Beauty is Only Skin Deep

When I first started this journey I focused heavily on nutrition and exercise.  I made the decision to buy organic whenever possible.   These changes certainly helped me get on a path to wellness.  The more I learned, the more I began to question other areas of my life.  One morning as I applied my makeup I began to wonder about other areas in my life that I needed to reevaluate.  I wrote to a nutritionist on Facebook and asked her what organic skin care products she used.  She wrote back rather quickly and stated that she didn’t use an organic product.  I was kind of surprised by that as I know how much she advocates not putting chemicals into the body.

At this point in time, I began researching the topic.  There was a ton of research to support that many of our beauty products are laden with chemicals.  Further, our skin is one of our largest organs and the products we are slathering on are full of cancer causing ingredients.  All of these ingredients gain quick access to our body through our pores.  These products include everyday items such as soap, hairspray, moisturizers, shampoo, makeup.  The list is endless.  I was floored!  Here I am eating clean and trying so hard to avoid any chemicals in my food and then I just wipe it on my body daily.  How scary is that?

According to an article by Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Americans are “exposed to more than a hundred chemicals from cosmetics, soaps, and other personal care products before leaving the house in the morning.”

After reading information such as this, I started researching products I could use to replace my current ones.  This turned out to be no easy feat, as I quickly learned how hard it was to read the labels on beauty products.  I couldn’t even pronounce most of the ingredients listed, much less know what they were.  Further, some of the products I tried simply didn’t work.  They smelled horrible and were quite expensive.  I finally found a line of clean products I love.  I have been using them now for three years and they work.  I’m happy to say that these healthier products are affordable, effective and clean.  A true personal victory.

I’m also happy to say that four years later, consumers and the industry are catching on to the market for healthier personal care products.  Today there are far more options out there and it is becoming increasingly easier to decipher what ingredients are in these products.  This week my nutritionist Ellie put out a newsletter on this topic and I was happy to learn about some new product lines that she’s recommending.  I ordered a sample size to try and will see about adding them into my current regime.

Here’s my current recommendations on ways to increase support for healthy, clean skin.

Clean Eating

Clean eating is the first and necessary step!  Healthy skin, like abs, is made in the kitchen.

Hydration

I saw a photograph online that showed a woman’s before and after photo.  I thought it must be for a new skin care line as she clearly looked younger and healthier in her after photo.  When I read the article I realized that was not the case.  What the photograph was actually showing, was the impact of drinking water each day.  This woman looked years younger and the article was supporting the claim that proper hydration is the first step toward healthy, supple skin.  Well that is one beauty tip I quickly adopted.  What an easy, clean and inexpensive way to improve my skin.

The research on this claim is not clear.  For example, one article claimed that if your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.  Others said there was a lack of sufficient research to support that drinking water improves hydration in skin.  For me, it was worth trying and personally I do feel proper hydration makes my skin look healthier.

Collagen Supplement

My nutritionist recently suggested I add collagen to my diet.  I wasn’t too sure what it was and why I needed it so I read up on the topic.  Wellness Mama in a recent blog said:

“Collagen is a long-chain amino acid and the most abundant protein in the body. It is composed of the individual amino acids Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine and in nature is found exclusively in animal tissue, especially bones and connective tissue. It is what is responsible for giving skin elasticity, hair its strength, and connective tissue its ability to hold everything in place. In fact, the collagen protein makes up 30% of the total protein in the body, and 70% of the protein in the skin!

While collagen is beneficial to the entire body, it is most noticeably beneficial to the skin. This is because as a person ages, the epidermic (outer layer of skin) thins and loses elasticity in a process known as elastosis. As this happens, a person tends to show more signs of aging and acquire more wrinkles.”

I purchased a Kosher, hormone free collagen powder from Amazon and started adding it to my morning coffee and/or smoothie.  A few weeks later my daughter complimented my skin.  I do think it has made a difference and I definitely notice my hair and nails are growing faster too.  This powder is totally tasteless and you’ll hardly know it’s there.  This is the one my nutritionist highly recommended and I currently use.  I get mine on Amazon as it was the best price around.

Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate Beef, Kosher

Skin Care Products

The line I have been using and love is from a company called Farmaesthetics.  All of their products are 100% natural.  The website periodically has sales, but when they don’t, I shop Amazon and with my prime I get free delivery.  Here are the products I use, but they have many others as well.  The milky moisturizer is so clean and fresh smelling, I just love it!  All of these products require such a small amount they last forever!

Farmaesthetics Fine Herbal Cleanser

Farmaesthetics Nourishing Lavender Milk 8oz

Farmaesthetics Eyebright Makeup Remover & Treatment

Make-Up

I really don’t wear a lot of makeup.  I wear a small amount of foundation and touch of blush.  I have used Bare Esenctuals for years.  It is a natural, mineral based make up line.  I purchase mine at Macys when it’s on sale, but it is readily available.  I also recommend you look at the Jane Iredale line of natural products.

I am excited that personal beauty products seems to be an up and coming topic of discussion.  I feel that small changes such as these could have huge consequences on my health.  Seriously, if I can cut more chemicals out of my life, why wouldn’t I.  What have I got to lose?  I’m so glad I did and I will continue to look for other areas in my life that need an overhaul.

What about you?  What changes have you made to your daily personal care routines?  I’m always interested in learning about new product lines.  Please share!

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