It seems that the world’s obsession with beauty is screaming louder and louder everyday. Take a look at your local supermarket and there’s an entire aisle lined with a vast array of lotions and potions to up your beauty factor. I remember a time when I used to cover myself with commercial moisturisers, spritz myself with perfume, lather up with quick foaming body washes, and continue with layer upon layer of makeup. Because I was so focused on the goal of beautification, I was oblivious to the ugly truth behind my lengthy list of products. As you probably all know, I’m a loud advocate for wholesome food, free from harmful additives and artificial ingredients. However, food is just one area that you need to clean up in order to ensure you’re avoiding the consumption of disease breeding toxins.
Did you know that our skin absorbs a whopping 60 percent of any topical product we use? Have a think about it; nicotine patches are designed to be placed on the skin and absorbed into the body, so why wouldn’t the ingredients you layer on your skin everyday be leeched into your system? Take this into consideration with the fact that the average woman also wears nearly five hundred and fifteen chemicals a day!
The beauty industry loves to promote the promise of eternal youth, skyscraper lashes, and a holiday glow, but there are many scary truths that are hiding behind these promises of beauty and attraction. Nowadays, more than 10,000 chemical ingredients are permitted to be used in the production of personal care products. Pick up one of those moisturisers off the shelf next time you are shopping, and it’s no surprise that this is true. The danger is that many of these chemicals have been scientifically linked to a range of harmful diseases and bodily reactions.
Here are some facts about a handful of the most commonly used, and most dangerous ingredients in your everyday beauty products. For a toxic-free life, look out for these harmful chemicals when buying your next round of beauty essentials:
Aluminium. This toxic metal can be found in virtually every personal care product, and is especially present in antiperspirant deodorants. There’s an increasing concern about the use of products containing aluminium, especially when applied to the skin near the breast in the form of deodorant. The reason for this is that aluminium can have oestrogen-like effects in our systems, which can disrupt the healthy functioning of the endocrine system.
Toluene. This petroleum based by-product is most commonly found in nail polishes and cosmetics. Toluene is a harmful neurotoxin which can effect the functioning of the brain and central nervous system, and can pose implications for the healthy development of children; both born, and unborn.
Parabens. These guys are a group of nasty, synthetic preservatives that can be found in just about all of your cosmetics and personal care products. If you have babies, be sure to check the ingredients list of your baby products too, as they are commonly found in shampoo’s and moisturisers for the little ones. Parabens have been linked to the disruption of normal endocrine function, severe allergies and even cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). You’ll most probably come across this in commercial shampoos, body washes, and toothpastes. SLS is actually an industrial chemical designed to create foam. Although it hasn’t been scientifically proven to be harmful on its own, the manufacturing process of this chemical can contaminate products with 1,4 dioxane; a bi-product that has carcinogenic and immune system suppressing actions. What research does indicate, is that nearly 22 percent of all personal care products, including those for children’s use, contain the cancer promoting contaminant 1,4- dioxane. Let’s face it, it not worth the risk.
Taking these facts on board, it’s really important to read the ingredient lists of your products, and do your research so that you and your family are safe from their harmful effects. Bath, beauty and skincare products should be made with pure, organic oils, fragrances, butters and pigments, and should contain absolutely no synthetic preservatives, toxins, artificial fragrances, colours or mineral oils. I have personally scrapped every possible toxin from my household, including my everyday lotions and potions. These days, the only products I use on my skin are Now Certified Organic Avocado Oil, and a great place to shop is the Nourished Life store. Once you’ve re stocked your makeup bag and bathroom with safe, organic products, you will notice an improvement in your over all health, which in turn, will improve the way you look, especially in the long term.
Also, don’t forget that beauty comes primarily from within. It’s a huge misconception to think that layering ingredients on the outside of our bodies will make us beautiful. If you feed your body with a range of colourful, antioxidant rich, chemical free foods, and healthy fats, you’ll have yourself a one way ticket to natural gorgeousness. Here are some of my favourite foods for beautification;
Avocados: Not only is avocado oil a brilliant commercial moisturiser replacement, but the creamy, dreamy fruit contains many properties that bring beauty from the inside out. Avo’s contain lipids that replenish the skins moisture barrier, vitamin C to boost collagen production, and antioxidants that will fight the free radicals that wreak havoc on your skin by causing dryness, inflammation, and tissue deterioration. In the kitchen, use them to make a delectable guacamole, an exotic chilled Chilled Mexican Avocado Soup, as an addition to salads, or as a scrumptious spread on gluten free toast.
Green leafy vegetables: Minerals are one of the keys to beauty, and green plants are our number one food for providing the range of minerals we need for superior beauty and nutrition. Some of the green plants that are highest in minerals include cucumber, bok choy, broccoli, celery, watercress, swiss chard, celery, and one of my all time favourites; kale. In the mornings, just like I would wash and moisturise my face, I like to invest into my beauty by downing a refreshing glass of freshly juiced greens. One of my favourite combinations is this detoxifying green juice . Another delicious way consume your mineral rich greens is to make chips out of them! These scrumptious kale chips are a great substitute for those beauty sapping, inflammation breeding potato crisps that you may be tempted to snack on.
Almonds: These little gems are an excellent source of wrinkle fighting antioxidants. Glycoside and vitamin E work together to scavenge free radicals and protect cells. Vitamin E is known to help with the elasticity of skin, and promote skin healing. They are also high in calcium which strengthens nails and improves hair quality. As an alternative to wheat products, which can cause inflammation (bad news for that gorgeous glow), I like to use almond meal as a replacement. Almond milk is also a great substitute for dairy which is acid and mucous forming. You can also use chopped almonds on top of your morning porridge, or snack on some of these tasty Apple Cider Vinegar and Celtic Sea Salt Activated Almonds that are full of living nutrients that will bring vitality back to your complexion.
Striving towards beauty through outward adornment is a road to disappointment. The huge cosmetic companies aren’t interested in promoting true beauty; an individual who is at peace with themselves. What they really want is money, and in order to sell products, their marketing strategies are all about creating a culture of discontent with your appearance. The addition of cheap chemicals is going to increase shelf life, and thus dollars, and so the natural integrity of a product goes right out the window. The best way you can practically invest into your beauty is to keep as close to nature as possible, consuming wholesome, organic produce, and applying beautiful, chemical free products to enhance your already gorgeous self!
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