Before you put on your make-up in the morning, consider this: A woman may ingest around 4 pounds of lipstick over the course of her life. Skin is one of the most absorbent surfaces on the body, and the average woman slathers on product after product to achieve younger looking, more radiant skin without thinking about the ingredients.
The cosmetics industry, worth about $50 billion dollars, is among the least-regulated in terms of examining health effects, controlling the addition of chemicals, and labeling products correctly for consumer information. Not to mention, about 89% of all cosmetic ingredients have not been tested for safety by any public institution that can be held accountable. As the FDA explains on their website, “Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority.”
So who is responsible for ensuring only good things end up on your skin? The short answer: You.
So instead of running out and trying the face cream du jour, why not try some of these simple and natural solutions for clean, clear, and smooth skin?
Try At-Home Spa Solutions
There are many ways to make an exfoliating scrub made from ingredients you probably already have lying around the house. This recipe comes from our friends at Planetgreen :
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
1 tsp of vanilla
1 shot of rum
It sounds more like the ingredients for a delicious cocktail (maybe leaving out the olive oil), but in fact, it is an effective exfoliating recipe that will remove dead skin cells to reveal softer, suppler skin.
Or when you’re cleaning up after breakfast, you might be throwing away (or hopefully composting!) your coffee grinds. Take an extra minute to give yourself a quick exfoliating hand scrub. Take about a tablespoon of coffee grinds and put them in the palm of your hand, adding a little bit of hand soap. Rub the grinds and the soap with a little bit of water, scrubbing your hands, then rinse. Your hands will feel noticeably softer.
Spend a Day at the Beach
It sounds good doesn’t it? In fact, playing in the surf and sand can actually be good for your skin if you’re wearing the appropriate sunscreen. The sand will slough off dead skin cells, and the minerals in the saltwater will help cleanse and renew your skin. The sun, in appropriate doses can also be good for your skin as it can absorb the vitamin D needed.
Wearing a good sunscreen is critical to your skin’s overall health and radiance. The Environmental Working Group has done research to provide us with information about sunscreens on the market and which are safe and which provide the greatest protection. They say that “3 out of 5 brand name sunscreens either don’t protect skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals – or both.” So, make sure that your sunscreen has made their list of the best products both for sun and chemical exposure. It is also critical to wear a daily moisturizer that contains some sun protection. All those 10 minute trips outside add up and can have detrimental effects on your skin, so make sure to protect your skin daily, as well as on those day-long trips to the beach.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to drink enough water. The extent to which water can help your skin look better has been debated for awhile, but the truth is that water flushes away harmful toxins from your body. If you’re not getting enough water, these toxins may be released through your skin which can cause clogged pores. So making sure that you are staying hydrated, and in addition to more beautiful skin, you will have more energy and be healthier!
If you want healthy-looking skin, the main idea is to keep it simple. Avoid using too many products, and keep it as natural as possible. Look for organic products with short ingredient lists, and do your research to stay away from as many chemicals as possible. When you are buying cosmetics, see if the company has signed The Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to produce safer, less toxic products and to be more transparent about their products’ health.
Healthier skin can be fun – head to the beach, take a walk with a friend, try making inexpensive at-home spa treatments, and keep your beauty routine green.