While I was doing my Detox Certification training earlier this year, I got a serious reality check. I was focusing a lot on what I was putting into my body via my diet and not enough on what I was putting on my body. I took one look at my shower shelf and knew that I had to make some changes.
Our skin is our largest organ and it consumes and eliminates just like we do. My detox mentor would repeatedly say that whatever you put on your skin, you should be able to eat because it absorbs everything. I know that many of you look at how safe the ingredients are on whatever food products you buy but when was the last time you looked on the back of your shampoo, shaving cream, foot scrub, facial wash, perfumed lotion…see what I’m getting at? If you can’t recognize the ingredients then it’s probably not a good idea to be putting it on your skin, plus many of these ingredients are known carcinogens (substances directly involved in causing cancer). There is hardly any government regulation when it comes to beauty product ingredients so buyer beware.
But here’s the good news, there is an easy fix for this. The trick to detoxing is to limit the number of toxins going in (and on) your body while proactively expelling them on a daily basis. Since my product detox started in my bathroom, I thought I would share three easy tips on how to detox your shower routine.
1. Get the Lotions/Potions Out : Do you really need shaving cream? Or that exfoliating scrub? Not really. I have become obsessed with Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Lavender Magic Soap. It’s replaced a ton of the products I used to use including: body wash, face wash, shaving soap, hand soap, etc. It’s a little pricey but worth it in the long run. The bottle claims that there are 18 different uses for it but I haven’t tried them all yet. You can use it to clean your house and even wash fruits and vegetables. I did try to wash my hair with it and that was sort of a disaster. My hair felt stringy and dry. I’m still searching for the safest shampoo. I currently use Kiss My Face products.
The best thing about Dr. Bronner’s ingredients is that they are all natural and have a rating of 1 (1 being the least toxic, 5 being the worst) on the EWG (Environmental Working Group) SkinDeep scale, a not-for-profit organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals and corporate accountability.
Bonus Tip: You must download EWG’s SkinDeep App like right now. It’s the best App to find safe and natural products. All you have to do is scan the barcode of your favorite brand and its rating will pop up along with the ingredient list. It’s so easy and fun to use.
2. Brush your skin: Now that we’ve cleaned house with the harmful chemicals, let’s start to detox! Our body is made up of a bunch of cells and two fluids: blood and lymph. Unlike your blood that is pumped throughout your body by your heart, the lymph fluid has to ‘pumped’ through stimulation such as deep breathing, exercising and dry brushing. The lymphatic system is the body’s draining system, responsible for eliminating toxins and cellular waste. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease.
How to dry brush: Before you shower, use a natural bristle brush and start from the feet and work your way up the body in circular, upward motions towards your heart. Your back is the exemption, brush from the neck down to the lower back. Be cautious of sensitive skin around the chest and breasts and never brush over inflamed skin (sun-burnt, sores, etc). Next (during your shower) alternate between hot and cold temperatures to further invigorate the skin and stimulate the blood circulation. Lightly towel off and moisturize with…
3. Cuckoo for Coconut (Oil): Up until recently, coconut oil was seen to be the enemy due to its saturated fat content, but new studies have found that the type of fat in coconut oil is actually beneficial and could aid in resisting bacteria, increasing thyroid function and normalizing blood sugar. It’s also an incredible moisturizer. After I dry brush and shower, I take a few minutes and moisture my skin with coconut oil (add a few drops of lavender oil for a complete sensory experience). The next day your skin will feel incredibly smooth and hydrated. And the best part of all is that it's all natural (try to use organic, unrefined coconut oil).
For all of those products that you ditched in step one, coconut oil can help you reintroduce them in different and safer ways. I wrote a previous post with a great chart showing 17 different beauty uses for coconut oil (you can check it out here).
With this weekend being a long weekend, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to download the SkinDeep app, get rid of some harmful products and start anew. Do some personal inventory and reflection on what you really need to use each day. Take some time to love the skin you’re in and treat it well. But also have fun with it.