Thursday, January 14, 2010

Loving the Skin You're In

A week or so ago, I went on this rant on Twitter about going bra-less, squatting, basically taking better care of ourselves. All the RTs and agreements I got made me decided to blog about this stuff. People blog about relationships and what not all the time. I think we're all tapped out on the relationship advice. Hopefully, you will enjoy this approach and have fun with me. I will work hard at providing research for everything. Let's go!

Goddesses & kings, do you know what you are putting on your bodies?! The soaps, shampoos, and moisturizers may smell heavenly but are they good for you? Is it really softening your skin or imbalances your hormones? Trust, there is not enough time in the day to break down every chemical in the skincare products we buy so I'll touch on two; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Mineral Oil.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is a muhfuggin' trip!!! This ingredient is found in most of the body washes and shampoos on the market. Bet you didn't know it's a main ingredient in engine degreasers, car wash soaps, and garage floor cleaners. SLS is one of the most dangerous ingredients in skin care because the isht is corrosive... CORROSIVE!!! For real, you're using engine degreaser to wash your yoni! No wonder vaginitis & yeast infections pop up. SLS is used in lab testing to irritate the skin of animals and humans. The skin is an organ, people. It is our first line of defense against anything that can harm us. If SLS is stripping the skin or it's natural, protective oils, what's going to protect us? In shampoos, SLS strips and attacks the hair follicle causing hair loss! And here's the kicker... when SLS combine with some of the other chemicals in our body washes and what not, it can form Nitrates, a cancer-causing carcinogenic.

Now mineral oil... This is found in baby oil, lotions, creams, etc. and it is something else we should leave alone. Mineral oil is what is left over from gasoline. Oh... Yes... That stuff you're rubbing on yourself and child is what you put in your car. It is expensive to dispose of and since it can't be dumped into the earth they package it and sell it to us to dump on our skin. As I said before, the skin is our first line of defense and absorbs just about everything we put on it. Our skin can't process mineral oil so it sends it to the liver where it cannot be processed again so it gets stored as fat. This creates hormonal imbalances. Dermatitis, skin infection, is also caused by mineral oil. Absorption of excessive mineral oil deprives the body of essential vitamins and clogs the pores. It's not healthy, no matter how good it smells.

So what are some awesome substitutes? Coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, cocoa & shea butters.

Coconut oil is off the meter. The brand picture can be found at Walmart. This wonderful oil aids in weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion, and balancing cholesterol levels. With regular massage into the scalp, coconut oil can free you of dandruff, promote healthy hair growth, and give your strands a beautiful shine as well as load it with essential proteins. I use this directly after the shower while the skin is still open. The coconut scent lingers and who doesn't want to smell edible?! P.S. Coconut oil can be used as a lube... future blog.

Olive oil is another awesome oil. It prevent stretch marks and seal water into the skin. On the hair, olive oil prevents split ends. It is a natural anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Olive oil is also a great source of vitamin E. The best oils to get are the Virgin or Extra Virgin "cold pressed" oils when it comes to coconut and olive oils. Pompeian, pictured, can also be found at Wally World.

Jojoba(ho-ho-ba) oil mimics the sebum (oil) we naturally produce very closely. So when used on the face (one drop is more than enough), it balances the production of oil helping to calm and prevent breakouts. Who would've thought, oil to help fight acne! YES!!! The anti-bacterial properties also make jojoba oil great for the face. Jojoba oil can penetrate the hair effectively and treat dry skin & eczema. This brand I found at Whole Foods. I have oily skin and get breakouts but with this in the morning and shea butter at night my skin is a lot calmer.

Cocoa butter, your mother told you about. It fades scars and stretch marks. But did you know it's an immune booster? Cocoa butter also relieves tired, achy muscles.

SHEA BUTTER!!! This wonderful product from God diminishes wrinkles and promotes cell regrowth. It increases circulation to the skin and is a natural sunscreen. It has anti-microbial properties stopping bacteria & fungi and will not clog the pores. Natural shea butter has a nutty scent.

When buying any of these products, find the most untouched version on the market. Palmer's cocoa butter is a NO NO! All of those additives kill the butters or oils. A good jar or cocoa butter or shea butter can be found at any African retailer or Whole Foods. Prices will vary but it's worth it and the jars last FOREVER!!!
I'm checking on natural fragrances. Soaps can be found at Whole Foods or check the Natural Beauty isle at Walmart or Target. Take small steps, goddesses. Your body will love you for it. Trust me.
Next blog: Drop Down and Get Your Eagle On... (lol)