Count your Cosmetics
According to the Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 12 commercial cosmetic products containing 168 different ingredients, every single day.
The FDA has no authority to regulate safety of any of those ingredients or products, unless the active ingredients are officially considered to be an “over-the-counter drug.” And over 500 ingredients used in these products are banned in Japan, Canada or the EU. We have all these assumptions about the safety of what we put on our faces and bodies and hair, and a lot of those assumptions really need reexamining.
So…what do you use on your face, body, and hair every day? How many different products? Where do you get them? What is in them? How long is the ingredient list?
I have over the past few years cut way back on my cosmetic use. I have some makeup that I wear for performance occasions when to do otherwise would look unprofessional, but most of the time I go bare-faced. My moisturizer is a little bit of sweet almond oil scented with essential oils, and about two drops are enough for my arms, hands, and face. My deodorant is likewise homemade, consisting of a mixture of baking soda and cornstarch with odor-fighting essential oils. I do use standard over-the-counter shampoo and conditioner, but I’ve managed to cut my hair-washings to every other day; on alternate days I use a homemade dry shampoo made of–ready? this is complicated–cornstarch and a little essential oil to give it a nice smell. On the off-days, I also sometimes use a little commercial hairspray. But that’s really about it.
If learning any of that about me grosses out my friends, well…unless you’ve wondered why I smell weird or go around with greasy hair all the time (I don’t, and I don’t, although the strategic ponytail has been my ally on more than one occasion), it shouldn’t.
When I want to do a little more, I consult Crunchy Betty, and use one of her recipes for a moisturizing facial mask, bath soak, or my own hot oil hair treatment...these are awesome when I have the time. It’s all on her blog, but she also has a Kindle-available or downloadable pdf book with a bunch of her recipes too…I highly recommend it, her, and everything she has to say. (After all, why not use stuff you already have in your kitchen, stuff that’s natural and whole and safe and edible, to take care of your skin?) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Mocha-Frappucino Face Mask. Do it. Your pores will thank you.
I swear in those few years since I stopped buying all that expensive crap my skin is looking younger than it did before, and last month a 19 year old swore I couldn’t be a day over 30. (I’m…a few days over 30. We’ll leave it at that.)
So…anyone ready to take the “food on your face” challenge? Toss out those bottles of unpronounceable things, save a pretty significant amount of money every month, and have even nicer skin and hair than you did before?