If you’re using a mainstream commercial brand then chances are there’s some really nasty chemicals in there. Chemicals you wouldn’t want to go near, much less knowingly put on your face every morning and night.
Before I hopped onto the green train I never thought twice about buying products like Biore, Aveeno and Garnier to cleanse and moisturize my skin. I liked the way they smelled, so I bought them.
The problem is that face and body care products aren’t regulated by the FDA. Which means companies can essentially put whatever they want in these products. And, they do. Even products you think sound safe, often aren’t.
For instance, look at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) run down of The Body Shop’s Golden Apple Wrapped Soap. Now, I used to manage a Body Shop in college. I love their products and always felt they were safe and natural.
Apparently, not anymore.
This particular soap scored a 7 out of 10 with EWG, which means it’s very hazardous. Ingredients in this soap have been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies, and other concerns.
I’ve phased out pretty much all mainstream commercial brands over the years. But even “natural” companies, like Burt’s Bees and The Body Shop, don’t score so well all the time.
I had a breakthrough just a few weeks ago, when I ordered the book Return to Beauty: Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin, by Narine Nikogosian (a steal at Amazon for $10). This book features ancient, 100% natural skin care recipes that you can easily (and cheaply) make at home. Now, nothing goes on my face that I wouldn’t also put in my mouth.
It’s All My Kitchen
What’s so amazing about this book is that many of the recipes are hundreds of years old. Women have been using these combinations to cleanse and nourish their skin since ancient times. Why should we be paying out the nose for lotions filled with dangerous chemicals? Our skin responds better to simple cleansers like carrots, oatmeal, milk and honey.
I’ve been using these recipes for about a week now, and I have to say already I’m noticing a difference. So, I wanted to share a few of my favorites so far so you can try them too!
Honey, I Got the Milk Cleanser
I’ve been using this cleanser almost every night since I got the book. And, it’s lovely!
1 Tablespoon oatmeal (old-fashioned, not quick or steel cut)
1/4 cup milk
1 Tablespoon honey
In a blender, combine oatmeal, milk and honey and blend until smooth. Gently wash your face with the mixture (I pour it on a washcloth and scrub), and then rinse with warm water.
Here’s another favorite…
Positively Energizing Grapefruit Moisturizer
1 Tablespoon cottage cheese
1/2 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon grapefruit juice
In a blender, combine cottage cheese, egg yolk, honey and butter. Mix until smooth. Add grapefruit juice and blend again.
Apply this to your face in the morning and occasionally at night. Splash with water and pat dry.
And, here’s my #1 favorite recipe from the book so far…
Honey, It’s Delicious Walnut Scrub
1 Tablespoon ground walnuts
1/2 Tablespoon plain yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)
1 Tablespoon honey
In a small bowl mix all three ingredients. Massage the mixture gently onto your skin (works best in the shower, when your pores are more open). Let it sit for 5 minutes, and then rinse off.
TIP: This face scrub is delicious. I make a double batch when I make it: one for my face, and one to eat! Yes, it’s that’s good. And your skin will glow when you’re done!
I really can’t say enough about this awesome book. I’ve been having so much fun every night making a new concoction for my face. And, I can really see a difference, just in the past week!
Most of the recipes use the same central ingredients such as avocado, oatmeal, milk, honey, walnuts, egg whites, lemon, plain yogurt, mango, olive oil, and more. Pretty much all of them you’ll already have on-hand in your kitchen. If you’d like to start making your own skin care more natural (and save money at the same time) then give Narine Nikogosian’s book, Return to Beauty: Old-World Recipes for Great Radiant Skin a look. It’s awesome!
(photo credit: grongar)