let's talk about skin.

happy monday morning, friends! 
if you can't guess from the title of this post, today i'd love to talk about skin. i'm not talking color here--i'm talking the actual health of our skin. 
keeping your skin healthy is more important than i thought. in the past 2 years (and after watching films like Food Inc.), the way i view food has drastically changed, resulting in my consumption of less processed foods, more organic fresh produce, less meats, and other safer choices. it feels great to know that i am limiting the amount of chemicals i ingest and my health has seen gains. 

but that's where my switch to organic stopped. when it comes to my shampoo and conditioner, my sanitary items and makeup products, i'm not actively pursuing the organic or safer options. 
while it's been tugging on my mind for awhile, i felt like the need wasn't as great. surely what goes in your body is more dire than what goes on it....right?
boy was i wrong. 

it started with the Roost blog. Caitlin was hosting a giveaway for an expensive natural skincare line, and while that was great, it was her honest and shocking truths that proved to be more valuable to me. i was led to the website Skin Deep, where, after researching my current beauty products, i realized the amount of harmful chemical, GMO's, and other toxins i was putting on my body daily. I ended up spending 6 hours on the website, researching every single brand of cosmetics i could think of, trying to find even one that was redeeming.
i came up empty-handed. 

maybe you're thinking, "the chemicals can't be that bad. they're in limited amounts anyway." that's what i thought, too. but the more i researched, the more dirt i dug up. after watching the short film, The Story of Cosmetics, i was sold. (8 minute film, but it will change your views).

to top it all off, i found this article about sanitary pads and tampons
Dr. Mercola writes, 
"Putting chemicals on your skin may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body.
However, when chemicals come in contact with your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs. And once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down."

um. whoa, right? wait, let me back up a minute. 
did you know there is basically no regulation to what cosmetic/hygiene companies can put in their products? despite the blatant fact that the majority of these ingredients can cause cancer, infertility, immunotoxicity, etc--the FDA has refused to set any regulations against them.

there is lead in our lipsticks, parabens in our deodorants, carcinogenic sulfates in our body washes and shampoos. it's in everything. even those brands that claim "organic" and "natural" (like Aveeno, Physician's Formula, and sometimes Burt's Bees).
and it's a bigger deal than we all realize.

if we were using only a few of these products occasionally, the amount of toxins  might slide under the radar. but we use them on a daily basis. we shower daily, wash our hands every couple of hours, run the dishwasher every week, do laundry every other, brush our teeth twice a day, wash our faces at night, put on makeup every morning.....the list goes on. and the toxins add up quickly. 

i thought our skin was strong, our outer barrier to the world. but it's not. it's soft and absorbing, vulnerable. we struggle with dry skin, acne, chapped lips, rosacea, skin allergies, bodily odor, gum disease, ovarian cancer, skin cancer. and a large part of these are sometimes more about what we are putting on our bodies than in our bodies. 

maybe i sound dramatic to you, but i adamantly suggest doing more research. just as not everyone will switch to buying locally organic produce and meats, not everyone will switch to true organic health products. 
but i had to share. if i didn't know, how many other women (especially us, because we use twice as many skincare products as men!) are out there who don't know? i think we all have a right to know what we're putting on our bodies. 

there are a few brands that are dedicated to producing only what is toxin-free, but they come at a higher cost (one that i personally can't afford right now)--Tata Harper, Coastal Classic Creations, RMS Beauty, Nahla Beauty, Badger Healthy Body Care, Tom's, May Lindstrom, Au Naturale, etc.

so for now, i'm compromising. i've compiled a list of products that are low on the scale of toxicity (considered "fairly safe" on Skin Deep, rated between 0-3). i've bookmarked this list of 12 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid. and i'm trying to wear  and use less of everything i have right now. 

let's talk, friends! i'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic. did you already know? do you use organic products? why or why not? do you think the FDA should update their regulations?