Building A Better Beauty Routine

shutterstock_Lipstick bowl

Wow, this post is a long time coming. I’ve been meaning to share my thoughts on truly delectable beauty for some time but didn’t know where to start. It’s a huge issue!  The arrival of the New Year and the clean slate feeling it offers felt like the perfect time

The great thing I’m seeing right now is that so many people are really getting on the healthy bandwagon. Even my Aunt Ellen is eating chia seeds and my Dad has ditched his whipped chemical blend for grass-fed butter and his white bread for sprouted organic wheat. Amazing! But how many of us are considering what we put ON our bodies?

I recently read that the average woman uses something like 15 beauty products a day. Considering that our skin is our largest organ, shouldn’t we be just as careful with what we slather on it as we are with what we ingest? Yes, that was a rhetorical question.

The problem is that while our government has a lot of opinions about how we label our food, herbs and drugs, they’re pretty lax with what chemicals they allow on our skin. Did you know the EU bans over 1,400 chemicals for use in personal care products? Guess how many we ban here in the US. About 10. Yep, you read that right. And, certain ingredients like “fragrance” can actually combine a whole host of chemicals, and they don’t even have to be listed!

What’s the problem with that? Well, a lot of these chemicals are known hormone and endocrine disruptors, basically things that make your system go “HUH?” and start to react in funny ways. The same way your body doesn’t understand what to do with things like artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners when you eat them, it doesn’t know what to do with many of the chemicals making their way into your system through your skin either. This can make your cells behave erratically and divide and grow in unexpected ways. Just like BPAs are a hormone disruptor in plastic that can make your cells divide in an abnormal way (like cancer), the chemicals in our beauty products can disrupt our systems too.

So what to do?

Well, awareness is a good place to start. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep web site is a good resource for checking up on weather your favorite lip gloss is really as ‘green’ as it claims. They even have a downloadable app you can bring with you to the beauty counter! Knowledge is power.

Another problem, until recently, has been that even if someone were educated about the  dangerous chemicals in many conventional beauty and self care products, it would have been hard to find appropriate replacements that were both safe AND effective. You were either the coconut oil and patchouli type, or the major department store brand type, and there was nothing in between.

Today, there are so many more choices and degrees of healthy personal care products that truly are delectable, for your looks, your health and the planet too, and they’re increasing every day. Color me excited (in a bright scarlet red, non-toxic lipstick please)! I’ll share my finds and faves with you from time to time, and you do the same!

But by the way, virgin coconut oil is a great moisturizer and facial cleanser that’s not just for “hippie freaks.” It sits on my bathroom sink in a cute little mason jar right alongside my fancy, health-friendly, countertop-chic facial serum. Go g

et some now to soothe that cold-weather chapped skin, then head over to the Skin Deep site and start researching your favorite products. I’ll be back any minute to start sharing my recommendations.

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