Worldwide, the skin-care industry is worth an estimated $121 billion. People all across the globe are looking for the fountain of youth and the skin-care industry is more than happy to offer their products and services. Whether it’s your face, body or hands, there is a pill, potion, cream or surgery that claims to be your saving grace. But the question is, at what cost to your health?
We like to think that if a product is on the supermarket shelf, it has passed strict regulatory tests for safety. The sad reality is that the regulatory process for the “beauty” and “skin-care” industries, like many other big-money industries, is highly questionable to say the least. In the United States, there is no government organization that oversees or regulates what cosmetic companies are putting into their products.
So, the products you are purchasing and using on yourself and your family could very possibly contain chemicals that may disrupt the body’s hormonal and neurological systems, reproductive capabilities, as well as increase the risk of cancer.
The FDA’s website (www.fda.gov) states, “Neither the law nor FDA regulations require specific tests to demonstrate the safety of individual products or ingredients. The law also does not require cosmetic companies to share their safety information with FDA.”
As upsetting as it may be to find out many of the products on the store shelves may be toxic to your health, there are steps we can take to promote healthy skin, naturally! Here are five ways to support healthy skin and healthy bodies:
1. Support Your Kidneys
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs just below the rib cage that play a major role in the removal of our body’s lymphatic waste. When our kidneys are stressed and overworked, the body turns to the skin to help take some pressure off of our struggling kidneys. This may show up in the form of pimples, rashes or dandruff, among other things. A diet high in animal protein (such as meat and dairy products), added salt, white sugar and processed foods can be very stressful on our kidneys.
Other things like regularly taking pain-killers, sitting for long periods of time and smoking have all been shown to negatively affect our kidneys. Eating a variety of hydrating, fresh fruits and vegetables can help keep your kidneys healthy and your skin clear.
2. Support Your Adrenals
The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and play a major role in the healthy functioning of the body.
The adrenal glands produce neurotransmitters, steroids and hormones, which affects nearly all tissues within the body, including the kidneys and the skin. When the adrenal glands are over-stressed and burnt out, this can hinder the ability of the kidneys to filter out lymphatic waste as well as the peristaltic action of the colon to efficiently move waste out of the body.
Consistently elevated stress levels will increase free radical production which over time can increase the formation of wrinkles, sagging of the skin and other age-related issues. Fruits, melons, and especially berries are essential for supporting adrenal gland health.
Fill your plate with brightly colored, electrolyte and antioxidant-rich produce and leave out the meat and dairy products which increase free-radical production and contain hormones that can interfere with your own body’s hormone levels. Do everything you can to reduce and manage your stress levels, including getting sufficient sleep, laughter, aromatherapy and time in nature.
3. Keep Your Colon Clean and Regular
The colon is the hub of the body and as many health practitioners have proclaimed, health and disease begins in the colon. The colon has many jobs, one of them being to remove toxins and waste from the body.
When the colon is kept clean and elimination is regular, the entire body is able to function more efficiently. Whatever we don’t eliminate, we accumulate. So, if we are constipated and fail to remove the cellular and metabolic waste material that is generated daily, the colon will begin to reabsorb these toxins back into the body, which is a process known as autointoxication.
This condition is associated with headaches, joint pain, fatigue, skin disorders and much more. To reduce your chances of reabsorbing toxins back into your system, eat a whole foods plant-based diet, get plenty of physical activity, and stay hydrated through plenty of raw fruits, vegetables and pure water. Other things that I find to be helpful are enemas, colonics, herbs, and dry skin brushing.
4. Keep The Liver Happy
The liver can be thought of as the body’s chemical processing plant, located mostly on the right side of the body, under the diaphragm. The liver is responsible for countless tasks, including neutralizing toxins, purifying the blood, aiding in metabolism as well as the storage and distribution of nutrients.
When the liver is clean and healthy, it is able to efficiently handle its basic functions. However, when we continually expose the body to foreign synthetic chemicals, highly heated and processed fats, oils and proteins, and a stressful lifestyle, the liver can become overloaded and unable to cope with the workload.
When this happens, toxins can begin to build up in the body and we may begin to experience external warning signs such as itchy skin, rashes, acne, blemishes or brown spots on the skin. To keep the liver and skin clean and happy, avoid things like high fructose corn syrup, processed oils, cooked fats and proteins, and other junk foods.
Instead, eat fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, beets, cabbage, citrus fruits and bitter leafy leafy greens like arugula and dandelion.
5. Sweat and Keep The Pores Clean
Sweating has somehow become synonymous with dirty or stinky in this modern society. People have air conditioning in the homes, in their cars and in their offices that prevent their bodies from carrying out this very effective cleansing tool.
When the body sweats, it is able to release toxins such as mercury and bisphenol-A as well as other accumulated substances like excess salt, cholesterol and alcohol. Daily exercise, dry skin brushing and consuming plenty of hydrating, fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day are my favorite ways to keep my skin clean and my pores open.
Additionally, you can help the body in its attempt to remove unwanted substances by not clogging up the pores with lotions and other cosmetic products. The problem with many of these products is two-fold. First of all, they themselves usually contain toxic chemicals that are absorbed through the skin and increase the overall toxic load of the body. And secondly, these products can clog up the pores and prevent toxins from being removed from the body.
A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to putting anything on the skin is if you wouldn’t eat it; don’t put it on your skin.
Always follow your raw intuition,