It’s the body’s largest organ and makes up for 16 percent of our body weight!
I’m really excited to share with you how I practice non-toxic skin care and how easy it can be.
Before we dive in, lets talk about how much skin changes and how different our skin can become as we age.
Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or skin care professional. The practices mentioned in this article are not medical advice and if you choose to practice anything mentioned here, you do so at your own risk.
As a teen, I was thankful to have minimal breakouts and skin issues. I’ve battled psoriasis and eczema since birth but those spots were in hidden places, not on my face. More on that another time! As I entered my late teens and early 20’s I started to experience more breakouts than I ever had before. I can now peg those breakouts down to a few factors: late nights, poor eating/drinking habits and stress! Those 3 factors are incredibly important when it comes to the skin on our face. When our skin starts to present problems, it’s time to listen to our bodies!
It took me into my mid-twenties to realize my lifestyle was impacting my skin negatively. Once I started removing stress factors, sleeping better and cutting out the excess sugar (and alcohol) my skin improved. From the ages of 25 to 30 were the best years with my skin. When I was working in tropical climates like Fiji and the Philippines my skin was the clearest it had ever been. I wasn’t wearing makeup, I was eating more servings of fruits, vegetables and drinking so much water.
Let’s talk about the sun. I think very different about sun and skin. Obviously I don’t believe you should be frying yourself to get a nice, crispy tan and protection is important! But I don’t approach sun exposure traditionally (thanks mama!) Hear me out. I think we’ve gone a little crazy with the sun protection. Please, don’t yell at me! People today are facing an extreme Vitamin D deficiency all the while slathering on chemical laden sunscreen
“Despite the importance of vitamin D, many people in the United States do not have sufficient levels in their bodies. For example, one study found that overall, more than 40 percent of the U.S. population was vitamin D deficient. So much so, that some authors have referred to vitamin D deficiency as a pandemic.”
One of our greatest resources for Vitamin D is the sun! My mother taught me the SAFE practice of absorbing the rays of the sun for 5-10 minutes with no sun protection on. Then after, we apply our chosen natural (and safe) sun protection. This practice varies depending on skin, of course. I have hispanic blood in me (which you wouldn’t know by lookin’ at me) so I naturally have an easier ability to tan. But if you burn easily just monitor your skin and USE COMMON SENSE. I don’t currently make my own sunscreen but it’s fairly easy to do so and avoid all the yucky, carcinogenic chemicals found in sunscreen. Yeah, carcinogenic! I’m not going to get into all of that but I encourage you to do your own research! Here is a great natural sunscreen recipe! I buy (and love) this safe sunscreen for myself and my son. It’s a bit thick so I dilute it with a carrier oil to thin it out.
Since we’re talking about the sun we can also chat about what ages our skin and how it changes with age. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I’m serious about skin care. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. You should be caring for you skin and practicing anti-aging routines starting in your 20’s. It’s never too early to care for your skin. My biggest skin issue is dryness. I have thin skin that easily becomes rough and dry, mostly on my face. When I moved to Canada and was exposed to serious winter weather for the first time in 20 years, my skin was a mess. I couldn’t figure out how to hydrate it enough. Now, I’m on my game. Here are some things I use and practice to combat aging and dry, rough skin:
- Exfoliation. I use my own homemade sugar/salt scrubs with a carrier oil to exfoliate my skin a few times a week, in the shower.
- Microneedling. What is this sorcery you ask? Essentially it’s the process of poking tiny, microscopic holes in your skin with a derma roller (a skin needling device) to boost collagen production. When you google this practice, you’ll probably be horrified. I don’t get this done professionally because I can do it at home using common sense. I did a ton of research before I tried it. I use the smallest needled roller and I’ve never bled. I don’t apply intense pressure, just enough that my face is glowing and feels like I’ve had a sunburn afterwards. I always apply a serum with Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid in it before and after so that it penetrates my skin. I do not wear makeup or put anything on my face (besides the HA and vitamin C serum) 12-24 hours after doing this so that my skin has a chance to breathe and recover. I also do this before I go to bed so my skin can rest and rejuvenate overnight. While I’m not sure about the college production part of this practice, I’ve seen great results with the exfoliation, plumping and softening of my skin. I started out doing this once a week but in the winter I sometimes do it 3x a week. The size of needles and how much pressure you apply will determine how often you need to do it. Please do your own research!
- Hyaluronic Acid. Dr. Axe does an excellent job of explaining what this incredible stuff is and how it benefits our skin. Check his article out here.
- Water. We can spend all the money we want on expensive products and treatments to hydrate and nourish our skin but if we aren’t working on our insides, we won’t see as much of a difference. When I was in college, I noticed my mom and sister carry those Nalgene bottles full of water and refilling them multiple times a day. We were all living in southern California at the time where the climate is quite dry and hot. I began to follow their example and not only did my skin improve but I felt so much better, over all! I never leave my house without a water bottle, not even for a walk around the block. This will be the most inexpensive way you can nourish your skin.
- Nourishing oils. I started making my own face oils a few years ago and have seen great results with softer, more hydrated and smoother skin on my face. I make a simple blend of grape seed oil and add different essential oils that are nutrient rich and soothing for the skin. Essential oils like Frankincense, myrrh, Geranium, Sweet Orange and Bergamot are ones that I often use in my face oil. They all have their own complex qualities that contribute to nourishing the skin. Sweet Orange and Bergamot would be considered photosensitive oils that make the skin more prone to damage caused by UV rays, so I add very little of those and follow with a thin layer of sun protection.
- Limited use of soap/face wash. Yes! You heard me! I don’t wash my face with soap but once in a blue moon. I’ve found face wash, no matter how natural to be really harsh on my skin type because I’m prone to drying out. You are probably wondering how I remove my make up at night? Coconut oil and baby wipes! Seriously, so simple. I spent years using chemical laden makeup remover that burned the crap out of my eyes and dried out my skin. Coconut oil is 100x more efficient, chemical FREE AND it nourishes the skin. If I feel like I need an extra clean after removing my makeup, I use alcohol free witch hazel and a cotton ball all over my face.
- I ALWAYS remove my makeup at night before I go to bed! I didn’t start practicing this until my 30’s. I know, embarrassing right? Seriously, take your makeup off. Sleeping with makeup on will age you faster than you can say, “A Pack a day!” Just take it off, your skin will thank you for it!
These 7 things are what I practice daily and/or weekly to achieve healthy skin. You are probably still thinking, “SARAH you still didn’t mention sun protection!!” I consider that to be an unspoken and different for each person. I don’t apply sunscreen every day because I’m not in the sun everyday. I also wear hats more often than not. If I know I’m going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, I obviously apply sunscreen. Sun protection is important but I challenge you to do some research and re-think the way you approach sun protection.
I think it goes without saying-eating a healthier diet is going to produce healthier skin. This is something I’m still figuring out. I know I have psoriasis and eczema because of certain food irritations. Dairy and sugar are two things I know that aggravate these skin issues for me but I’m still working on limiting foods and ingredients. Stress and sleep are also very important when it comes to having healthier skin.
Some other fun things I like to do a few times a month are face masks! I love Bentonite Clay, Pink Clay and a simple DIY yogurt, raw honey and raw egg mask. These all aid in things like exfoliation, fighting blemishes, oil control, and hydration. Non-Toxic skin care doesn’t have to break the bank. I’ve had one professional facial in my entire life. I LOVED it and I believe in the health benefits of some professional skin care practices. That being said, I can’t afford those things on a regular basis and skincare has to be something you practice everyday. You can easily establish your own non-toxic, anti-aging, spa worthy skin care in your own home without spending a fortune. It only takes time, research and practice. I bet you already have enough ingredients in your home to whip up a fun face mask or scrub. If you can eat it, put it on your face! There are so many ideas and recipes out there. Have fun with it!
What are some ways you practice non-toxic skin care? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
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