Taking Care of Your Skin Inside and Out – Part II

Kara Bauer Health Guide
  • In part I, I talked about how having great skin stars on the inside. The health of your liver, kidneys, adrenals, thyroid and intestines directly impact the quality and appearance of your skin. The body is a holistic system and if your skin doesn’t look good, it’s important to make dietary changes first and foremost. Once you’ve implemented those changes, you’ll be even more effective taking care of your skin on the outside in a natural way. Remember that everything you put on your skin topically gets absorbed into the bloodstream, so it’s as equally important to pay attention to the ingredients of your skin care products as it is to the ingredients of your food.

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    One rule of thumb many people who are committed to natural products use is that if they aren’t willing to eat it, they aren’t willing to put it on their skin. Unfortunately, many of the expensive skin care brands are packed with chemicals that are damaging to your internal health, even if they are successful at improving the appearance of the skin temporarily (or only with the use of the product). In addition to causing the very things you’re trying to get rid of (clogged pores, skin irritation/allergies, and dry skin), these toxic ingredients can also negatively disrupt hormone levels and endocrine activity as well as cause cell damage and premature aging.[1] Parabens, petroleum based ingredients, have even been linked to cancer.[2]

     

    When in comes to natural skin care products, you really have two options. You can either buy an organic line of products with good quality, natural ingredients (nothing that you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize) from a reputable company or you can make your own. As most people are unaware that they can take good care of their skin with what they have at home, I wanted to share some common ingredients and how they can be applied to skin care. With any of these, you can also add some essential oils if scent is important to you.

     

    Cleansers

    There are many household ingredients you can use to cleanse your skin and it’s great to experiment a bit to find the right combination for your skin type. Honey mixed with milk or cream works well to gently cleanse the skin.  You can also try mixing baking soda with a good quality oil (olive, coconut or jojoba) for the same effect. [3]

     

    Toners

    Both diluted lemon juice and apple cider vinegar can be used as a toner. Diluted lemon juice in particular is great for acne prone skin.

     

    Exfoliators

    One option for a scrub is to mix your facial cleanser (from one of the above combinations) with a bit of sugar or a fine salt to create an exfoliator. You could even just mix sugar with warm water to get the same effect. Your face really only needs to be exfoliated once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells, so don’t overdo it. You can also use this scrub for the body.

     

    Moisturizers

    Coconut oil or butter is one of the best natural moisturizers for the face and body and has many health benefits for consumption as well. You can also try olive oil, jojoba oil, palm oil, shea butter or aloe vera.

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    Masks

    Masks, applied to the face for 10 to 15 minutes, are great for treating particular skin conditions and are usually part of a professional facial. There are great combinations you can try for homemade facial masks that include ingredients such as egg whites, yogurt, honey, herbs, fruits/vegetables and oatmeal. There are many different recipes for various skin types online or you can just experiment yourself until you find the right combination.[4]

     

    [1] Care2.com (2008, October 7). Top 15 dangerous ingredients in skin care. Retrieved from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/top-15-dangerous-ingredients-in-skin-care.html

     

    [2]Pubmed.gov "Measurement of paraben concentrations in human breast tissue at serial locations across the breast from axilla to sternum," Barr, L. et. al., Journal of Applied Toxicology, March 2012: 32(3):219-32. 

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22237600

     

    [3] Natural-homeremedies-for-life.com (No date). Homemade facial cleanser. Retrieved from http://www.natural-homeremedies-for-life.com/homemade-facial-cleanser.html

     

    [4] Brown, A. (No date). Facial masks: the way to treat dry, dehydrated, sensitive or oily skin. Retrieved from http://spas.about.com/od/facialtreatments/a/Facial-Masks.htm

Published On: October 10, 2012