by Shannon Wintheiser
Some second grade trivia for ya: did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Our skin is one of the many physical wonders of the human body. It’s ability to protect, filter, eliminate, heal, and restore is amazing.
Did you also know that what you put on your skin matters just as much to your health and longevity as what you put in your mouth?! That’s a big statement, but think about it: your skin is made to both absorb things into the body, and release things out of the body.
Remember those nicotine patches people used to wear? Ever think about how they work? The nicotine absorbs right into the bloodstream straight through the skin. Same for progesterone creams, and any other topical medication. Hmmm. Now think about what you eat. The food you eat gets digested, broken down in the mouth by saliva, then acids in the stomach, then by more in the small intestine (aided by the liver) and only then is some of what you eat absorbed into the bloodstream via villi in the small intestine walls.
So if you want to protect that Radiant Bod from disease and keep it functioning and fabulous, you may want to take a peek into your beauty regimen...
What's in a Cream
25% of women put 15 or more products on everyday that contain proven cancer-causing ingredients1. So that means probably a much bigger % are using at least one product that is damaging their health, and shortening their lifespan. One is enough for me.
If you are interested in seeing just the most common toxic ingredients used in products, Mind Body Green has a great list and explanation of risks here. If you want to do due diligence on your own products, and get a more comprehensive view of ingredients and their risk level, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. (It’s a pretty cool resource!)
You may know that I’ve been researching and modifying my own beauty routine over the past year, and among other things I have tried no less than 5 different varieties of non-toxic deodorant (no joke). While it is easy and convenient to just head to Whole Foods to pick up your organic/non-toxic beauty products, I want you to know that you do have (less pricey) options!
My friend Amy at Create Your Eden enlightened me to some ahh-mazing homemade products made with Young Living Essential Oils, and not only are they simple to make, but they smell divine. I’ve been using the homemade deodorant, lip balm, and night cream for the past two weeks and loving every minute (and smelling quite nice as well). I couldn’t wait to share with you all these safe and fun alternatives - that don’t involve toxic chemical warfare in a jar.
Chocolate Mint Lip Balm
I’m smacking my lips as I write this because they taste like an Andes mint! Yum.
What You’ll Need:
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa butter
- 1 Tablespoon sweet almond oil
- 2 Tablespoons beeswax
- 25 drops of Young Living Peppermint oil (buy here)
- 12 lip balm tubes
- *a glass measuring cup with spout is super helpful but not necessary
Whip it Up:
- Take the tops off all lip balm tubes.
- Tie a rubber band around the tubes so they stand upright for better pouring. (Get prepared to pour quickly as the beeswax begins to harden as soon as it is removed from the heat.)
- Melt all ingredients (EXCEPT peppermint oil) in a double boiler (glass bowl over pan of boiling/simmering water. I use a glass measuring cup with a pour spout instead of a bowl)
- Remove from heat, and wait a few seconds
- Add peppermint oil and stir
- Pour evenly into lip balm tubes and wait a few minute to re-cap.
Why is this DIY lip balm better for you? In many regular lip balms and lip products, ingredients include: petroleum jelly, mineral oil, phenol, and other chemical colors and fragrances, all of which are either carcinogens, or can lead to kidney/liver damage.
*without aluminum, parabens, chemicals or propylene glycol
So I admit I was skeptical (my 5+ trials of non-toxic deodorant should be an indicator) but truly this stuff works! No smell coming from over here, thank you very much!
What You’ll Need:
- Baking soda
- Arrowroot starch powder (amazon or local health food store)
- Coconut oil
- Young Living Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) and Lavender (buy here)
Whip it Up:
- Mix equal parts baking soda and arrowroot starch powder.
- Melt coconut oil using double boiler method and add just enough of the coconut oil to liquefy the powders.
- Add essential oils to your preference. (If I ended up with a cup's worth of deodorant, I would add 10-20 drops of Young Living Essential Oil.)
Store in a glass container with lid. (I tried buying empty deodorant containers, but these did not work with the consistency of the recipe. It's best to just use an open container with a lid)
How to use:
Dip your fingers in and apply to your underarm. Rinse/wipe the excess from your fingers.
Why you want to ditch the Mitchum: most antiperspirant/deodorants contain aluminum, which disrupts normal hormone production and can lead to breast cancer. They also usually are made with parabens which are also hormone disruptors, and triclosan, which is a pesticide that reacts with water to produce chloroform gas (yes you read that right. Chloroform. Like what they use to drug Nancy Drew), among other nasties.
Night Wrinkle Cream
So luxurious, and blends right into your face without leaving you feeling super oily.
What You’ll Need:
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 8 drops Young Living Frankincense (buy here)
- 8 drops Young Living Lavender (buy here)
Whip it Up:
Whip until fluffy and store in glass container with lid.
The DL on what’s so dangerous about your average store-bought night cream:
- Emulsifiers: leave a residue on your skin, which can cause it to dry out and age faster
- Parabens: endocrine (hormone) disruptors which have also been linked to cancer tumors
- Polyethelyne, Polyethelyne Glycol (PEG), any word ending in “oxynol” or “eth”: all suggest presence of 1,4-dioxane, which the EPA lists as a human carcinogen (causes cancer).
So that’s the scoop y’all. Tell your friends, lovers and loved ones about the dangers lurking in these unregulated beauty products, and how the skin just soaks them all up like your mom used to soak up the sun (with tin foil and baby oil). So treat your skin like you would your newborn baby: only give it the very best, high quality stuff and lots of tender love and care :).
Ready to get started? Here’s a link to more info about the oils and how to order the ones specifically listed above in the recipes*. From the seeds that Young Living plants, to the cultivating, distilling, testing, and finally to the sealing of the bottle, these therapeutic-grade essential oils have really set the standard! Check ‘em out!
*These recipes have only been tested with Young Living brand essential oils
1Environmental Working Group (EWG) 2004 Product Survey