Taking care of your skin is something that many people spend thousands of dollars on each year. A trip to the dermatologist can cost you upwards of several thousand dollars. A trip to the beauty aisle of your local supermarket might very well put you back a hundred dollars. At the same time, many of the chemical skin care products are made with potent ingredients that can cause unwanted side effects.
Natural skin care techniques can offer the same or better benefits to your skin while helping you avoid some of the unwanted side effects that come with coating your face with hard to pronounce ingredient lists. At the same time, you will most likely be saving yourself hundreds of dollars each year.
Why Go Natural for Your Skin Care Routine?
We sometimes hear that beauty comes with a price. However, when that “price” is causing dangerous side effects for your health, perhaps we need to reconsider the truth of that maxim.
One recent study found that many cosmetics and personal care products have low levels of reproductive or developmental toxicants. These toxins could very well be behind a spike in reproductive issues such as undescended testicles and hypospadias. In a sense, it is almost ironic: the products we use to improve our image and help us attract the opposite sex might actually be leading us towards reproductive malfunctions.
Many women have bought in to the myth that “whiteness” is somehow synonymous with attractiveness. Dozens of skin care companies have begun to market skin whitening creams. Despite the obvious racist ideology behind these creams, there are also serious health effects that need to be considered.
Plastering your skin with a cream that promises to make you look whiter also comes with a dangerous mix of chemical compounds such as steroids, hydroquinone, and tretinoin. These chemicals have been found to directly contribute to fatal health issues such as skin cancer, liver damage, and mercury poisoning.
Additionally, almost all cosmetic and skin care products contain parabens, a type of preservative to keep your skin cream from going sour. Many experts believe that long term exposure to parabens (such as using a daily cream or face wash) could increase the risk for breast cancer.
Other harmful chemicals that are also routinely found in a wide array of cosmetic products include sulfates, Phenoxyethanol, glycols and others which all come with serious health effects.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural ingredients that have been used for generations and that offer equal if not better skin care and protection without the toxicity involved. Why would anyone use toxic creams filled with glycols and parabens when a simple milk bath could also be used and give the same benefits?
The Top Natural Substances for Overall Skin Health
For thousands of years, people have been obsessed with having beautiful skin. Famous royalty like Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth I of England have sworn by the benefits of milk baths for skin care. Indian brides have been receiving turmeric face masks the night before their wedding for dozens of generations.
Every culture and ethnic group seems to have found some sort of natural material that enhances the natural glow and health of our skin. Below, we list a few of the top natural ingredients for overall skin care.
1. Coconut oil: Coconut oil has been used for all sorts of natural health purposes. Related to skin care, coconut oil has been shown to strengthen epidermal tissues under the surface layer of the skin. Coconut oil also does wonders for removing dead skin cells and moisturizing excessively dry skin.
2. Raw Honey: Raw honey is simply honey that hasn’t been excessively processed by the food industry. When honey comes straight from the beehive or the comb, it is one of the best natural sources for essential vitamins, minerals, and acids that are essential for healthy skin. Natural, raw honey also has natural antibiotic and antiseptic properties which will help keep your skin from acne breakouts.
3. Sea salt: Another natural source that is filled with enormous amounts of minerals and vitamins is sea salt. Sea salt is loaded with magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium, all of which are elements that our skin needs to look great.
4. Avocado: Almost everyone has heard of the health benefits of avocados which are a great source of the omega 3 fatty acids that are body needs. What fewer people know is that the creamy fruit of the avocado is just as good for your skin as for your body. Avocados are super moisturizing and when used topically, give your skin needed vitamins such as Vitamin E, A, and D. Avocados also can help to soothe and heal red skin from sunburns.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar: This potent tonic which is a fantastic remedy for overall gut health is also great for your skin. The anti-septic properties of apple cider vinegar can help to cure problems that stem from acne and other skin blemishes.
6. Aloe Vera: While most of us know that aloe Vera can help to reduce the burning sensation from bad sunburn, it also is extremely useful in helping to combat any sort of fungal or bacterial infection that might break out on your skin.
7. Turmeric: This bright yellow root has been shown to be useful for a number of natural remedies. A face mask made from turmeric powder is also a fantastic way to enliven your skin and add a touch of radiance. This root is filled with potent anti-oxidants which will help to keep your skin looking youthful and refreshed.
Below, we offer three simple do it yourself skin care products that you can make using these and other natural ingredients.
1. Turmeric and Honey Face Mask
A honey and turmeric face mask can be made at home for under $10 dollars and give you a number of skin benefits. This face mask will help you combat acne and encourage and speed up the healing from any previous breakouts. At the same time, a honey and turmeric face mask can help to reduce redness and inflammation associated with eczema and other more serious skin conditions like rosacea.
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (not curry powder!)
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon coconut or argon oil
Mix the three ingredients together. The addition of coconut oil or argon oil is for people with dry skin. If you fear that this face mask will cause excessive drying, the addition of these oils will prevent that. Once you get the desired consistency, apply to your face and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
The turmeric may leave a slight yellow tint to your skin, but will disappear with time. Wash over with cold water. You can use this face mask up to 3 times a week.
2. Yogurt and Oats Exfoliant Cream
Ever since the time of Cleopatra (and probably much before that), women have found that milk brings enormous amounts of benefits to skin care. The lactic acid in milk helps to remove dead skin cells and the excess calcium in milk also brings needed nutrients to the skin.
Oats make an excellent exfoliating scrub which will bring a deep cleanse to any skin surface. Also, oats are known to absorb impurities from the surface of your skin leaving you feeling renewed and cleansed.
- 1 small container of natural, unsweetened yogurt (or make your own)
- 2 tablespoons of whole grain oats
Simply combine the two ingredients to make a fairly thick face cream. While you can use milk instead of yogurt, it will come out more as a face wash instead of a cream or scrub. It’s important to use whole grain oats instead of processed oats to get the exfoliating benefits.
Once mixed, apply to your face or other areas of your skin. Don’t be afraid to rub it in rather hard. Let sit for 5 minutes and then rinse with cold water.
3. Coconut Oil and Avocado Face Moisturizer
For people with extremely dry skin, a coconut oil and avocado face moisturizer is a fantastic natural remedy to bring your skin alive. Both of these natural products bring extreme lubricating properties and also add nutrients to your epidermis.
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 ripe avocado
Find a ripe avocado that is creamy and smooth but doesn’t have signs of being overripe (blackness in the fruit). In a food processor mix the coconut oil and avocado until smooth and creamy. If the mix seems too thick (this will depend on the size of your avocado), you can add more coconut oil or water until you get the desired consistency.
Apply this mix generously to your skin and let it soak in for several minutes before washing off. If you want a moisturizer that you don’t have to wash off, you could opt for using avocado oil instead of fresh avocadoes.
Overall Benefits of Opting For Natural Skin Care
There are literally hundreds of different natural skin care products that you can make from ingredients that you probably have sitting around your kitchen. Instead of depending on expensive, chemical-laden skin care products, you can get improved skin care benefits by making these and other natural products that are adapted to your specific skin care needs.