We spend a lot of time and money making sure what goes IN our body is high quality and non-deleterious to our autoimmune conditions, energy levels, and sleep quality. What about what goes ON your skin? Skin is not an impermeable barrier protecting our insides from everything we come in contact with, especially the stuff that we rub in willingly to smell like a call girl eating a vanilla cupcake.
Skin’s absorption can be helpful in some instances though – it is in fact how muscle rubs, topical hormonal creams, and the nicotine patch work so well. These products bypass our digestive system when taken transdermally, eliminating either a breakdown of the medicine before it is properly absorbed or decreasing the likelihood of gastrointestinal upset (commonly seen with oral pain medicine versus uncommon with topical formulas).
The FDA does not regulate the cosmetic industry as tightly as we would think. They perform periodic checks of specific products, especiallly if a consumer or health professional has reported negative results, but certainly not every product is individually inspected and evaluated by the FDA. In fact, all of those “organic” products out there? The FDA doesn’t even have a definition for the word “organic”, so they made friends with the USDA who says a product can be labeled “Made with organic ingredients” even if 30% of the ingredients are not organic at all. On top of that, there is absolutely no regulation of the labels “earth friendly”, “eco friendly”, or FOREIGN made “organic” cosmetics.
Trust me when I say I had a bathroom cabinet full of whatever I could find on sale at CVS before starting this lifestyle. Now I use a very natural beauty regimen, saving standard cosmetics for special occasions, and my skin is much less prone to breakouts, my hair is shinier, my teeth are whiter, and my allergies don’t go ape shit since I rarely douse my top knot with the aerosol hairspray Rachel Zoe recommended in a 2010 issue of Marie Claire.
Face Wash Coconut Oil – I rub 1/2 a teaspoon on my face morning and nice then gently scrub with a warm washcloth to rinse off
Face Toner – 1/4 cup water + 8 drops tea tree oil + 4 drops neem oil – I wipe this across my face and neck with an organic cotton pad (the kind with the exfoliating side) after washing my face
Face Lotion – Rosehip oil + Jojoba oil + Neem oil – a small amount goes a long way, leaves my skin hydrated all day/night and never greasy
Deoderant – None. I am not putting anything from a container right near all my lymph nodes! No I don’t smell, and I barely sweat anymore either.
Body Lotion – Either pure shea butter or coconut oil
Body Wash – I pick up a bar or two of locally made soap bars when I travel. I always read the ingredients, but they are generally made from coconut oil, lavender, rosemary, and olive oil. If I eat it, then I feel comfortable sudsing up with a product.
Shampoo/Conditioner – I choose to buy these manufactured, non-organic products because they are not sitting on my skin like the above producs do, and they are being rinsed down the drain almost immediately. ALWAYS buy gluten-free hair care products though if you are gluten intolerant. I use Kevin Murphy and Bumble & Bumble products including their Tonic Lotion when I do style my hair. The tea tree oil in it is cooling to an irritated scalp too.
Hair Masks: Mixtures of avocado, egg yolk, apple cider vinegar, and sometimes gluten-free beer (I rinse with it once a month but cover my face very well so it doesn’t trickle down my throat – but I’d probably love if it did)
Face Masks: Mixtures of vitamin C powder, colostrum, bentonite clay, egg yolks, honey, lemon juice, cucumber juice, and red clay. If you want a recipe for it, holler.
Makeup: Do whatever does not irritate your skin if you wear foundation only once in awhile. Always be careful with anything you put on your lips especially if you have celiac disease. I remember reading in some fanatical girly magazine that the average woman consumes upwards of 2 lbs of lipstick in her life! That’s a lot of possible gluten getting into your belly.
I now use Beautycounter’s products rather than making my own because they are rigorously screened for safety and have a “Never List” of 1,500 harmful chemicals that you will never find in their products. Their products do not contain gluten ingredients except the No.2 Plumping Mask and Mist (avoid those 2 products if you have Celiac disease).