Your skin is your largest organ.
It covers and protects everything on your body. How you treat it is incredibly important to your health. However, the skin is one of the most unappreciated organs, and one that I used to totally take for granted, slathering products full of toxic chemicals on it day after day. When I look back at all the different potions I’ve tried, I shake my head in disbelief and wish I would have known better. Not only would I not have developed eczema all over my body and face, but I would have looked a million times better growing up.
One of those products that has always caused me issues – is sunscreen. Every time after a beach vacation or going to the pool, I’d end up with a rash on my face or body. I wondered if I’d eaten something that I was allergic to. Little did I know at the time – the culprit was sunscreen.
The unknown long-term consequences of the chemicals in sunscreen are just starting to be revealed and the results are shockingly horrific, going beyond the common skin rash. Here in the United States, the FDA does not regulate cosmetics as rigorously as pharmaceuticals or food – allowing cosmetic companies to get away with using all types of chemical ingredients that are not used and in some cases banned in other countries. Sounds familiar – eh?
When I made the switch to organic living years ago, my (mostly toxic) personal care products were the last thing to go. Once I figured out what toxic industrial chemicals in food were doing to my body – I knew I had to get rid of them from every part of my life. I think this progression is how most people figure out how to detox their life too. First I cleaned out my fridge and pantry, then it was figuring out a natural way to clean my house, and then I went on to look at what I was putting on my body. The very first personal care product I switched out was what I rubbed under my underarms every day – right where some of my lymph nodes are, glands that plays a huge roll in the immune system.
The reason I started there was because as soon as I flipped my “Secret” anti-perspirant over to read the ingredients I noticed it had contained “Aluminum zirconium.” Right then, a memory I had when I was a child smacked me in the face. There was this neighbor of mine growing up who always had sweaty armpits. I mean her pits were so wet, that you could see it through her clothes ALL THE TIME. I didn’t quite understand why she had such sweaty armpits and others I knew did not. Because I was young and crazy inquisitive, while playing in the yard one day, I just straight up asked her- why do you sweat so much? She told me that she didn’t like using aluminum under her armpits. This information at the time totally didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t know what aluminum was or why I should care but I realized right then, she wasn’t wearing the anti-perspirants my brother or my parents were wearing for an obviously good reason. A good enough reason that she wasn’t concerned about the public embarrassment of sweaty pits.
During the Fresh Expo, I had the opportunity to speak about some of my favorite topics – “Detoxing Your Beauty Regimen” and the “The Truth about GMOs.” I received so many questions after the beauty talk, that I didn’t even get a chance to take a breather before my next talk on GMOs! Avoiding chemicals in your beauty regime is a tough job considering the world we live in and it takes constant awareness and education. In light of all the questions I received, I’m putting together a FAQ specially on this topic…
If you have questions you would like to have answered, please feel free to leave them below or on Facebook or Twitter and I will add them to the list.
In the meantime – I hope you enjoy learning about my 5 Beauty Obsessions as featured in Well & Good NYC this week here.
Stay well this weekend!
So you are making your own nut milk now right? Well I hope so, considering carcinogens are often found in processed milk products. I make almond and/or coconut milk every week to make parfait porridge and my freezer has just been overfilled with dried pulp, dying for me to come up with ways to use it. I’ve got a few pulp recipes now that I will be sharing, but I had to share my favorite one first.
Last month, as you may remember, I was traveling in Asia. One of the wonderful aspects of being in Asia is getting to experience a lot of spa treatments on the cheap. My most memorable spa treatment was in Borneo, Malaysia, which inspired this organic body scrub that smells incredible and so simple to make.
My husband and I enjoyed a body scrub made from coconut one afternoon after a long day of diving in Sipadan (one of the world’s best dive spots). This scrub left our skin feeling incredibly soft, so soft that we still enjoyed our renewed skin after we got back home for a few days. Daydreaming about this, I decided to develop a similar scrub that I wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Borneo for! Talk about bringing the vacation back home and to all of you
Reusing pulp and adding a few other ingredients can save you some major money from buying expensive exfoliating scrubs at the store. I love make-it-yourself beauty products, don’t you?
I’ve got some hairy afterthoughts…
I want to share with you a couple of things I forgot to mention in the “Holistic Hair – How & Why”? Post
Before getting into my afterthoughts – I just want to say Thank You to all the Food Babe Fans & Readers who are making holistic changes in their daily routine – I see so much POWER in all of you to help change things around us so we all can live more natural lives – Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I simply can’t say it enough. Hearing feedback from you about how you have made positive changes in your lifestyle – Is the one thing that inspires me to keep writing this blog. I love all of you.
Food Babe’s Holistic Hair Afterthoughts:
- Switch to a 100% Boar Bristle Brush – The boar bristles are perfect for redistributing your scalps natural oil throughout your hair – making your hair more shiny and lustrous! Here’s a
guide on how to pick one.
- At the Hair Dresser – Bring your own shampoo, conditioner and styling products. If you aren’t brave enough to do this – definitely don’t get styling products added to your hair at the end. If you have a good relationship with your hair dresser this shouldn’t be a problem. Also – doing this, might influence & awaken some hair dressers to adopt less toxic hair care products.
- On Vacation & While Traveling – Buy travel size containers to store your favorites in to take with you. Don’t get caught using the cheapest and convenient toxic options available at most hotels.
- Need Inexpensive Options? – “Yes” Brands, “Dr. Bronners,” and “Burt’s Bees” are all lower cost options for natural hair products. Again – check the EWG cosmetic database for specific products under each brand to see if they are safe.
- Natural Hair Dye – Conventional hair dyes have a load of toxic chemicals, potential carcinogens and several skin irritants that can cause allergic reactions. I don’t have a lot of experience with any hair dye, as I have never colored my hair. After asking around and doing some research these are the best options I found.
1st Choice – Try Henna, the most natural method to color your hair. All the beautiful Indian ladies in my life have taught me about this and the results I have seen can be absolutely beautiful.
2nd Choice – If Henna doesn’t produce the right color – try Actnaturals.
- Last but not least – Only use a small amount of product on your hair to shampoo and condition. There has been so many times where I pour too much into my hand – be conscience about your squeeze of the bottle! You only need a dime size depending on how much hair you have to be effective. It’s better for you, will save you money and terrific for the planet!