Beauty & hygiene: the benefits of natural products

There are thousands of products on the shelves nowadays which claim to be natural. There are many which beauty salons chose for several of their treatments. But how safe are these products really? And what does the term natural product really mean these days?

Companies which produce beauty products often try to find temporary solutions to cover up the problem. They see no need to look for effects of long term exposure of the product on health. These products contain many artificial chemicals, which have been tested on animals, yet if the product was natural testing wouldn’t be required and it wouldn’t cause deaths to thousands of poor creatures (captured or bred for specific reason to be tested on against their will). Many of those chemicals and products actually make our skin look older and unhealthy after years of usage. Skin has natural way of rebuilding itself when the body is supported and nourished correctly.

According to Safe Cosmetics.org the following are the ingredients which should be avoided mostly:

1,4-dioxane
Butylated Compounds
Coal Tar
Ethanolamine Compounds (MEA, DEA, TEA and others)
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
Hydroquinone
Lead and other heavy metals
Nitrosamines
Octinoxate
Parabens
Synthetic musks
Toluene
Triclosan

For each of the chemicals included in this section, a growing body of hazard-based evidence suggests connections to long-term health concerns like cancer and reproductive problems.

For example antiperspirants are suspects in breast cancer (find more here)

To me natural product is one which contains raw products, like fruits, vegetables, natural oils, herbs and many others. Here are some natural methods to replace your chemically tested products with natural ones, and since you can prepare them at home, you know what ingredients are in them (for both men and women):

Avocado & Natural Yogurt Face Mask:
¼ of avocado
1 tbsp of natural, organic yogurt
Mix together and apply on the skin of your face and other parts of the body for 15 minutes, then wash away.
Benefits: Yogurt will moisturize the skin, remove unwanted colouring and reduce acne since it contains natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The lactic acid in yogurt will help dissolve dead skin which prevents wrinkles. Avocados are rich with vitamin A which helps to remove dead skin cells from your body. They also contain an amino acid known as glutamine, which cleans and protects your skin from environmental damage.

Sweet almond oil or coconut oil (instead of body lotion)
Benefits: Rich in vitamin E, A, B1, B2 and B6, it effectively balances the moisture in dry and irritated skin. It is easily absorbed hence does not leave the skin sticky and oily or block the pores.

Baking soda & coconut oil (instead of toothpaste)
Benefits: Baking soda polishes teeth and gives them a whiter appearance as well as prevents bad breath. Coconut oil is known as a natural antibiotic and it has been found to destroy the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Removing odour naturally:
The bacteria mixed with sweat and toxins are responsible for body odour. Reducing them through detoxification of your whole body (internal and external) should help reduce the odour. Think of it more as reduction of toxicity and bacteria than trying to stop the perspiration, which is your body’s natural reaction for thermoregulation.

Ayurvedic hair colouring dyes:
There are many ayurvedic hair colouring products on the market which will not only enhance your natural colour, cover gray hair if needed but will also nourish your hair. You have to accept however that natural way means no artificial changes (like going from brown to blond) which require very strong chemicals.

The changes highlighted above require mind-set changes which makes us review what is more important: thriving in health or living in over-advertised reality which promotes comparing ourselves with a celebrity, at the same time compromising who we really are. Going back to natural lifestyle means being yourself and accepting your body as it is, at the same time finding ways which will heal and nourish this gift from nature.

Sources:
www.safecosmetics.org
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23916117
http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/09/14/attention-deodorant-users-new-studies-link-aluminum-to-breast-cancer/
Personal experience 🙂

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