Did you know that the average female wears over 500 synthetic chemicals? The European Union has spent the past two decades restricting and banning over 1,400 harmful chemicals from personal health care products. In Canada, that number is about half - sitting around 600. The U.S? 30. Now I don't ever want to be one to compare, but these numbers are a little concerning to me. Ladies, this means it is up to you to decide what you put on your body.
Around 60% of what we put onto our body is absorbed right into the blood stream.
I know so many women (I am guilty of this), who think we have it nailed when it comes to the health game. You start the day strong with a green juice, eat organic produce, get sweaty at the gym, and maybe do a bit of extra detox in the sauna. Then, when it's time to get ready, you apply 10 different products with endless amounts of parabens, sulphates, glycols and other chemical compounds. It's not that we don't care what goes into our body, it's simply a lack of awareness about the connection between what goes onto our skin and the effect it has on our health.
The epidermis (our skin) does a really great job at protecting our body, but we often forget how permeable it is. When we apply lotions, deodorants, sunscreens, foundation, anti-aging creams, and body washes, and other products they are absorbed directly into the blood stream to be circulated around and eventually processed by our liver. Then, IF you have the proper nutrient stores, they will be eliminated through your digestive and urinary tract.
"Awareness is the biggest barrier, because I don't believe that we simply don't care what goes into our body, I think that there is a lack of connection between what we put on our skin and our health."
What happens if your liver is already overburdened by toxins through diet and environmental factors?
A heavy exposure to toxins through diet and personal care products plus a lack of proper nutrients your body needs for detoxification equals the perfect recipe for an overburdened liver. When the liver can't properly process something for removal, the toxic compounds are stored in our adipose tissue. Unfortunately, over time these toxins build up and put you at risk for toxicity.
What are the risks with over-toxicity in the body?
- Skin sensitivities
- intolerances and allergies
- Malignant cell formation
- Endocrine and hormonal disruption
- Reproductive issues and birth defects
- Immune and nervous system toxicity
- Neurological damage
If there is so much risk why are we not better protected with warnings and regulations?
The beauty industry needs to make their money too, and it's definitely way cheaper to buy barrels of synthetic compounds over organic ones found in nature. Although there are definitely some great brands out there who are making a stand and doing what's right for the consumer. Drunk Elephant, sold in Sephora, is crushing it in the beauty world. Their D-Bronzi sunshine drops half and half with their C-firma serum is the perfect replacement for foundation!
So, what can I do to protect myself?
Reduce your toxic load by cleaning up your beauty and personal care products. Here are some general rules you follow when shopping for products:
- Avoid sulphate-based foaming agents such as sodium laureth sulphate.
- Beware of products listing “parfum” or “fragrance” as ingredients. This usually means they contain a variety of toxic ingredients, particularly phthalates.
- Buy certified organic products when you can. If it’s not certified, it’s not organic.
- Keep your toxicity levels under control by avoiding processed foods.If you’re concerned about an ingredient that you haven’t heard of before, Google it before you use it.
You can also build up nutrients in your body to support your liver and strengthen your digestion:
- Aim for 10 servings of organic cruciferous vegetables a day to help deal with the free radicals created by the liver in the process of detoxifying toxins.
- Strengthen your digestion by starting your day with a shot of apple cider vinegar, or lemon water 30 minutes before breakfast. A strong digestive system = optimal nutrient absorption.
- Eat fermented foods such as raw sauerkraut with meals. They are a rich source of probiotics enzymes to support digestion.
All you really need for your natural beauty routine:
Coconut oil – I like to use virgin coconut oil on my skin, as a makeup remover and moisturizer.
Essential oils – particularly lavender, frankincense, lemongrass, carrot seed oil.
Jojoba oil – a golden coloured liquid oil from the seed of the jojoba plant.
Miscellaneous – cocoa butter, beeswax, Vitamin E, etc.
My favourite beauty hack: Natural eyelash growing serum
f you want to give your lashes a break from extensions and falseys, or just boost up your natural look.. I have the trick for you. This recipe has been my go to for quite some time as its very inexpensive and provides so much nourishment to your natural lash:
Natural Eyelash Growth Serum:
1 teaspoon castor oil
1 teaspoon Jojoba oil
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
2 capsules Vitamin E oil
1. Mix all ingredients and store in a small dropper bottle.
2. To use, squeeze one drop on to your finger or a cotton swab and gently massage into lash line. I prefer to do this at night to let it work overnight before washing my face in the morning.
3. Use daily for best results!