Now that I am less than a year away from 30, I have completely changed the way I think about my skin- and skin care products. In an effort to look my best on my wedding day, I have revamped my routine over the past few months in an effort to achieve hydrated, glowing skin. While I don’t know if the casual observer would notice a difference, I certainly have. My skin looks clearer, brighter and toned.
Up until the age of 26 or so, I didn’t give one thought to skin products. I’m fortunate to genetically have pretty good skin, free of blemishes and fairly even in tone. Up until out of grad school, my motto was the cheaper the better. I had no problem using discount products on my skin, forgetting to wash my make-up off at night and forgoing any type of real moisturizer.
Then I saw America the Beautiful (and my first wrinkle!) and my tune completely changed. For the past few years, I have really tried to remove the following ingredients from all of my beauty purchases: phthalates, parabans, BHA, and fragrance. These ingredients are bad news and can actually make your skin look worse. Thankfully, there are some amazing products on the market now that make picking and choosing so much easier. And, since I will be getting married on Friday, I wanted to share with you my wedding day skin prep products and a few thoughts on healthy skin.
First up, the products:
1. Runway Ready by HUM Nutrition: I can’t get enough of this supplement. Made from Black Currant Oil (high in GLA and ALA) and biotin, Runway Ready is designed for glowing skin, healthier hair and stronger nails.
2. PURE restorative hair treatment mask I use this 1-2X a week. My hair feels so silky and smooth afterwards!
3. NARS toner Finally, a toner that doesn’t leave my face feeling dry afterwards! I also use this on my lips to get rid of any dry flakes.
4. Honest Body Oil I may forgo body lotion all together after using this body oil for the last few months. It hydrates my skin without feeling greasy.
6. Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Concentrate Serum I never realized the power of a serum until I started using this product. I noticed a definite improvement after about a week. I use this almost nightly, under my moisturizer.
7. Paula’s Choice AHA treatment AHA, alpha-hydroxy-acid, has been show to help with fine lines, irregular pigmentation, and age spots. While I don’t suffer from these things now, I do have some noticeable sun spots on my nose and cheeks, thanks to years living at the beach and summers worshiping the sun. I use this produce 2-3X a week.
Whether you choose these or other products, be on the lookout for the below chemicals and avoid where you can.
Parabens: These synthetic chemicals appear to mimic estrogen when absorbed in the body. While it’s not proven, paraben use has also been linked to breast cancer- yikes! Whether it’s true or not, I don’t want to take my changes and avoid this chemical wherever possible. On ingredient lists, parabens also go by ethylparaben, butylparaban, methylparaban and polyparaben.
Phthalates: According to the World Health Organization, phthalates can throw your hormones out of wack, increasing risk of pregnancy complications to some types of cancer. Crazy right? These are found in many of beauty products, including nail polishes.
Fragrance: An irritant to all skins, this one is a bit harder to avoid than others. Look for sensitive skin labels as they are more likely to be fragrance-free than other products. Phthalates can also show up in synthetic fragrance, another reason to avoid.
BHA:The official name, Butylated Hydroxyanisole is a preservative added to keep bacteria from spoiling the product. Sounds fine, but just like parabens, BHA appears to be an endocrine disruptor.
Unfortunately, many of the natural, nasty-chemical free products are more expensive than their drug-store counterparts. For the most part, the concerns are enough to make me opt for a nicer product, even if it costs a bit more. Thankfully, this is a fight that we can help change. I truly believe the more that consumers demand products free of these chemicals, the more options we will have- at every price point.
Did I miss any other nasty chemicals? Share below so we can add to the list!
Curious how your current skin-care products rate? Check the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to find out.