we eat or drink toxic chemicals, which is still bad for us, they are sent to the liver for a round of detoxification, making them at least, slightly less toxic. “Beauty chemicals” applied to our skin, are circulated through our bodies in their most toxic form. This also applies to household cleaners, baby & men’s care products, and pet products.
These chemicals have far-reaching negative impacts on our health, including hormonal disruption, infertility, miscarriage, weight gain, immune system disruptions, asthma, autism, and even cancer (2, 3).
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can start by switching out our conventional products for organic ones. Buy your beauty at a health food store, at your local market, or online; not at the drug store. There is a huge selection of wonderful organic beauty products out there that work much better than conventional products.
If you are unsure if a beauty product is toxic or not, you can check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website. They have an extensive list that shows the toxicity of over 62,000 personal care products.
BEAUTY STARTS FROM WITHIN
This is my favorite stuff to talk about! Using organic beauty products, and optimizing our diet & lifestyle is a much more effective way to achieve a beautiful, healthy, glowing complexion, rather than depending on products alone.
Here is what you can do to improve the quality of your skin:
- Eat an ancestral or a Paleo Diet. This diet naturally eliminates most of the foods people tend to be sensitive to. It also promotes gut health and is much more nutrient dense than the standard American Diet. Food sensitivities, poor gut health, and nutrient deficiencies can create systemic inflammation, which can show up on the skin as blemishes, rosacea, pimples, blackheads, and psoriasis.
- Poor skin is a sign that we need to improve our gut health. If you do not know where to start, work with a qualified healthcare practitioner.
- Drink bone broth, or take a collagen supplement every day. Collagen synthesis naturally begins to decline as we age. Supplementing with collagen, or drinking bone broth can help keep our skin soft and supple, and prevent it from aging too quickly. Not only that, it will also help improve joint health, and phase 2 detoxification in the liver.
- We can ensure we are getting true Vitamin A in our diet, not just beta-carotene. Carrots, yams and other orange vegetables are not a reliable source of Vitamin A. Deficiency in this essential nutrient manifests in many ways, and poor skin health is one of them. Low Vitamin A status can show up as rough, dry, scaly skin, and keratosis pilaris, those annoying little bumps on the back of our arms (5). The best sources of preformed Vitamin A are liver and cod liver oil.
- Eat those oysters! Zinc has many functions in our body. When it comes to our complexion, zinc helps mobilize Vitamin A into the blood and helps Vitamin A change forms (6). Studies have shown that zinc can reduce acne as effectively as antibiotics such as tetracycline (7).
- Vitamin K2 is a nutrient that prevents wrinkling and premature aging. It accomplishes this by helping deposit calcium into the bones. In a Vitamin K2 deficient state, the calcium in our body will settle in our soft tissues, such as our skin’s elastin. When our skin’s elastin becomes calcified, we develop wrinkles and skin loses its ability to spring back.
- Vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis.
- Our modern diet tends to contain too much Omega 6 Fatty Acids, and too little Omega 3 Fatty Acids. This promotes chronic inflammation. We can improve this balance by eliminating industrial seed oils from our diet, supplementing with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and regularly eating fatty fish. Improving the balance between Omega 6 Fatty Acids and Omega 3 Fatty Acids will help reduce inflammation and can lead to smoother, younger looking skin with a reduction in inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.
- Many of the B Vitamins promote healthy skin.
- Take probiotics. They improve gut health, and in turn may improve acne, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
- We all need to manage our stress. Poorly managed stress will wreak havoc upon our complexion.
- Exercise!! Exercise improves blood flow, especially through the tiny capillaries in our skin.
MY SECRET BEAUTY TIP
I give myself a 3 to 5 minute face massage every night, using the All Season Serum from Living Libations. I work at loosening tight muscles in my forehead, furrow, eyebrows, cheeks, and jawline. I end with a little scalp and neck massage. This nightly routine makes my skin feel and look amazing.
I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Have you gotten rid of all your conventional beauty products, and switched them for organic ones? Do you work on beauty from the inside?
Lindsay Rusk Health is a dedicated resource for people who are interested in health and improving their health. Therefore, this post may contain affiliate links. These links add no extra cost to you. I recommend products and brands that I personally use for myself or my family. For more information, see my Terms + Disclosure.