I got a few “God winks” about safe skincare this past week. First, I got the following email:
Brea, how do I prioritize the switch to safer products? What do I start with?”
And then, my mom and I were discussing the effect of using products known to cause endocrine disruption, irritation, and adverse reactions. As we age, our skin thins out because we lose collagen, which means that the products you use get into your body (and your skin) that much faster. Using the wrong products can make things worse for those who suffer from acne, eczema, and absolutely any other skin issue.
Safe Skincare 101
So where do you start? Most people (me included) can’t afford to toss absolutely everything in their house and replace it, though that would be nice! Instead, start with the items that you use most frequently, and that absorb into your skin.
This means you’re likely looking at replacing just a few items, including deodorant, lotions, moisturizers, toothpaste (it spends 2 whole minutes in your mouth!) and makeup. These items are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to endocrine disruption, irritation or adverse reactions, but they’re a good place to start.
Sure, you can toss out all of your self care items, but who can honestly afford to do that? I feel like most people can’t.
Deodorant is by far the most likely culprit of systemic health issues effect every are of your life. Natural options such as Primal Pit Paste, Stick Up™, Green Tidings, and EO Brand are my current favorites, though I like to have a few other natural deodorants in rotation, including my DIY essential oil deodorant.
Make sure that you do an armpit detox before switching to a natural brand to reduce the effects of changing to a natural deodorant.
Lotions and Moisturizers
Switch to a lightweight oil blend (my favorite contains organic jojoba, sweet almond, evening primrose, olive oil, and filtered beeswax), a healing face moisturizer (great for eczema-prone skin), or something as simple as olive or coconut oil.
As for your body, I just use a big tub of coconut oil. Sometimes I get fancy and add some of my favorite skin-friendly essential oils, like lavender, frankincense, and myrrh.
Makeup, even some mineral brands, may contain heavy metal contaminants that can impair your body’s ability to easily detoxify chemicals and excess hormones, leading to skin, hair, and nail issues for a start.
Many ‘big brand’ toothpastes contain harsh abrasives, which strip tooth enamel, exposing the dentin underneath…which makes your teeth look yellowed and ends up making many brush more. Thankfully, there are lots of awesome alternatives! On top of the abrasives, your mouth is full of cells, and the fluoride and other additives end up going straight into your bloodstream. So all of those chemicals you’re trying to avoid? They’re sneaking in.
Instead of toothpaste, consider a natural tooth powder. You can purchase a pre-made powder (I like The Dirt), or you can make your own. If you’re feeling really brave, consider oil pulling. It’s far gentler than a powder as it’s just oil.
When it comes to your skin, too much of anything can be a bad thing. So remember to start slow-even as slow as one item at a time. If you are using a new product, do a spot test or purchase a sample size first. Remember to pay attention to how you feel, your mood, and watch for any adverse reactions.
This way you can better target your switch.
Then, consider grabbing a copy of the Purely Primal Skincare. It helped me understand exactly what was causing problems, and offered incredibly insightful and helpful solutions (plus a list of ingredients to avoid!). Plus, if you’re ready to switch out shampoo, conditioner, nail products, oral hygiene products, and beyond, you’ll get access to this Resource Guide for tons of recommendations!