The cosmetic and personal care product industry is a dirty business. Most people use these products without a second thought, and believe that the government is governing their safety. Nope. The government does not require studies or testing for cosmetics or personal care products before they are put on the market. And between toothpaste, face wash, shave gel, shampoo, deodorant, shower gel, lip balm, and sunscreen – most people apply an average of 126 unique ingredients to their skin daily. You know your skin is transdermal, right? That’s how the smoking patch and birth control patch work. So anything you apply on your skin, you might as well eat.
Check the ingredients of your personal care products in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, the world’s largest resource on personal care product safety logs. Don’t like what you see? EWG makes it easy for you and lists products with the best safety rating. It’s a great site and it’s really opened my eyes to what I put on my body everyday.
I’ve been buying natural and organic brands in my quest to avoid packaged, mass-produced chemical-filled products, but natural and organic products aren’t always safer. Even Burt’s Bees was recently bought out by Clorox (I can’t wait to see how their ingredient lists change!). I’ve been experimenting with making my own beauty products. Products that are so pure, you could eat them! Last weekend, I made a fabulous body scrub with equal parts coconut oil and sugar, plus a few tablespoons of lemon juice. The coconut oil is super moisturizing, anti-bacterial, and smells like the beach. The sugar is a natural exfoliator and the lemon juice brightens. It makes my legs velvety soft! I don’t even need to apply lotion afterwards! I was joking around with Karl that if I didn’t like it in the shower, I was going to use it for my oatmeal in the morning. But this mix is staying permanently in a glass jar in my shower!
Yeah, yeah. I know I shouldn't be buying the lemon juice in the bottle...
I would suggest if you’re acne-prone, not to use it on the face. Coconut oil is a weird case – some love it on their acne-prone skin and others break out like mad. Plus, sugar can be harsh on the delicate facial skin. Also, use it first in the shower, then wash your hands! The first time I experimented with it, I used it last and proceeded to run my hands through my clean hair. Greaseball. Lastly, be careful: it makes the bathtub slippery!
Got any favorite DIY products? I want to try more!