As you do your part by paying more attention to loving your heart, which is the theme for this month, we ask that you don’t forget to take care of your skin; it needs some love too. The skin is our largest organ; it protects the exterior of our bodies from head to toe. Therefore, it is imperative to be mindful of what touches it. There are so many chemicals on the market today; many that are void of nutrients, yet their packaged goods label may say otherwise. Take the time to research companies and every ingredient in the products they claim to be natural or organic before ever placing them on your skin. The products you place on your skin can impact your health so do your best and choose wisely for you and those you love. If you do not take good care of yourself, who will?
Things you can do to protect your skin:
1. Read & understand product labels.
a. As we always advise you to read the labels of the foods you allow into your body, we also ask that you consciously read the labels of products prior to placing them on your skin. Some products on the market today are not worthy of even touching your temple. “Natural” means existing in or caused by nature, not made or caused by humankind. The word ‘natural’ is empty and often thrown around to mean nothing or whatever you interpret things to be because it sounds good. It is a phrase used too often to make you; the end consumer believe in something that may not be so; the same is true for the word organic. Manufacturers or sellers are being clever to take your money from you unconsciously with such marketing tactics. The truth is more than half the products on the market that say natural or organic are not. They are void of the nutrients needed to hydrate or protect the skin. These products are draconian experiments made in homes or laboratories in which no one knows if it is sanitized or not to make a buck. Be a smart, savvy consumer; make sure you not only read, but clearly understand what each word means on the packaged products you decide to put on your or your loved one’s skin because not all products are created equally. What goes on your skin goes into your bloodstream and can harm your body. Purchase organic products from reputable companies as much as possible; it will give you that peace of mind because they stand by what they promote.
b. Products sold, labeled, or represented as “made with” organic must have at least 70 percent certified organic content. The USDA organic seal may not be used on these products.
c. Products containing less than 70 percent organic content may identify specific ingredients as organic in the ingredients list, but that does not necessarily mean the product has organic ingredients.
a. Pick up organic products as much as possible, preferably those labeled with USDA organic seal. Products with the USDA seal contain 95%+ organic ingredients. They have no herbicides, pesticides, GMOs, additives, toxic chemicals, etc. According to the USDA, the organic certifying institution, “There are four distinct labeling categories for organic products – 100 percent organic, organic, “made with” organic ingredients, and specific organic ingredients.” In addition, consider looking for other third-party certifications: like COSMOS, and Ecocert. These certifications ensure along with the USDA organic; that the products have been made with high-quality natural ingredients and meet strict manufacturing standards. Look for these on your next purchase wherever you shop, your skin deserves the best.
2. Manage Stress
a. When your thoughts are stressful often, they can cause not only anxiety and depression but also can cause skin flare-ups (eczema, psoriasis, pruritus, rosacea, etc.) and turn the skin color red or have it look inflamed. Sometimes when you place your hand over the “red” area, it is warm. The next time you feel stressed-out, look at your face and other parts of your body and notice if you see flare-ups.
To improve stress caused skin issues, try exercising at a level that will help produce sweat. Drink lots of water to help release toxins from the body. Eat only anti-inflammatory foods (those high in antioxidants are beneficial) stay away from dairy, sugar, and gluten. Purchase organic products for sensitive skin vs. those that are highly processed. A Dermatologist visit is in order if working at this on your own does not work.
3. Wear Gloves
a. Gloves are protectants that help to avoid things getting on the skin; especially when you are cleaning places like your home, car, or office. Whether cleaning with non-toxic products or not, remember to place gloves on before engaging in such activity to alleviate allergic reactions. Besides personal care products, some of the other most toxic products on the market are in the home, office, garden, and other cleansers. Be cautious when cleaning your spaces like your home, including your clothes and linens in a laundry mat or room. Sometimes certain products make it hard to breathe and cause the skin to break out by just being in its presence.
Unless you are making your products or home cleaners yourself, of which you trust every ingredient you place in it, wear gloves to protect your skin and possibly safety goggles. There is no need to add unnecessary stress to your life when you can protect yourself from the start, and yes, it is as simple as this.
a. Water helps the skin on so many levels. It is beneficial to the inside and outside of the body. This is why it is imperative to drink and wash with it to have life for everything including the skin.
b. Water helps to regulate the body temperature, so the skin does not get too hot or too cold through redistribution.
c. Drinking water helps the skin look more youthful and elastic; wrinkles don’t exist or there are few to notice. Vibrant skin has elasticity that is highly noticeable and shows off a glow.
d. Hydrating and moisturizing the skin helps to open the pores by cleaning them; instead of having the pores clogged causing acne or other blemishes.
Drinking water helps improve the skin on so many levels. It is imperative that you do not forget to get enough of it every day. If your lips are dry, it is time to drink up; you are dehydrated. Half your body weight is a good rule of thumb when it comes to how much water you should have in a day unless you are pregnant; you should have more. Plan to get your water in, if you are a person who has been known to be dehydrated often. Water helps the entire body function better and we all need it to survive.
Washing the body with water helps remove excess debris and chemicals from the air or products like make-up, cleansers and the likes that are used on the body.
5. DIY- Do It Yourself
a. Taking a day, a month to make products you need may be one of the best things you can do for your skin and the environment. One, eliminating excess packaging can be beneficial in keeping additional waste from landing in the landfill. Secondly, you know every ingredient that is in the product you create. You can make a homemade sugar scrub with 2 ½ cups of brown or granulated sugar with a teaspoon of Vitamin E and 1 cup of coconut, almond, jojoba, or olive oil. You can add shea butter and essential oils to it too.
Being in control of your skin is as easy as taking control of what you put on it. Making products yourself has proven time and time again to work, and it is simple to do too. Take time to measure out what you need for a month or two or even an entire qtr. and repeat. If you find this to be difficult then purchase only from people you know or those who make their products in a clean, safe, and possibly regulated environment or those who have the USDA organic seal of approval on their packaging or products. Do not trust your skin a minute longer to people or companies that are not knowledgeable, nor truthful about what is in their products.
In conclusion, loving and protecting your skin from natural or organic company imposters involves being vigilant about the products you purchase and the companies you choose to conduct business with. Please become a more conscious consumer, especially regarding your skin. Remember, what you place on your skin matters because it can end up in your bloodstream; not to mention you are breathing in the product too. Learn to love your skin by reading labels, managing stress, wearing gloves, drinking water and making your DIY products. Don’t fall in love with the hype of products, the smell, or the looks; choose what you put on your skin by using facts and wisdom. There are certain products on the market though not meant to do harm, do so anyway because they have harmful ingredients or those that you may be allergic to. Every day people wake up calling themselves something with no education, experience, or backing to prove what they are doing or saying is even truthful. They are causing more harm than good. Take your life and those you love in your hands by making better decisions about what is allowed on your skin; don’t be no one’s practice experiment. Your skin, which is your largest organ, protects you as best as it can every day from so much, reciprocate by doing the same for it. Love on your skin now and forever more.
Understanding the USDA Organic Label, Retrieved on 2.2.22.
Labeling Organic Products, Retrieved on 2.22.22