Treat Yourself to a Superfoods Spa
Did you know that your skin is a “breathable” organ? Up to 60% of what you apply topically on your skin will be absorbed into your bloodstream within 26 seconds.
Imagine that products you’ve been using for years actually contain harmful ingredients and could damage your health. If so, your first instinct would be to find a healthier alternative right away. Heightened awareness and potential dangers have caused consumers to take a closer look at what they put on their skin and demand safer alternatives.
Many cosmetic companies do NOT list their ingredients, aka toxic chemicals, because they are not required to do so. Several of these toxic chemicals are linked to a host of problems including: allergies, skin rashes, cancer, headaches, fertility and reproductive issues, birth defects, hormone inhibitors, and more.
Some toxic chemicals that should be avoided:
- Parabens – often found in deodorants and moisturizers, parabens are hormone inhibitors and believed to accelerate tumor growth
- Artificial fragrance and color – may trigger allergies, asthma, and some colors contain lead and harmful dyes
- Toulene – found in nail polish, hair color products, and some fragrances, this chemical is linked to kidney and liver damage, which may affect fetal growth
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate – a foaming agent found in shampoos and body/facial washes, it dries out the skin and is linked to eczema, hair- loss, rashes, and dry and scaly skin.
- Formaldehyde – used as a preservative, formaldehyde is known by several different names and should be avoided at all costs, as the side effects are numerous
- PEG’s – found in numerous skin and personal care products, this is anti-freeze and should be used in for your car, not your skin!
- Paraffin/Mineral Oil/Petrolatum – clogs pores, causing toxic build-up
- Phthalates – found in plastics, it is a known hormone disruptor
- Triclosan – used in anti-bacterial products, it is a pesticide, harmful to the environment, and a suspected carcinogenic
- Sunscreens – Google some of those ingredients and you will see that they cause possible damage to DNA and many are known carcinogens
Of course, there are more, but you get the point. If you wouldn’t EAT it, it doesn’t belong on your SKIN.
You can look up what’s in your skin care by visiting one of my favorite sites: http://www.ewg.org
But just because you remove these harmful products and ingredients doesn’t mean you stop taking care of yourself. Indulge in these superfood, super natural treatments instead of products laden with chemicals.
For your face:
Avocado Banana Face Mask
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Banana
- 1 small container of plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Apply to face, allow 15 minutes to sit. Rinse with warm water. This mask makes your skin glow. LOVE it!
- 1 cup olive oil
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
Whisk the two oils together and spread over your face. This soaks right in and leaves no oily residue.
For your body:
Brown Sugar Lemony Body Scrub
Lemon is a natural disinfectant that will open and cleanse those clogged pores.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it turns into a malleable paste. Apply to moist skin in circular motion using fingertips to aid in exfoliation. Rinse with warm water.
Oatmeal and Brown Sugar Body Scrub
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ground oatmeal
- 1 cup olive oil
Mix all ingredients into a malleable paste. Use as body scrub on hands, feet, face especially. Can be used on entire body, as well. If paste is not wet enough, add more olive oil until desired texture. This works wonders!! I get so many raves over this one.
Finger Food Manicure
- 5 Grapes (red ones have more antioxidants)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
Slide grapes in half. Dip fleshy side of grape into sugar and use it to massage skin around each nail (one halved grape per finger) for about 30 seconds each. Brush away excess sugar with soft towel, dab hand cream onto cuticles.
Treat Your Feet
- 2 Tablespoons of Cornmeal
- 1 Tablespoon of Mashed Banana
Stir cornmeal and banana together until evenly blended. Massage paste all over feet, working into calluses for about 30 seconds, or until skin feels smooth. (Cornmeal exfoliates and has antifungal properties.
For your hair:
Banana Hair Mask
- 2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
Mix ingredients together and apply to damp hair. Massage each strand, hair and roots to ensure complete coverage. Cover hair with a shower cap or cling wrap and leave it in for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo and condition normally.
Replace Conditioner with Vinegar *
To get rid of the usual problems with hair: build up, dullness and just lackluster, replace your conditioner with vinegar 1-4 times a month, depending on your hair type. Use it as you need it. Just common white vinegar will do the trick.
Olive Oil as Hair Moisturizer *
Simply cover your hair in olive oil and leave it in for 30-45 minutes
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her website and Facebook page.