These days there is much attention being paid to the foods we eat. Organic and natural foods are becoming more and more popular as society is becoming more aware of the idea of “clean eating”. The market is saturated with products containing organic or natural labels. Most people are aware of the health dangers of processed foods, but what about the products we apply to our skin? Are consumers paying close enough attention to what they are putting into their bodies via their skin? Do our skincare products have the potential to effect health in the same way as our diet? There are many benefits of switching to a natural skincare routine.
The human body is comprised of complex organ systems that work together to keep us balanced and functioning properly. The skin is the largest organ, which is very porous in nature and has the capacity to absorb up to 60% of what it comes into contact with. The matter that is absorbed will enter the bloodstream and eventually make its way through the body systems to be processed by the kidneys, lungs, and liver. For years it was common for cosmetics to contain ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, petroleum/paraffin oil, and even formaldehyde. However, in recent years scientific studies have shown these ingredients can be very harmful to health causing skin irritation, respiratory issues, cancer and many other serious health problems.
How does one know if the products they are using are safe? On a positive note, there are many natural skincare companies with products on the market. A good rule of thumb is to read ingredient lists thoroughly and eliminate products that contain the ingredients listed above, along with synthetic preservatives and/or fragrance. Essential oils are a great way natural skincare companies can add a natural scent. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils made from flowers or plants through
distillation or other forms of extraction. The oils are so concentrated that it is recommended they not be used directly on skin but only through the use of a carrier oil. Direct contact with the skin can cause irritation. Each oil has their own unique characteristic and can be used in different ways specific to the goals of the product. For example, lavender oil has many different characteristics. It is very healing to the skin and is often used in healing balms and salves. Lavender oil also has a relaxing aromatic response and can calm the central nervous system; therefore, it is used in many nighttime creams. Frankincense is a popular oil that can also be used many ways. It is thought to have powerful healing properties that when used topically can attract immune fighting cells to the surface of the skin. It is used often in healing balms and even to reduce the appearance of scars. These are a couple of examples of the power of natural oils. The list can go on and on.
There are many benefits to switching to a natural skincare regimen. Most people would even say they notice an obvious difference in the appearance and receptiveness to their skin. The skin often appears “happier”: less dry, more supple and healthy in appearance. The most important result is the peace of mind one receives in knowing they are making a great choice for their body and overall health.