Why a non-toxic daily skin care routine is important!
Hello and welcome! As always I’m so grateful you found your way to Salt + Honey + Sage! If you read our story or our blog post on our journey through mold you know I became intolerant to most chemicals and fragrances. This started me down the path to changing out most of the items in our home to non-toxic alternatives. Since our skin is our largest organ and highly absorbent, it was even more important to me that anything I was using daily on my face and body be organic and non-toxic. Also, as I transitioned from my 20's to my 30's, I started researching what was most beneficial long term for daily skin care. The three things that always come up across the board were a good cleanser, toner and moisturizer! I've been using this trio both morning and night each day for almost a year and I've seen great results so far.
Where to learn more about non-toxic beauty products.
In recent years green beauty seems to have really taken off and there are finally a lot more options for people looking for cleaner skin care and make up. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of "green washing" that goes on and products that aren't all that good are marketed in ways that are misleading. Two of my favorite trusted resources for all non-toxic products for your body, hair and home are Suzi at Gurl Gone Green and Lisa at This Organic Girl. After the last 3 years they are the most honest, trusted resources I've found plus they both have a great price range of product info along with tons of green living lifestyle posts as well! Now onto the cleanser, toner and moisturizer combo I've found works the best for my skin as a daily routine.
Ok - first, a little bit of knowledge about our skin that I never knew before and it's made a world of a difference on how I view soap in general. Thanks goes out to Dr. Courtney at Dr. Courtney Kahla for this information! Go check her out, her website and Instagram are a wealth of knowledge and I'm so grateful I stumbled onto her account one day! I'm going to quote some of her info on soap use for our face/body and how it damages our skin here:
"First things first: soap was never intended to be used for maintenance, rather, it was a way to get rid of dirt and mud that had caked onto your skin from a long day of working outdoors. somewhere along the way, using soap became a daily ritual (this can probably be explained by marketing) to the point where it seems odd not to use it. As you rotate between your house, office, restaurants, and the gym, you’re never really getting dirty (unless you’re running a spartan race). sweat rinses off with just water, I promise. Constantly using soap weakens your skin’s ability to handle infections on its own. WE ARE AN ECOSYSTEM! you’re stripping away the oil and denying your body the good stress of foreign bacteria. When I stopped using soap, my body went through a transition where it was overproducing oil because it was so used to it being stripped away by soap on a consistent basis. Now, I truly don’t battle with the dry skin issues I used to face because my skin is moisturizing itself with an appropriate amount of oil. I don’t stink because there’s a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria. I also have clearer skin on my face and body because the good bacteria helps fight off the acne-causing bad guys."
She was introduced to Aleavia skincare and recommends it because it doesn't use soap. It gently cleanses while also restoring balance to the exterior ecosystem on our body. I absolute love their facial cleanser and body wash. To me, the face wash smells like a crisp Riesling wine and the body wash a relaxing lavender. The face wash usually lasts about 3 months for me, the body wash lasts about a month. I can order both on amazon and the price is great!
After trying many toners I always go back to this one. It's cost effective, I can buy it on amazon and it usually last 1-2 months (depending on if my littles want sprays too each morning/night) and has a soothing gentle scent. A toner is basically a fast-penetrating liquid that gives your skin a boost of hydration while removing dead cells. It can deliver anti-inflammatory agents + nutrients to the skin depending on what else is in the toner and is also a "prep" for your pores. It restores your skin to it's naturally acidic pH and makes your skin better able to absorb your moisturizer. Some of the benefits of using this organic rose water as a toner are: it's skin-care/food/therapeutic/dermatology grade, stimulates skin regeneration, rejuvenating, softening and moisturizing. Rose water also helps maintain sebum production within the normal limits. There are so many other benefits along with other uses for rose water. If you'd like to learn more about its benefits and alternative uses + how to make your own, Katie from Wellness Mama has this wonderful post about them - go check it out!
I found out from puberty on that my skin was very acne prone and oily. I tried everything from over the counter products, proactive and even dermatology prescribed medical creams. I didn't realize at the time that cleaning up my diet, healing my gut and making sure not to use too thick of a moisturizer would make such a difference. If you would have told me then that I'd use an oil as my moisturizer I would've thought you were crazy. But my skin has never felt better or had less break outs since switching to an oil as my daily moisturizer go to product.
Facial oils that have been processed safely are full of the benefits from the plants they're sourced from (which are usually very high in natural minerals and antioxidants) and they readily accept fat-soluble nutrients from anything they're steeped in, giving you a protective moisturizer along with replenishing vital nourishment for your skin. Facial oils also help plumb, firm and provide a powerful defense against aging. They are easily absorbed and prevent excess sebum oil by regulating your skins moisture content, which decreases blemishes and acne while still being very hydrating.
You also want any skin care products to be low in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids). They have an incomplete hydrogen bond so they oxidize (combine with oxygen when exposed to heat and light) very easily. Since our bodies are warm it's the perfect environment for oxidation to occur, which wreaks havoc in our cells, one of the problems being free radical cascades. Once set in motion, a free radical cascade goes on to damage normal, previously undamaged lipids. Basically - wearing skin products high in PUFA, especially while out in the sun, can not only damage your skin and increase signs of aging but also potentially increase your risk for skin cancer. If you'd like to learn more check out this post by Kyla at A Life Adjacent.
Treat Yourself is one of the cleanest and lowest PUFA containing skincare lines I've come across. This chamomile and rosehip beauty nectar moisturizing oil has a very mild herbal scent, completely absorbs or "soaks in" within minutes so there's no oily residue or "feel", works as a perfect primer under makeup and a bottle lasts 2-3 months since you only need a few drops. It also works fantastic with acne prone or sensitive skin types. Treat Yourself also has multiple collections for all different skin types!
Let me know how these products work for you!
I just wanted to mention that none of these are affiliate links or promotions. These are just my favorite go to's after a lot of trial and error. Every one's skin is so unique it can be hard to find what works just right for you. But I hope you were able to find the resources you need in this post to build your perfect green, non-toxic daily skin care routine! Leave a comment or send an email with your experiences or any questions!