Should I Eat It, Or Rub It Into My Skin?
If I were to offer one piece of advice regarding a healthy, effective skincare regime, then it is this: your skincare product should be good enough to eat! It’s a maxim which has lasted the test of time and which was impressed upon me when I first visited India more than two decades ago.
I remember well how amazed I was at the time to see the beauty regime followed by a number of the Indian women I met. Incredibly, they would apply to their face and body the very same ingredients that sat on their dinner tables! Mangos were a favorite for many, but so too were honey, yoghurt, lemons, nuts, rose petals and avocados.
These women were the recipients of ancient beauty secrets that have been passed down from generation to generation. Based on Ayurvedic principles relating to the revitalising powers of plants and herbs, the remedies created by these women helped their skin to glow and their hair shine. Just as important – and in direct contrast to many of the skincare products we buy off the shelves today – the products they used were good for them.
When you think about it, the ability of the skin to serve as a direct, unfiltered gateway into the bloodstream is exactly why nicotine patches are so effective. This process of direct absorption through the skin and capillaries into the body is particularly important, because it completely bypasses the kidneys and liver, which are responsible for filtering the toxins we ingest.
When you rub chemicals on your skin, depending on the health of your protective skin layers and the size of the chemical molecules, they can pass straight through and enter your bloodstream within minutes. Unfortunately, many of today’s skincare products tend to be loaded with chemicals we might want to avoid and there exists little regulation around what is safe and what is not.
If all this sounds a little bit frightening, then fear not. Foods, plants and herbs are most assuredly safe! They are pure, natural, timeless ingredients which can help care for your skin. If you are feeling adventurous and want to have a bit of fun, then you might like to try one or more of the following natural beauty treatments, utilising ingredients you can find in your kitchen:
For those of you with dry skin, try mashing a banana and adding a tablespoon of organic honey to it. Apply to the skin, leave for ten minutes, then wash off!
For those who want to tighten the skin, separate one egg white from the yolk. Put the egg white on your face and relax for about 15 minutes.Wash off with lukewarm water and check out the results!
And for those of you who want a moisturizer with a difference, try this personal favorite of mine. Take some oil into the bathroom (almond oil works wonderfully well, but good quality olive oil is effective too) and apply all over the body after coming out of the shower and having only half-dried off. The oil should bind the residue water to your skin and will leave it feeling silky smooth for days!
Of course, our busy lifestyles do not always leave us with the time to create our own skincare products. We want the convenience of buying off the shelf, and we luxuriate in the ease and feeling of the creams we use. We also expect our skincare to have a long shelf life, remaining free of bacteria and other nasties after many months, if not years, of use.
To the vast majority of you who fall under this category, the answer is straightforward.
Use organic and natural skincare products. Because they utilize the therapeutic powers of nature, these products will prove a boon to your skin. If they are well made (as all World Organic products are!) they will also last for months, be safe to use and will feel fantastic when applied.
In the end, the best way to be safe is to look for organic and natural certifications on the products you buy. Such certifications will ensure that your skin and hair care products are free from the type of chemicals that you wouldn’t want to eat!