It’s time to be kind to your skin

Remember the days of skin lighteners? These were harsh products that transformed your skin overnight from various shades of chocolate and black to a light unnatural colour. Hopefully, nobody in their right frame of mind uses these chemicals any more, especially when you consider their health hazards to not only your skin but also your internal organs. Some of these products contain mercury, a heavy metal, which is absorbed by the body and not easily eliminated, and can damage internal organs such as kidney and liver. Effects of skin lighteners live with you forever as ugly dark blemishes or scars on your skin. If you use any harsh products on your skin, it is time to say goodbye to irritating cosmetics and choose natural products that nourish your skin without damaging it. You may not be using skin lighteners, but are pumping kilos and kilos of chemicals into your body. Think of it this way – many women use about 12 toiletries each day, which can mean you apply as many as 175 different chemicals to your skin. These range from toilet soap, skin cleanser, toner, moisturiser, sun block, foundation, powder, lipstick, deodorant, eye pencil, eye shadow, mascara, perfume, hair oil, hair spray and so on. By the time you are done with your daily routine, the count could actually be more than 20.

Since 60 per cent of these products will be absorbed into the skin, most women are taking pounds of chemicals into their body each year. While we are not recommending you do away with your skin care regime, we are saying you can throw away harmful products and adopt those that are made from natural ingredients with few chemicals added to them. The beauty world has moved so fast that you can actually maintain beautiful and well-groomed skin with natural and organic products without using harsh chemicals. From cleansers, toners, moisturisers and make-up, you are sure to get organic and natural products for your skin.

The key to good cosmetics is to have high levels of naturally active ingredients. You should be guided by how the product feels on your skin and look out for good levels of antioxidant vitamins and natural ingredients. A good cleanser, for example, should remove all impurities such as oil, grime, make-up and loose dead skin cells with ease and should not leave a residue, which can clog up pores and lead to spots. A moisturiser should be easily It’s time to be kind to your skin absorbed and not leave a greasy film on your skin.

Cosmetics from your kitchen

The best friends to your skin could be found right in your kitchen. You do not need to be a cosmetic scientist to produce naturally effective products in your own kitchen. Making your own natural beauty treatments is fun and guarantees that what you put on your skin contains high concentrations of naturally active ingredients. Many of the ingredients sitting in your kitchen such as olive, almond, castor and coconut oil; avocado; aloe vera and lemon juice; cucumber; oatmeal; honey; linseed; vinegar and various herbs are excellent for your skin. For example, honey is naturally antiseptic and moisturising and you can make a perfect skin purifier by mixing 5ml of honey with 250ml of hot water. When you massage this mixture onto your face for a few minutes and then rinse off, it helps to keep the complexion clear.

Go organic

Organic cosmetics are produced, manufactured and handled in line with stringent internationally recognised agricultural methods and are environmentally friendly. They tend to be free from preservatives, instead using essential oils, waxes and plant extracts. Most will have ingredients such as macadamia nuts, avocado and jojoba oils. Other ingredients include sage, aloe vera and witch hazel to combat skin impurities. There are organic foundations with chamomile, cucumber and calendula. You will also find organic lipsticks. Visit your beauty shop and ask for their organic range.

Embrace minerals

The latest beauty buzz is mineral make-up. You have heard of BareMinerals and Skin Loving Mineral Make-Up? As well as being all natural, it is excellent for sensitive and troublesome skins. Originally created for women recovering from cosmetic dermabrasion and chemical peels, mineral make-up sees standard powder ingredients substituted with natural minerals to minimise irritation. Mineral makeup gives great coverage without feeling heavy.

Mineral make-up is catching up so fast that mainstream beauty products are also adding minerals to the range. Some products use copper and magnesium to energise cells’ metabolism, while others are adding gemstones to their products. For example, sapphire added to a product helps clear up skin.