What We Apply To Our Skin Matters: What To Avoid – What To Use

what we apply to our skin matters

Healthy Living Strategies Kuel Category Expert: Diana Devi

WARNING: Your skin care products can be aging you under the guise of hydrating your skin!

Our skin needs to be treated differently at different points in our lives. Most of us get serious about hydrating our skin in our 40s. There are two ways we can hydrate. One is internal, (what we eat and drink) and the other is external (what we apply to or skin). External hydration is just as important as what we drink for internal hydration.

What We Apply To Our Skin Matters:

What we apply to our skin can feed it, make it look radiant, OR it can make our skin look dull, wrinkled, irritated and even effect our bodies. Some lotions start out great but over time cause inflammation and irritation that will dull our skin, even exaggerate our wrinkles. Others may cause redness, or in some cases an acne-type reaction.

There are many different skin types and some are more sensitive than others. Regardless of your skin type there are general rules to guide our skin care regimen and purchases.

I want to know that what I am putting on my skin is going to hydrate it and will not be harmful to me in the short or long term.

It is important to approach what you put on your skin with the same awareness you have about what you eat. I use the same rules that I use for what I eat. If I don’t know what it is or can not pronounce it, I am really going to be cautious about putting it on my skin! Because, what we apply to our skin matters.

Where to start?

A common myth is that all anti-aging creams work the same way. Some may work, others can actually age your skin. That’s right, AGE your skin. Chemicals in these preparations can irritate your skin or cause inflammation in your body which ages your skin, face, and body.

Our skin, especially on our faces, is sensitive and can absorb moisture as well as chemicals. After all, we apply these to our skin so that the moisture will be absorbed to plump up our skin or to clear away those age spots. But what you may not realize is that other ingredients can be absorbed too.

Chemicals To Watch For And Avoid:

Parabens, perfumes (scents in general), phthalates and laurel sulfates and BHT, to name a few of the main offenders. These are traditionally used as preservatives.

Look for these in your creams, lotions, and your cosmetics.

Not sure if the chemicals in your makeup or skin care regimen are safe? Check out these two apps. I use them to check the safety of products before I buy them. You can download the apps on your phone so you have easy access when you are shopping.

1.Environmental Working Group (EWG):

This app contains information about chemicals in cosmetics , foods other products. This organization is on the forefront of collecting this type of information including chemicals in our food and water supply.

2. Think Dirty:  

Think Dirty has information on ingredients in personal care products. Can’t find the product on the app? You can also submit a product for review if you do not find it listed. Keep in mind there are so many new chemicals being introduced daily it may take a while for the product you submitted to be reviewed.

Both apps can give you recommendations of alternative products with fewer of the harmful chemicals.

Be Aware What You Put On Your Skin:

It is important to approach what you put on your skin with the same awareness you have about what you eat: I use the same rules for both. If I don’t know what it is or can’t pronounce it – I am cautious about putting it on my skin.

Many of the anti-aging creams contain ingredients to help with the absorption of moisture. This is great, BUT it can enhance the absorption of harmful chemicals. These chemicals can cause inflammation of the skin and other internal harm to our bodies. Inflammation is the body’s attempt to fight off what it considers an invader! Swelling, redness, other signs of irritation can happen where the cream or lotion is applied. If absorbed through the skin it can cause inflammation throughout our bodies.

This is compelling reason to keep ingredients that we use as natural as possible. Because what we apply to our skin matters.

4 Basic Rules To Follow In Your Skincare Products:

  1. Keep your hydrating skincare items simple look for fewer ingredients and know what’s in the product.
  2. Read the labels so you know what’s in your products. The basic rule, if you can’t pronounce it don’t use it. When in doubt consult one of the apps I have shared with you.
  3.  Look at the ingredients in the products in your home. Identify what you need to replace.
  4.  Make a schedule containing harmful chemical. It can be a bit overwhelming to throw out everything all at once!

What can you use on your skin?

We know what to not use, what should we use? Using oils obtained from food as a moisturizer and to preserve your skin is not new. I was in Greece last year and learned women in ancient Greece had tiny terra cotta jars containing different olive oils for different purposes. All were cosmetically related.

I rotate coconut, jojoba, and olive oil. Yep, coconut and olive oil, that I cook with that is organic and cold press virgin oil. I recommend five different oils that you can use. Remember you may use a different oil for your face than for your body. And you may want to use a different oil at different times of year.

These oils can be used straight:

  1. Almond oil (sweet)
  2. Avocado oil
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Olive oil
  5. Jojoba oil

With all of these oils, purchase only organic cold press. The reason for organic is pretty straight forward  – no chemicals in the growing process. The cold press means the oil was squeezed out rather than using chemicals to pull the oil out of the fruit or nut. This is one extra step to limit your chemical exposure.

All of these oils reduce inflammation in the skin, provide nutrients, and promote healthy glowing skin. If you do not tolerate eating one of these do not use that oil on your skin. It has to be ok to consume internally but not to forget, what we apply to our skin also matters.

Your skin should feel soft, moist, and vibrant, experiment to find one that feels the best for you!

Diana Devi Headshot

About the Author:

Diana is an empowerment coach for women over 50, building on her 30 years of experience as a clinical pharmacist and as an Argentine tango dancer. Diana’s goal is to help her clients become a W.H.I.P.  “A Woman, who is Hot, Intelligent and in her Prime at EVERY age. When Diana is not working with clients or on the dance floor she is training her cats, CleoCatra ( an Egyptian Mau) and D’Artagnan (a Savannah) while patiently waiting for the day she can travel around the world to dance tango again. You can checkout Diana on her website: An Ageless Life.