Holistic Skin Care

by Celeste Nelson

We’re done with toxic trends!

When you step foot in your local pharmacy, what kind of shopper are you? Are you the I-love-all-products-signed-by-celebrities type? The gimme-whatever’s-on-sale type? The if-it-says-it-on-the-bottle-it-must-be-true type? Or the I-need-to-buy-this-now-because-it-smells-so-good type? Read on to become the I’m-smart-about-what-I-buy type. 

So many of us struggle to strike a balance with the way we care for our bodies and particularly, our skin. When you look at a person’s face, the quality of one’s skin says a lot. It may say that you’re eating too much sugar, or not drinking enough water, or maybe you have money for weekly facials, or your schedule allows for regular and sound sleep. And that’s where beauty products come in—to compensate for whatever you have too much or too little of. But what does our skin actually need?

Skin is self-regulating

The skin is a living organ with a natural ability to self-regulate. You hear it all the time. We all have that friend who puts virtually nothing on his skin, yet it glows. Meanwhile someone with acne religiously uses so-called acne-fighting skin care products and the problem persists. It’s all about the notion of self-restauration where the skin, when left alone, is at its best.

Beauty care standards

It’s interesting to note that Canada does not have any regulations concerning cosmetic skin care products and any company can place the words “organic” or “natural” on product packaging without upholding any industry standards. The pharmacy is overloaded with “natural”, “organic”, “herbal” beauty fixes to solve all our skin problems from excess sebum to eczema, dryness, a flakey scalp, brown spots, white spots, redness, small eyes, puffy eye bags, thin lips, brittle nails, smelly feet, a dull complexion and the list goes on.

When making choices, it’s best to avoid preservatives, synthetic fragrances or dyes and favour medicinal plant extracts, tinctures, essences, high-quality waxes and oils. Beauty products that uphold high standards of quality can truly help the skin find balance when diet and/or external environments disrupt its natural ability to heal.

You can look for the BDIH or the Cosmebio seals (found more on European brands). A natural cosmetic that meets BDIH or Cosmebio standards has no genetic modification, uses natural raw materials from controlled cultivation and has low ecological impact. 

What’s in this bottle anyways?

How to know which products are safe? Which ones really do what they promise to do? I think that depends on how deep you’re willing to consider your consumer choices. According to Annie Leonard’s short film, The Story of Cosmetics, women in the US use an average of 12 personal care products daily and men use around 6. Imagine how much unnecessary toxins our skins are absorbing—so many different chemicals we know nothing about!

Smart choices can be made easier with Think Dirty—a Toronto-made mobile app that allows you to scan personal care products and find out exactly what’s in them and their levels of carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicities.

Some recommended brands to try out include:

Dr. Hauschka Skin Care

Weleda

Green Beaver

Couleur Caramel

Celeste Nelson
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Celeste Nelson

With big love for the ocean, forests and mountains, Celeste seeks to find balance between work and play. She runs Moonlight Writing, a written corporate communications agency with offices wherever the wind takes her. On her free time, she works with kids, researches on new educational models for the youth and happily writes to spark conversation around what it means to lead a more balanced life where body and mind coalesce.

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