Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Natural beauty-skin deep! Part 1

I have been exploring some natural skins care products over the years looking, searching for something to replace just about everything in my makeup case over time. I am a confirmed label reader but as you might agree nobody can even pronounce the ingredient list on your average eyeshadow package let alone actually understand what most of the ingredients are. Not only are they too small to read(intentionally?) but the words are seemingly not even in English. They appear to be all words you should have learned in your high school chemistry class, but didn't. AND with the recent news over the very common use of lead in lipsticks, and quite a few other chemical hazards, I started tightening my intent on finding something better.
So, if you do what many do and turn to your local health food store for any product they have to offer you will need to get a second job to afford them. And the ingredients are still questionable. Just because you CAN pronounce some of them doesn't mean that they are good for you or your body in general. (arsenic is totally natural, is easy to pronounce but completely lethal)

Below is an article from Dr Mercola's newsletter listing some the shocking ingredients in some common skin care and make up products.

Grab the bottles of skin moisturizers you currently use. You might find that your personal care products contain one or probably more of many potentially dangerous ingredients. Here are a few of the most common suspicious ingredients:

Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum – Petroleum products that coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins, which in turn accumulate and can lead to dermatological issues. Slows cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging. Suspected cause of cancer. Disruptive of hormonal activity. By the way, when there’s an oil spill in the ocean, don’t they rush to clean it up – fast? Why put that stuff on your skin?

Parabens – Widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic industry (including moisturizers). An estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens. Studies implicate their connection with cancer. They have hormone-disrupting qualities – mimicking estrogen – and interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

Phenol carbolic acid– Found in many lotions and skin creams. Can cause circulatory collapse, paralysis, convulsions, coma and even death from respiratory failure.

Propylene glycol – Used as a moisturizer in cosmetics and as a carrier in fragrance oils. Shown to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and may inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation. Acrylamide– Found in many hand and face creams. Linked to mammary tumors in lab research. Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners… and in over 90% of personal care products! SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other
chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a
nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES
is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or

Toluene – Poison! Danger! Harmful or fatal if swallowed! Harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) contains toluene. Other names may include benzoic and benzyl. Dioxane– Found in compounds known as PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, ethoxylated alcohols. Common in a wide range of personal care products. The compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4

Dioxane, easily absorbed through the skin. Dioxane’s carcinogenicity was first reported in 1965 and later confirmed in studies including one from the National Cancer Institute in 1978. Nasal passages and liver are the most vulnerable. Dioxane is easily removed during the manufacturing process by “vacuum stripping”. Warning: It is a synthetic derivative of coconut. Watch for hidden language on labels, such as “comes from coconut”. So, do you want to put these chemicals on your skin? Hopefully not... You’d be better served by switching to skin care products made of plant names you recognize, can pronounce, and could even eat (if you had to).

So my path to more friendly products have taken me to some interesting finds. As usual the answer is usually in your cupboard (or fridge) and it is this time as well. To replace any skin cleansers, soap, antibacterial cleansers, use food grade almond oil. For many years, even into ancient times, oil was used as a cleanser and it really does help break down just about any dirt or skin debris from everyday wear and tear. You will find blackheads dissolve, skin sloughing will happen daily and moisturizing is built right in. Almond oil is filled with antibacterial properties and vitamin E, a skin supplement and supporter. You can find almond oil in just about any drug store in with some other natural products such as caster oil and witch hazel. You will probably have to ask the druggist where it is as they are usually way down on the bottom shelf hidden in some obscure isle. (not big money makers, obviously)

I use almond oil in the evening to remove old make-up and moisturize for the night, or better still might be my most recent try, raw coconut oil. You will need to protect your pillow case as it will lead some dark oil stains on anything it comes in contact with for the night. Coconut oil has wonderful anti bacterial/anti viral properties, is helpful both internal and externally against acne and yeast problems.

To remove mascara safely use caster oil.(if you use mascara at all) Caster oil is a safe thick oil that can be applied with a q-tip. Here's how I do it. I first lightly scoop warm water onto the closed eye to soften mascara then dip a Q-tip in the oil and apply right away. Both the water and the oil together does an excellent job.

In the morning apply almond oil again as a night time clean up and toxin removal and then the next step you will need to dampen down the oily look with a homemade powder mix. I tried every ground product in my cupboard (rice flour, millet flour unifine ground even) and found each of them too grainy. Then I read in "The Cure for All Cancers," the chapter on natural personal products.
Use cornstarch or arrow root powder and (what I had already tried)-beet root powder.
Ha, At least I was on the right track, but going the wrong way with which powder to use. It worked great! I had purchased beet root powder from Azure Standard several years ago and it has faded somewhat but provided enough color to help me experiment and take the stark whiteness of the corn starch.You don't have to worry about getting the right pink color either. The redishness of beets seems to work well to pinken the powder and that is really all you need for now.

Next, lipstick. I discovered that glycerin has multiple uses. I mixed my beetroot powder with food grade glycerin and painted it on and found it is not only delicious (which is actually a problem) but it also gave a really nice glossy look. You can adjust the tint by adding more or less color. This is so far an OK alternative for stick lipstick although it is a little impractical for everyday use. It is just so good and I kept tending to lick it off! Oh well, at least it was not harmful going down!

Newsflash- just in- check out my daughter-in-law's site for a post on sending a free container of mineral make up - all you have to do is pay the shipping of 5.00.
Check out this site for keying in the name of specific make up products to see their ingredients and safety levels. Shocking!

Living a Lifestyle of Learning daily

1 comment:

MacKenzie said...

Great post. I've haven't used any store bought face soap on my skin in over 3 months and I love it. I do the oil cleanse method every night using a mix I made of olive oil and castor oil (the ratio is dependent on skin type, the more oily your skin, the more castor oil). If I need a little extra moisturizer in the morning I use a drop or two of olive oil then too. So simply. I'm a chemist so it's not that I am think chemicals don't have their place, I just don't think they belong on my face.