Food for your face? Yes – you read that correctly! Food can be used as part of your daily skin care routine, and is actually recommended! As everyday goes by, consumers are becoming more and more health conscious in what they eat. As we continue to learn about the effects that pesticides and unnatural foods have on our health, we avoid them more and more. Unfortunately, most of us are not doing the same with our skincare products. Why is it so important that we do? Let’s take a look.
Skincare companies do a great job of advertising – their products are guaranteed to ‘let your skin breathe’, ‘reduce the look of stretch marks’, ‘leave your skin looking 10 years younger’, and so on and so forth. And lucky for them, billions of people buy into these advertisements. In fact, it is estimated that over 2.9 billion dollars is spent each year on anti-aging creams, and that dollar figure doesn’t include all of the creams aimed at fighting acne, or moisturizing the skin, or so on and so forth – that’s a lot of money being spent on skin care products. And while skin care companies are spending a great deal of time focusing their advertising efforts on making money, they aren’t spending their time considering what they are actually doing to your skin.
Skin care products contain a large number of ingredients that can be harmful to your skin. Here is a short breakdown of some common ingredients you may find in your skincare products:
- Parabens – Preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria. They also increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Synthetic colours – Derived from petroleum or coal tar. They are a human carcinogen (linked to cancer) and are linked to ADHD in children.
- Fragrance – Is a ‘code word’ for a formula created using a variety of chemicals that are hazardous to your health. They are associated with allergies, respiratory illness, and damage on the reproductive system.
- Phthalates – Is a group of chemicals used in plastics. They are linked to breast cancer and reproductive defects
- Triclosan – An antimicrobial chemical. It is known to affect thyroid and reproductive hormones
- Formaldehyde – Prevents the growth of bacteria. Also known as a human carcinogen
- Toluene – A potent solvent that is able to dissolve paint. Also linked to immune system toxicity
Scared yet? You should be. THESE are the chemicals that we put on our skin each and every time we apply skin care products. And as if that isn’t frightening enough, here is another staggering fact – Over 60% of what you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream in under 30 seconds. That means if you put parabens on your skin, they will end up in your bloodstream. If you put tricolsan on your skin, it will end up in your bloodstream.
Skin care creams aren’t sounding so wonderful right about now, are they?
So, what’s the alternative? FOOD! Sugar, honey, cinnamon, coconut, eggs – these are all simple things that we all have in our fridge that we can use to benefit our skin. Coconut oil, for example, is naturally full of antibacterial properties. It is an excellent moisturizer, and can even be used on your hair as a conditioner – not to mention that it smells delicious! Cinnamon can help to fight acne and breakouts, and when combined with a little bit of honey can help to leave the skin soft and glowing!
So, the next time someone suggests spending hundreds of dollars on the latest trending skin cream – save your money and head to your fridge. And use this general rule – if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin!