Not a day goes by without my skin being lathered up with of some form of moisturizer, soap, or sunscreen. What we put on our skin not only effects our outward health, but also our internal systems and processes. The chemicals that make our soaps, deodorants, and body sprays smell so lovely are often skin irritants, developmental toxins, even neurotoxins. It seems crazy that shampoos meant to fight dandruff actually exacerbate the problem, or that many acne soaps use ingredients that over dry the skin and stimulate excess oil production leading to... you guessed it, more acne.
When I finally became aware that many cosmetic companies are not out to help us, but out to make a profit, I started to get more and more frustrated when I would read ingredient labels and see commonly known irritants listed. So, a few years back I started really scrutinizing the ingredients lists on everything I buy with the help of Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website. They test thousands of chemicals and products and rate them on a safety scale based on their chemical make-up. What it seems to come down to, if you are looking for the safest way to take care of your skin, making your own beauty products can be a great method. Natural Beauty At Home by Janice Cox is a great recipe book to reference if you are just starting out. A good quote to keep in mind:
Don't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't put in your mouth.
Here are a few of my favorite premade products that i have used for a good deal of time and have had quite a bit of success with: Jason's Biotin shampoo and conditioners, Tom's Whole Care toothpaste and deoderant, Dr. Bronners peppermint castile soap, Vitamine E oil (for my hair and body), Badger Sun Screen, and for your face: Any thing from Origins!
Origins is dedicated to making products free from Parabens, Phthalates, and harsh chemicals. Their products are a spendy in comparison to drug store cosmetics, but they Really work and they last a long time (my one bottle of modern friction i have had for way over a year). Try Modern Friction to exfoliate, Zero Oil Toner to help with blemishes, Dr Weil's Mega Bright Serum to correct skin tone, and VitaZing as your all around moisturizer/make up. This combo will leave your skin glowing and beautiful (that is, if you are also treating the inside of your body as well as the outside).