Did you know your skin is the largest organ of your body? Did you also know that your skin absorbs up to 70% of what you put on it? From daily environmental toxins to chemical-laden lotions and makeups, we put our skin through the ringer everyday whether we realize it or not. Many commercial skincare products contain harmful chemicals that get absorbed into our bodies and cause free-radical damage. Here is an abbreviated list of some of the main chemicals to watch out for in body products:
- Parabens (Methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl-, isopropyl- and isobutylparaben)
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium lauryl sulfate/ammonium lauryl sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate
- Synthetic fragrances
Take a look at some of your daily self-care products, if they contain any of the following ingredients you might consider tossing them out and opting for more natural options. I like the brands Mychelle, Acure, and Tata Harper for natural face/body washes + lotions. But my favorite (and inexpensive!) way to nurture my skin is with natural, organic plant-based ingredients found in my pantry.
IF YOU CAN’T EAT IT, DON’T PUT IT ON YOUR SKIN!
This cleansing mask made from Indian green clay, raw honey, and cider vinegar works to remove impurities from the skin by absorbing harsh chemicals from outside exposure and hydrating it with nourishing edible ingredients. Clay is a powerful healer, internally and externally, and has been credited to healing a wide variety of illness from clay can be credited with healing a wide range of illnesses. These include constipation, diarrhea, anemia, chronic infections, skin ailments such as eczema and acne, heavy metal poisoning, exposure to pesticides and other toxins, arthritis, and stress. The particles of clay are said to carry a negative electrical charge, whereas impurities, or toxins, carry a positive electrical charge. Thus when we consume them internally or externally, the positively charged toxins are attracted by the negatively charged edges of the clay mineral. An exchange reaction occurs where the clay swaps its ions with the other substance, attaching until it is eliminated from the body. Because of this, I recommend clay during my cleanse programs to help purify the body from the inside out by absorbing toxins the body releases in the colon during cleansing. Curious about clay? Read up on its healing science in Ray Knishinksy’s “The Clay Cure”.
On top of the clay, a splash of Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar works to clarify and tone the skin, and a heaping spoonful of raw honey, loaded with live enzymes and rich nutrients, work to hydrate and replenish. Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that brightens the complexion, evens out skin tone, and lightens scars and age spots. Its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties also benefit in reducing acne. I’ve also added in an optional pinch of spirulina, a microalgae that oxygenates and alkalizes the skin. You’ll look like a green sea monster with this mask on, but a lovely radiant one at that! Cozy up with a good book and let this guy settle in and do it’s deep restoring work. Plus who can resist an evening of simple self-pampering? You deserve it!
HEALING CLAY MASK
4 tbsp Indian green clay
1 tsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
1 tsp raw honey
Optional: ½ tsp spirulina powder
In a small bowl, add the dry green clay and spirulina if using. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and raw honey, whisk until fluffy and well combined. If too dry, add in a drop or two more vinegar. If too wet, add in more clay. Consistency should be more thick than runny. Spread evenly on face and neck, avoiding eyes and mouth. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes, or until completely dry. Use a soft washcloth and warm water to remove the mask. Hydrate with your favorite moisturizer afterwards.
Note: Because your face can be tingly or red from the cider vinegar for a few hours after the mask, it’s best to do this before bed. The result is radiant soft skin in the morning!