“What products are safe to be using on my skin and face? What about shampoo, deodorant, and makeup? This is by far the question I get asked the most, and one of the more fun ones too! If you do not want to make your own beauty concoctions, there are plenty of simple, pure products on the market that are clean of harmful chemicals, and most importantly helpful for your skin needs.
When I first began this journey healing my skin, I felt like I had tried every commercial product out there, from the $5 drugstore brands to spending hundreds for the high end spa and dermatologist prescribed topicals. Well neither got me the results I wanted. Eventually what I came to discover was that this was not the way to begin to address my skin issues. Even if the product did work, it was short lived and I felt reliant on it, not to mention high maintenance. Bottom Line: Topical care products are exactly like taking supplements. They are great to compliment your healing process and can help in managing symptoms, but not to be relied on as the miracle cure. Unfortunately this does not exist, because if you don’t figure out the real cause of your symptoms, than you’ll be struggling with them forever. I don’t know about you, but being high maintenance was not something I could keep up indefinitely, nor did I want to.
After doing some research, I came to find out that the cosmetics/ body care industry is unregulated, just like the supplement industry. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no authority to require pre-market safety assessment as it does with drugs, therefore cosmetics are among the least-regulated products on the market. The FDA does not review – nor does it have the authority to regulate – what goes into cosmetics before they are marketed for salon use and consumer use. In fact, 89 percent of all ingredients in cosmetics have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.” http://safecosmetics.org
The FDA’s own Web site explains its limitations: “FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency …. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA pre market approval authority, with the exception of color additives.” So really, no one is watching over the safety of ingredients when it comes to shampoo, skin moisturizers, baby products, lipstick or any other personal care product. Scary, right?! Even more of a reason to be cautious of what your purchasing and putting on your body.
Now after all that, I must say, I am still a girl and enjoy pampering myself, and honestly who doesn’t? Some may argue that this is what society and the media tells us we should do, but I think it’s inherently part of being female. We all know about Cleopatra (one of my inspirations for many ingredients and products I use consistently now) and her many “beauty secret’s” famous for maintaining her flawless skin. Skin and beauty routines go back far more than just the beginning of media and marketing. It’s always existed in some form; It’s part of being human and feeling attractive. This does a world of difference for a person’s confidence, empowerment and therefore health, mentally and physically.
Now for the good stuff. Here are my product recommendations for face care. Note that most of these are not homemade beauty products, but products I have tried on the market that I feel are pure enough to use and not interfere with the skins healing process, yet still effective. Body care and other hygiene products will be featured in future posts.
- Brightening Facial Cleanser
I LOVE this cleanser. Another effective product to help lighten and brighten your skin using bearberry, kojic acid, sake, fruit acids, licorice, vitamin C, lemon juice, and strawberries.
If you have acne, this is a great product to try. I prefer it as a mask, but it can be used as a cleanser as well. It contains an array of anti-inflammatory and skin soothing ingredients that have been shown to be helpful against acne, including: aloe, lavender, red algae extract, green tea, sea buckthorn oil, calendula, goldenseal, tea tree oil and much more!
Probiotics in any skin product is just pure genius in my opinion. We know that a healthy gut is needed for clear skin, so it makes sense that we cut to the chase and topically feed our skin (while simultaneously addressing internal bacterial balance as well). I have personally found this to be very effective, although everyone will have a different reaction depending on their cause or need for beneficial bacteria topically.
Chamomile is wonderful at calming irritated skin. I use to soak a wash cloth in chamomile tea and lie it on my face- very soothing. This cleanser reminds me of the same feeling.
If your experiencing inflamed, aggravated and sensitive skin, you may want to skip this, however I have found exfoliation to be critical in preventing oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells from clogging pores. This is a gentle way to stimulate blood flow, cleanse skin thoroughly and exfoliate dead skin cells, especially if using a cleanser that does not contain any scrubbing action.
Either of these oils are great for removing makeup. No special potion required. Simple, pure, unrefined raw oils work great. I soak a flat cotton pad in warm water, squeeze, and then apply the oil to the pad and wipe face thoroughly. Done and done!
Rose water is one the oldest skin care secrets and products that has been recorded in history. It’s used to treat mild skin conditions thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help to reduce redness caused from irritated or over-heated skin. It’s astringent properties are effective at removing dirt and excess oil. Especially great if applied after a steam session to your face so that it seals pores and helps treat future breakouts.
I think anyone who has used this product would put this on their favorites list. It’s incredibly healing and changes your skin texture and look almost overnight. Fermented cod liver oil is a super food and incredibly healing for skin (internally as well), but when combined with butter oil, coconut oil and shea butter, it’s one of the most moisturizing products I have used without feeling like I’m wearing a mask. On the other hand, the scent isn’t as attractive, but the wonders it does to your skin is worth it in my opinion. I use it only at night for this reason.
I stumbled across this product when I was first researching the concept of using probiotics topically. After a few applications, my skin began clearing and changing in tone and texture. This was the first product I tested for topical probiotics and the results were so great I had to keep testing others (see below).
Like Dr. Oshira’s lotion, this is a probiotic enhanced moisturizer that also includes some additional benefits and ingredients: Cucumber juice tones and purifies the skin, willow bark acts as an astringent, lactic acid in yogurt helps to chemically exfoliate without physically scrubbing (great for those with sensitive skin), and calendula oil and shea butter soothes and moisturizes. The formula is also enhanced with a boost of antioxidants, vitamins, coenzyme Q10, and alpha lipoic acid to improve skin’s appearance.
- Aloe Vera Gel
I’m talking straight from the plant. I keep a small aloe plant in my bathroom. Whenever my face feels irritated, I’ll cut part of a leaf off and open it up, then rub the gel directly on my face. It does get tight and creates a layer over your face, so I recommend doing this at bedtime. It’s as easy as that. Great directly on blemishes!
If there was a cure all, this would be it…for anything health related. Manuka honey is to me the way Windex is to Gus in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, ha! This stuff does wonders to the skin. There’s a reason it is known as the healing honey all over the world. I use this as a spot treatment and an all over mask, as well as an ingredient in scrubs I make. It’s incredibly high in antioxidants and therefore perfect for rapid healing and boosting immune activity, as well as a non irritating astringent with antibacterial properties.
I completely stumbled on this wonderful product by accident. My mom actually had it in her bathroom when I went to visit and had forgotten my cleanser. I saw it had honey in it and dove in. Along with the healing properties that we discussed above that honey contains, this scrub also contains jojoba beads, which helps to exfoliate your skin without scratching it and leaving it silky smooth.
I started using eye cream consistently a year ago, as I didn’t really think I needed it before, but wowy, what a difference! It may be that I am continuing to heal more everyday, but I have not had puffy lids or dark circles since using these, and the softness and brightness it adds to your eye area is a nice bonus.
There you have it! My favorite products that are convenient and most of them edible! Don’t forget to leave your experience/ results in the comment section, or if you have products you have tried and love, please share. I am always looking for great skin supporting discoveries.