The Spooky Side Of Your Skincare Routine


Skin is your body’s largest and the fastest-growing organ whose function is to protect you.

Our skin protects us and we should protect it, however, we put chemicals on our skin by way of lotions, makeups, and soaps. According to the environmental working group, the average woman uses 12 products containing 168 different ingredients daily.  

Think about your grooming ritual. This likely includes shampoo, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, lip balm, makeup, hair product, etc. Chemicals like Teflon and other fluorinated chemicals are added to makeup despite their link to cancers. Anti bacterial chemicals such as triclosan, are found in products like soaps and body washes and have been linked to hormone disruption. Phthalates, chemicals found in personal care products and other consumer products, can cause reproductive organs of male infants to develop abnormally (1)!  

This damage extends beyond our species as studies show again and again that hormone systems of wildlife are compromised as a result of these products rinsing down drains and into rivers (2).  

Here are some suggestions for minimizing toxic exposure with your personal care:

  • Castile Soap is named after the olive oil-based soap coming from Castile, Spain. It’s biodegradable, non-toxic, and has many uses. This is my go-to for soap with studies supporting its use even for open wounds (3).

    • Use it on your skin, in your laundry, on your floors and even wash your veggies. I’m partial to Dr. Bronner’s because I have been using their products for so long. I have been saving my bottles and refilling them at my local store for some EXTRA earth love.

  • Coconut Oil, when compared to other plant oils, is the most efficacious.  It can repair the skin barrier, is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, heals wounds, addresses skin aging, and even some skin cancers (4). Try coconut oil in replace of lotions.

  • Mineral Based makeup is preferred over conventional. Most of us are applying this daily to our skin and close to mucus membranes (where absorption happens). Choose products that you trust. I like Alima Pure because they are local to me and list all of their ingredients on their website.  I was recently turned on to Fat and the Moon, whose products are free of heavy metals and formulated by herbalists.

  • Sea Salt and Honey; mask or scrub.  

    • Honey is an awesome skin tonic. It inhibits around 60 species of bacteria, some species of fungi and viruses.  It’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant with vitamins and mineral that stimulate healing when applied to the skin. Adding salt creates a scrub and helps you skin retain moisture.

If you’re short on money and wealthy on time, here’s a DIY mask for your evening routine:

  • Combine 1 tablespoon of mineral salt with 1 tablespoon of melted honey and mix together. Apply to clean face and let stand for 30 minutes.  Note that the mixture may drip until dry so prepare with a towel.

I encourage us all to look through our cabinets to see what exactly we are putting on our skin.  For information surrounding the good and bad, checkout the environmental working group, Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.