Today I’m sharing a guest post from Cheryl from Honesty For Your Skin. I’ve been chatting with Cheryl about natural skincare and I knew Wholeheartedly Healthy readers would be just as interested as I am! Over to Cheryl…
Choosing great skincare is a lot like choosing great food. The secret is played out in that teeny-tiny ingredient print on the back label. Will it have added sugar? Will your yogurt coated raisins instead be white chocolate drenched?… and what about pre-prepared soup – just how much salt will you find?
Have you been through this?
Have you recently spring cleaned your diet and are wondering how to do the exact same thing to your beauty closet?
Are you ready to rock it? Yes really – because at the end of these 5 steps you’ll be well on your way to creating a healthful skincare routine that stands the test of time.
Sure – there’s always more to learn. But these 5 steps will form unshakable foundations for better, life-long self-care.
Promise made. Now let’s dive in to number 1.
The Over Cleanse Warning
Alarm bells ringing. Sirens switched on. Intruder alert. All this fuss for a skincare staple that spends less than 5 minutes on your skin. In reality those 5 minutes can cause more changes than the ever-left-on moisturiser you’re using afterwards.
See, cleansers, especially ones that foam are full of very strong soap-like ingredients. Technically named ‘surfactants’ these cleansing actives are able to dissolve both oil and water. That’s the smart part – not many ingredients can do that. If you’ve homemade balsamic vinegar, you’ll know what I mean.
Sodium lauryl sulphate is the most widely used cleansing active and it’s very, very good at washing stuff away. So good in fact, it can also wash away a good ol’ portion of your skin’s natural oils. However, its business with your skin doesn’t stop there, oh no. Most strongly cleansing washes also have a pH a lot greater than your skin. pH is that red to purple scale from 0-14 that tells you whether something’s going to sting like lemon or alkalize like baking soda. Your skin sits at pH 4.2-5.5, strong cleansers sit far above this.
When both of these changes occur your skin barrier is weakened. The result – dry, tired, dull and sensitive skin.
So what do you do? Unless you’re secretly working a coal mine at night, all you really to do is cleanse once a day during your evening routine.
The bottom line: Cleanse once a day… and switch out face washes for mild cleansers (I’ll show you how in number 4).
Use a Zinc Oxide Sun Cream Daily
Sun cream adverts paint a lovely picture of the perfect times to use sun cream. The times where you have a pina colada in one hand, a hunky man to your other and hell – a palm waving Grecian overhead.
This is a very important time to wear sun cream… but there’s also another 355 other very important times.
UV light is split into 2 kinds – UVB and UVA. UVB light causes sunburn. UVA light causes wrinkling and collagen loss. UVB light is strongest in summer. UVA light is the same strength all year round.
These simple facts mean all healthful skincare routines always contain a broad-spectrum, SPF 30 or greater sun cream.
Now there’s a lot of hoo-ha about chemical sunscreen ingredients. Worries that they’re found in our blood stream, worries that they cause sensitisation and photo allergic reactions. The safest of all sun protecting ingredients is a physical instead of chemical sun shield and it goes by the name of zinc oxide. If you’re looking to cleanse your beauty closet, this is the kind of sun cream you should be using all year round.
Want a quick peek at my recommended best? Be sure to download my free list of healthful skincare staples here.
The bottom line: Protect against premature ageing with a daily zinc oxide based sun cream.
Remove highly scented products from your routine
I’m going to let you in on a secret – skincare really shouldn’t be fragranced. That means no parfum and no essential oils. Now that’s a hard thing to come by, so a more realistic way to create a healthful skincare routine is to remove all highly scented products. If it transports you to a Moroccan hammam it’s time to reassess buying it again.
Fragrance, parfum and essential oils are very well known sources of irritants, sensitisers and contact allergens. If you’ve ever seen Linalool, Limonene or Citral on the end of an ingredients list, you’ve used skincare with known allergens. Formulators don’t add these in (now, that would be silly ‘eh) instead they’re naturally contained within fragrance ingredients and by EU law have to be listed out separately to make users or lovers of their skincare aware.
The more highly scented products you use, the more likely you are to develop sensitivity, dryness or even eczema later in life.
The bottom line: Skin is the largest organ you have, take care of it best by eliminating highly scented skincare.
Switch foaming products for low foaming creams
The kind that form teeny, tiny, can-hardly-be-seen bubbles. When products foam quickly and passionately, it’s a strong sign they contain a large dose of soap like surfactant ingredients.
Great for days when you’ve spent a hard day mud wrestling, less helpful for days when you’re mostly in the company of 4 walls and a roof.
Strongly cleansing ingredients are like those few select vegetables you’re not really sure you like. You should only use, or in vegetable world – eat them, when you really, really need to.
Dry, squeaky, sensitive, irritated, itchy and flaky skin are reliable signs your skincare routine houses too many foaming cleansers.
The bottom line: Switch shower gels for shower creams, switch bubble bath for bath oils, switch face wash for cream, balm or oil cleansers.
Separate your skin from alcohol
Some skincare products are set on persuading your skin to the bar. Traditionally toners were made almost solely from alcohol. It gave beauty lovers that feeling of tight, taught skin. A feeling that was convincing of flattening wrinkles and shrinking pores. We now know alcohol in skincare does neither of these. Instead it dissolves your skin’s natural oils like kitchen cleaner does pan grease.
Without natural oils, skin becomes, dry, dull, tired and extremely vulnerable to allergic reactions.
Now not everything that ends in ‘– ol’ on an ingredients list is a bad alcohol. Some are fatty alcohols which are great for skin. Want to avoid just the bad ones? Then this simple list of 3 is exactly what to watch for:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- SD alcohol
The bottom line: Alcohol works against your skin’s natural biology. To create a healthful skincare routine, be sure to avoid it.
There you have it ladies, 5 quick and simple steps to begin cleansing your beauty closet to clean, natural and healthful. If you haven’t already, grab a copy of my free list of healthful skincare staples by clicking here, this 1-page list will help begin your cleanse in the simplest way possible. Have questions? Leave them for me in the comments below. Stay beautiful dear friend.