For many years I have been conscious as to what I put on my skin. Your skin is your largest organ. Many years ago I studied anatomy and learned that whatever we put onto our skin goes into our blood stream and ends up in our tissues. It literally becomes a part of the body. Our skin is not able to filter and discharge toxins from the body the way other organs can, so it's important to be aware of what you put on your skin.
Most people have many bottles of products in their bathroom for hair, body and face. Most of these bottles have labels with a huge list of ingredients. I don't know what most of these ingredients are. Some of the ingredients are probably harmless, however most of them are not. The occasional use of the average popular shampoo probably wont cause much harm but the damage comes from using multiple products over an extended period.
I don't want to focus too much on how harmful most ingredients in hair and skin care products are because I want to focus on solutions and natural alternatives. However to give you an idea, here are three examples you've probably heard of and the few I can actually pronounce!
SLS (Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laurel)
Breaks down the skin's moisture barrier, dries out the skin and causes hair loss in some people. It is used in nearly all hair and beauty products.
Found in so many skin care products. A suspected cause of cancer. It interferes with hormone activity. Petroleum causes cells to develop more slowly and and creates a build up of toxins.
Known to disturb the endocrine system, therefore your hormones. A suspected cause of cancer.
Generally, if I can't eat it or pronounce the name of something, I don't put it on my skin. It is safer to eat something toxic than to put it on your skin. If you eat something toxic your digestive system will work really hard to extract the toxins and discharge it from the body. Your skin has no defence system in place to filter out toxins. Whatever goes on your skin goes into your blood, so choose wisely.
My bathroom has very few bottles and most of them don't have labels because each bottle usually has one ingredient in it. To wash my body and hair I use liquid castille soap, a natural soap that is gentle on the skin. I condition my hair prior to washing by leaving oil on my hair for a while. To moisturise my face I use organic extra virgin coconut oil, to moisturise my body I use almond oil mixed with a favourite essential oil. If I need deodorant I use rock crystal. Even though I have fair skin, I rarely use sunscreen, I like the sun on my skin. However sometimes on very sunny days (I live in England, so this doesn't happen very often!) I use avocado oil, a natural sunscreen and I wear a hat. If I need to exfoliate my skin I use a good quality body brush and occasionally I use a body scrub made of olive oil and brown sugar. I like to have a little nibble as I'm exfoliating!
I haven't worn make up in many years and so this is not a consideration for me anymore but I'm sure there are many companies offering natural organic products that won't harm you. I may not look as polished as I did before using only natural products but I am more comfortable in my skin than I have ever been.
As for my children, I use even less products on them. Although they wash everyday, they only have a couple of baths each week. I don't believe they need anymore than that because at this age, they don't perspire. I believe any more than two or three baths a week will dry out their skin. Besides, their skin is even more sensitive than an adults and the chemicals in the water easily penetrate their skin. But chemicals in the water is whole other topic. I have rarely used nappy/diaper cream but when I have I've kept it simple, using a natural, organic cream from Weleda or olive oil. A Spanish mama gave me the tip, I was very doubtful at the time but because my baby was teething and had a very sore bum, I decided to give it a try rather than use a tube full of unknown ingredients. I applied olive oil that I had whisked vigoursly with a fork, as per the instructions given (my Spanish isn't great, so she may have said anything but I'm certain she was talking about olive oil!) and within a couple of hours the soreness was gone.
We don't really need all those toxic products to make our hair look shinier and smoother and our faces youthful. Adverts have convinced many people that they do. Real people don't look like the images we see on screens and magazines. We just need to use a few simple, natural products and we will look great, because we will look like our natural selves and it doesn't get much more beautiful than that.
If we believe it and live this truth, then our children will too. Be your natural self, you're wonderful just the way you are.