Caring for your skin, naturally

Protect the skin covering your body as you would the “skin” covering the planet you live on by making decisions to use natural skin-care products that don’t poison you – or the earth.

Ingredients in many commercial skin-care treatments contain toxins that, over time, will undermine the elasticity and balance of human skin just as they will corrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

The number of potentially harmful chemicals contained in skin-care products is quite high. When they’re applied and rubbed onto the skin they are quickly absorbed into the body.

Here’s a shortlist that may scare you:

* Aluminum can irritate skin and is linked with Alzheimer’s and lung disease.
* Preservatives BHA and BHT encourage the breakdown of vitamins, can cause lipid and cholesterol levels to rise, and are endocrine disruptors.
* Petroleums like Vaseline are carcinogenic, can cause acne and will actually dry out skin.
* Some colourants have been linked to cancer.
* Phthalates are carcinogenic endocrine disruptors that increase the risk of breast cancer, birth defects and allergies.
* And consider the popular preservatives parabens, which have been linked to cancer and problems with the male reproductive system.

Instead of applying a chemical soup, take the natural and gentle path to total skin care, choosing to use products sourced from organic herbs, roots, essential oils and flowers combined with naturally occurring carrier agents like handmade soap and pure water. Planet Organic Markets carry several quality natural skin care brands, including two of the best.

One of those is the Borlind line developed 60 years ago by Germany’s Annemarie Lindner, a pioneer in understanding the synergy herbs have in combination. Delicately selected and handled, her formulas are prepared straight from what’s in nature: unchlorinated spring water, avocado, calendula, chamomile, Echinacea, rosemary, sage, St. John’s Wort, plus oils of sesame, peanut, coconut, carrot, jojoba and macadamia nut, combined with vitamins and antioxidants. Borlind guarantees the purity and effectiveness of their herbal skin care products.

Another outstanding herbal skin care line is suki®, which is based on creating an equilibrium of natural pharmaceutical-grade ingredients immersed in 100 per cent pure, organic bases. Their biodynamic and food-grade ingredients (like lemon oil, grapeseed, and licorice root) work in unison with the body’s natural biological processes. Jojoba oil is a deep, natural moisturizer that gets down to skin cell and skin matrix levels, even destroying bacteria. Shea butter, which is also edible, is renowned as a moisturizer and emollient. Pomegranates and green tea are rich in age-fighting anti-oxidants.

Look for products, like Borlind and suki, that are not tested on animals and adhere to strict environmental policies, including low carbon emission, and low toxicity manufacturing and packaging.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and a mirror to your overall health. Eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise and drinking lots of water will do more for your skin than even the most exotic cosmetics. But carefully chosen skin care products can help you and your planet keep your healthy good looks!

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