Healthy Skin Care

Good health is about more than eating well and exercise. It’s also incredibly important to take care of your largest organ: your skin! Here are a few tips for how to better take care of your skin and therefore yourself:

1. Avoid Toxic Ingredients. Unfortunately a lot of our every day beauty and hygiene products are loaded with toxic chemicals and preservatives, which are absorbed directly into our bloodstream and can cause all sorts of skin and health problems. Some of these toxins include:

  • Parabens. These cosmetic preservatives can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes and irritation. They’re also known to mimic estrogen, which can disrupt your bodies hormonal system. Recent studies have found parabens in virtually all breast cancer tumors.
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate. This detergent is often found in shampoos, toothpastes and cleansers, but can cause hair loss, tooth damage and skin and eye irritation.
  • Phthalates. These are used to soften plastics, but can also be found in fragrances, hairspray, deodorant and nail polish. They’re known to disrupt hormone activity, particularly in men and baby boys. 
  • For more ingredients to avoid and where to find them, check out The Chalkboard Mag’s Toxic Timeout section, or print a copy Beautycounter’s Never List of toxic ingredients.

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2. Use Natural or Homemade Products. Like food, your beauty products should have pronounceable ingredients. Personally, I love the homemade skincare products by the ladies at Peacock Apothecary and Beautycounter’s non-toxic line of everything from skincare to shampoo to lipstick.

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3. Make Your Own Products. It’s also really easy to make everything from lotion to face wash to shampoo to sunscreen. This can save you a couple bucks and allows you to get creative with ingredients and scents. Click here for recipe ideas!

4. Exfoliate. One of the simplest ways you can take care of your skin is exfoliation. A hot towel scrub is a simple and luxurious way to exfoliate your entire body…

Hot Towel Scrub Benefits:

  • Reduces muscle tension.
  • Reenergizes in the morning and deeply relaxes at night.
  • Opens the pores to release stored toxins.
  • Softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge.
  • Allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite and toxins to actively discharge to the surface rather than to accumulate around deeper vital organs.
  • Relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin.
  • Calms the mind.
  • Promotes circulation.
  • Activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing underarms and groin.
  • Easy massage and deep self-care.
  • Can be a sacred moment in your day, especially if done with candlelight and a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender.
  • Creates a profound and loving relationship with the body, especially parts not often shown care, and especially for a person with body image problems.
  • Spreads energy through the chakras

Hot Towel Scrub Directions:

  • Turn on the hot water and fill the sink.
  • Hold the towel at both ends and place in the hot water.
  • Wring out the towel.
  • While the towel is still hot and steamy, begin to scrub the skin gently.
  • Do one section of the body at a time: for example, begin with the hands and fingers and work your way up the arms to the shoulders, neck and face, then down to the chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes.
  • Scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink or until each part becomes warm.
  • Reheat the towel often by dipping it in the sink of hot water after scrubbing each section, or as soon as the towel starts to cool.
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Joanna McCracken photo by fluid frame 
Joanna McCracken is a health coach, recipe developer and 500-hour certified yoga teacher.  Her goal is to educate and assist people throughout their unique journey to better health, and to make that journey fun and delicious! Visit Joanna’s blog, Pepper My Salt, or follow her on Facebook. 

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