Holistic beauty is a term waiting to be adopted by mainstream culture. Natural beauty methods are not only effective (your grandma probably told you that one), they’re greatly needed. Your health, beauty, the environment and animal rights are all at stake. For ourselves, it can be easy to view the skin as an outer shell that can be neglected and abused. However, because it is the largest organ of the body and is permeable, “You are what you eat” lends to “You are what you apply”. Your skin, after all, weighs about 20 pounds of your total weight and is responsible for eliminating approximately 20% of the body’s toxic waste. So, it’s important to not only feed your skin with products that are healthy to absorb, but to keep it free of anything that interferes with the body’s ability to detoxify. Heavy makeup, smoke, layers of dead skin and chemicals can all have a negative impact. Over the last 50 years especially, chemicals have become deeply ingrained as the American norm. Old clips of children playing in clouds of DDT might be shocking now, but without a change, future generations might look back on us with the same disbelief. After all, Cosmetics: The Great American Skin Game notes that, “The same chemicals used in insecticides are often incorporated in beauty products to prolong shelf life.” Why would anyone want the same ingredients found in a poison to be put on their face and skin? That’s what the multi-billion dollar “beauty” industry is hoping you never ask. They’re counting on the consumer’s ignorance, apathy or desperation. Sadly, the term “natural” is loosely applied, so buy products that have obvious ingredients such as lavender and chamomile and look up the rest. The beauty products we choose have a global impact. A holistic approach can be a beautiful act toward the planet itself, minimizing and even eliminating environmental hazards and saving millions of animals that are painfully subjected to unrequired testing every year by the cosmetic industry. Simply buying products that state “Not Tested On Animals” also sends a powerful message to corporations who want your business. Visit allforanimals.com for an extensive list of companies that do and do not test on animals. Tests aside, nature has always been generous and simple. Oatmeal, roses, strawberries, cucumbers, papayas, peppermint, lavender, clay, etc. are all healthy and beautifying when used topically and/or eaten. If you want to make a homemade mask or lotion, go for it! It doesn’t get any more natural than that. There is a wonderful book called Mother Nature’s Guide to Vibrant Beauty & Health by Myra Cameron that has fantastic, natural do-it-yourself suggestions for head-to-toe beautiful, healthy skin. If you want ready-made products, there are dozens of wonderful natural products out there that are as good for the earth as they are for your skin.
The key to moisturizing is in retaining rather than supplying moisture with a product. Mist or lightly splash the face with water then lock it in with your moisturizer. It makes all the difference in the world.
No matter what products and practices you apply always remember the beauty basics:
– Eat fresh fruits and veggies – Stay well hydrated – Get your beauty rest (it earned that nickname for a reason) – Use truly natural products – Wash, tone, moisturize and wear sunscreen – Exercise – Enjoy a facial once in a while no matter your age or gender.
Reflexologist, Massage Therapist and Holistic Guide – RachelAvalon.com