More and more beauty bloggers are promoting the use of natural cosmetics over their inorganic counterparts. Harnessing the benefits offered by Mother Nature is a cleaner, less-toxic alternative to the dangerous chemicals found in many over-the-counter products, and we should try to avoid these toxins in the things we consume or apply to our skin. Going au naturale needn’t be difficult; you can still find these products in store or online. However, if you would like to save yourself a bit of money, you can easily make many natural products at home using only a few simple ingredients. Here’s our top 6 suggestions to begin implementing today.
Beauty begins from the inside out, and keeping our bodies in optimum health can improve the radiance of our complexion. When you’re feeling under the weather or in need of pain relief, try to steer clear of strong, prescription drugs which are synthesized in labs. Opt for homeopathic medicines instead—which don’t deplete your body of its naturally-occurring beneficial bacteria—such as arnica montana from VitaMedica.
It won’t take you very long to find a corpus of research regarding the harmful effects many antiperspirants are rumored to have on our health. Those formulated with active ingredients using aluminum-based compounds block the sweat from reaching the skin’s surface, but science now suggests these compounds may actually be absorbed by the skin, leading to changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells which could cause cancer. Pick up natural deodorant instead which relies on natural mineral salts to eliminate odor and frequently contains antioxidants to restore any damage which may have already occurred. Companies such as Lush offer not only natural deodorant, but also shampoos, conditioners, and toothpaste, as well!
Far too many store-bought cleansers are first tested on animals to gauge the effect they might have on humans if they make contact with our eyes. Even if they are manufactured without animal cruelty, most commercially-produced products come with artificial colors, fragrances, and preservatives which can be easily absorbed by the skin and create a host of long-term problems. Many effective cleansers can be found in your fridge, including yogurt and milk, so consider researching these natural alternative which are much kinder to your delicate skin.
Many products used to exfoliate the skin contain large, coarse, granular material to slough off dead skin which can irritate our complexion and do more harm than good. In some cases, the grains are made from plastic microbeads which cannot decompose, and instead pollute our oceans. Try making your own natural, safe exfoliator at home; it’s easy, fun, and benefits both your skin and the environment! Make a paste using exfoliants such as sugar, oatmeal, baking soda, sea salt, coffee grinds, or chopped almonds with ingredients like honey and lemon juice to gently remove dead skin cells.
Rejuvenating face masks
Face masks can be wonderfully indulgent whether applied at home or at the spa, but if you use the wrong formula, you risk dehydrating your skin. If chemical drying agents—which are designed to pull and remove the skin’s impurities—are left on too long, you may strip the skin of its natural oils and protective barrier, making it brittle and prone to cracks. Depending on your unique skin type, try out these ingredients in natural face mask recipes instead:
- Dry skin: use ingredients with moisturizing properties, such as coconut oil, avocado, honey, egg yolks and olive oil.
- Oily skin: choose ingredients with astringent or toning effects, such as apple cider vinegar, citrus enzymes, egg whites, bentonite, and witch hazel.
- Combination/normal skin: take advantage of restorative ingredients such as aloe Vera, pumpkin pulp, activated charcoal, and tea tree oil.
If you’re looking to repair the damage caused by dehydrating exfoliators and face masks, opt for a natural cure. Massive skincare companies typically produce moisturizers with cheap, comedogenic ingredients known to clog pores and cause acne. Fortunately, there are tons of healthier alternatives you can find in the store or at home. Cucumbers, for example, are an excellent source of vitamins A and E. You can also use an avocado to lubricate every layer of the epidermis; after eating a ripe one, lightly rub the inner peel on your face and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
Always try to choose options that are less refined and closer to their source of origin, whether that’s the food we eat, medicine we take, clothes we wear, or cosmetics we apply. Get back to your roots and see how your body—and the environment—can improve.