Skin is your body’s largest organ and your protective barrier. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impervious or impenetrable. You need to be aware of what you’re exposing it to. If you put dangerous ingredients on your skin, they get into your body — exactly where you don’t want them. Consider all of the potential irritants that come in contact with your skin — chemical-laden personal hygiene products, fragrances, city-treated water, deodorant; the list goes on and on. Abiding by an organic skin care routine and using natural skin care products will help your skin feel and look healthier than ever before.
THE PROBLEM WITH STANDARD SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
The process of developing and putting a skin care product on the market is shrouded in mystery. You might think there are regulations in place to keep everyone honest but, believe it or not, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t need to approve what ingredients are added to personal care products. If a company says an ingredient is safe, that’s basically deemed good enough.
Unfortunately, many of the “safe” ingredients in traditional skin care products are endocrine-disrupting phthalates or parabens. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can cause reproductive issues and they’re linked to increased cancer risk. The more you’re exposed to them, the more they concentrate in your body. Using natural and organic products and periodic body cleansing are a strong fundamental foundation to keep you safe and healthy.
SELECTING NATURAL SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
With a little research and smart shopping, you can find responsibly-made products to help you maintain a clean body and live a healthy lifestyle. Here’s what you should look for when purchasing skin care products:
- Free of harmful chemicals, irritants, or preservatives
- Carefully formulated with all natural, organic ingredients
- Never tested on animals
Alternately, one of the easiest ways to promote healthy skin is to make skin care products yourself from inexpensive, natural ingredients — more on that shortly.
THE ULTIMATE ORGANIC SKIN CARE ROUTINE
An organic skincare routine is one of the best things you can do to promote the appearance of your skin, and it offers other perks as well. A recent study suggests that using natural ingredients on your skin can address hyperpigmentation and irritation, while another found that it can help reduce skin damage caused by the sun.
STEP 1: CLEANSE
Because the natural oils in your skin help keep your skin supple and moisturized, look for a natural cleanser that removes impurities, but doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils. There are many soaps on the market, but organic virgin coconut oil makes a great skin cleanser all on its own.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE
Exfoliating promotes a radiant appearance and you likely already have the ingredients around your home to make an excellent scrub. Combine olive oil with natural sea salt. Olive oil is a great moisturizer that won’t clog pores and the salt provides enough abrasive action to buff away dead skin cells. You can also add a little lemon juice — the ascorbic acid kills bacteria. Constant scrubbing can be irritating, but once or twice a week can work wonders.
STEP 3: TONE
A toner can help clear oily skin and unclog pores; it’s a great addition to your beauty regimen. For an effective, natural toner, mix four parts distilled water and 1 part apple cider vinegar in a bottle. Apply with a cotton pad or with a spray bottle. Test it on a small section of your face before full application.
STEP 4: MOISTURIZE
Organic virgin coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer that not only improves the appearance of your skin but it also promotes elasticity. Cucumber is another option; the silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue and an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid. Combine smashed cucumber with organic yogurt and apply as a mask for 15 minutes.
ALL THE TIME: COMPLETE NUTRITION
There’s so much emphasis on skin care products that it’s easy to forget that healthy skin comes from the inside. Complete nutrition is essential for supporting the health and appearance of your skin. Seek foods with plenty of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Vitamin A, C, E, and K all support skin tissue growth, regeneration, and encourage smooth-looking skin. Antioxidants help protect skin against damage from free radicals. Even biotin, also known as vitamin B7, supports healthy skin, hair, and nails.
You are what you eat, and the food you put in your body affects how your skin looks and feels. Healthy, whole, organic food will help you look healthy and whole. Unhealthy, unnatural, low-nutrition food will produce a much different result. Avoid processed foods and refined sugar.
The ideal way to get the nutrients you need for a radiant complexion is by following a healthy, balanced diet based on fruits and vegetables like berries, grapefruit, kale, spinach, and peppers. This is a reliable way to obtain the nutrition and antioxidants you need. Nutrition from whole, organic food is always best but if you take nutritional supplements to fill the gaps in your diet, be sure they’re organic, plant-sourced, and from a trusted, reputable brand.
Finally, as important as it is to get the right daily nutrients, your lifestyle also matters. Don’t smoke, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and stay well-hydrated. Some sun exposure is important and necessary for vitamin D production and other benefits, but too much can break down elastin and collagen, causing your skin to age. Know when it’s time to put on protective clothing or get in the shade.
NATURAL SKIN CARE IS BEST
Have you made the switch to an all-natural skin care routine? What results have you experienced? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below.