People often ask me why or how I got into the natural skin care life style, truth is it was something that grew slowly. I moved to New York at age 20 and started working in a beauty supply store right in the middle of the city. I studied the products and all the benefits they claimed they would have and as an employee I enjoyed a 50% discount which was the most exciting thing ever so I went down the rabbit hole. I got everything I could to make my skin nice and hydrated and later to get rid of oil and shine, then to brighten up my complexion and then to fight irritation. It was an endless problem and the more I put on the worst my skin got. I never really struggled with acne or other skin or hair irritations or problems when I was in Guatemala and with that in mind I started to slowly pay close attention to what I was putting on my skin.
Everything took a giant turn when I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids which are fairly common except that mine were specially aggressive and symptomatic. I did tons of research and realized that although I couldn't blame my condition on something specific I learned that everything in my beauty stash was filled with Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC's), these interfere with the production, balance, transfer, breakdown and elimination of hormones.
It is widely known now that exposure to these chemicals affect our bodies and can lead to several health issues like thyroid imbalances, adrenal imbalances, weight gain, estrogen dominance, infertility, diabetes and certain types of cancer. The worst part of this?! we are putting these all over the largest organ in our body, our skin.
I quickly understood that not only it was important to take a second look at what I was putting in my body but also on it, and so I decided to go back to basics, go back to my roots, ask my mom and grandmother their beauty secrets, research, educate myself and work to better my health inside and out. Simple clean ingredients that are naturally sourced, effective, gentle and most importantly non-toxic.
So what now?!
My skin is mostly consistent and problem free, I keep a healthy routine drink lots of water and most importantly I read labels carefully and although I don't believe in perfect choices (I still haven't found a perfect natural mascara) I do believe in better choices. Here is a list of ingredients to avoid and where are they often found. Stay tune for a more detailed report on these.
BHA and BHT: preservatives in moisturizers and makeup.
Formaldehyde: nail polishes, hair dye and some shampoos.
Fragrance: The trickiest of them all found in almost any beauty products, a "fragrance" can be a mixture of pretty much anything synthetic they can trigger allergies and asthma and have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
Parabens (Propyl-, Isopropyl-, Butyl- and Isobutyl-): Suspected endocrine disruptor commonly found in beauty and hair products, used a preservative.
Siloxanes: or ingredients ending in "methicone" used to hydrate and smoothen skin and hair it is a suspected endocrine disruptor.
As always take some time to do some research on your own and start detoxing and cleaning up your beauty routine.