At Sally B's it is part of our mission to educate you about ingredients, skin care, and market trends so that you can make the most informed decision about your personal health. In our organic skin care blog, we highlight the skin care benefits of organic ingredients, ingredients and products we recommend avoiding, and tips for your skin care success.
Here are some of our favorite organic skin care blog posts to help you get started on your healthy skin care journey!
FIVE REASONS TO CHOOSE ORGANIC SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
You want to be healthy, and you want your skin to look its very best. So you pamper your skin with this product and that product, and pay close attention to what you eat. When you choose foods, you more than likely pay attention to the nutrition facts and ingredient lists, choosing foods that fuel your healthy daily allowances and aren’t made with artificial ingredients. But are you as scrupulous with your skin care selections?
Beauty aisles are littered with products and marketing claims promising that their formulas will improve skin appearance and texture, remove dark spots, and reduce the signs of aging. Like fad diets that give temporary results, oftentimes products made with artificial or chemical ingredients offer the same thing – a temporary mask without improving skin from deep within. Studies and experience have taught us that eating organically is the best decision for our overall health, so it can be deduced that organic skin care products are also worth the effort.
Think about a transdermal patch – a small patch that is applied directly to the skin to deliver a dose of medication to the bloodstream. Your skin allows the medication on these patches – most often aids to help people quit smoking, or birth control methods - to enter your skin and alter your body’s functions. This is all topical. There is no special delivery system in these patches...except for your skin of course. The ingredients in your skin care products are no different. When you massage lotion on your skin, where does it disappear? The ingredients are absorbed by the skin and into the bloodstream.
Choosing organic skin care products takes an extra step. There is a bit of research and due diligence to be done, but it is worth it. Your health is worth it. Here are 5 reasons why it is worth searching out organic and plant-based skin care products:
- Because you want to put only the healthiest, safest ingredients on your face and body. In the United States, there are few safety regulations within the skin care industry. And that’s a scary thing for your health. Skin care products can play host to a number of chemical ingredients that are skin and health irritants - including parabens, carcinogens, and allergens. An eye-opening fact: there are currently 12,500 ingredients used in skincare products, but the United States has tested only 11% and banned only 8. The European Union, however, has banned 1,100 ingredients, labeling them as hazardous chemicals. Choosing products made with non-toxic and organic ingredients helps to keep your skin and body performing at their very best.
- You will notice a difference in the tone and texture of your skin.You might have read stories about beauty icons from centuries ago – think Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and Guinevere – who relied on plant-based ingredients for their beauty. We’re finding that there is plenty of truth in legend. Taking our beauty practices back to basics – or back to nature – has proven that our skin craves the gentle and nourishing benefits of organic, plant-based ingredients. While you may be skeptical now, making the switch will have a big impact on your skin’s appearance and health.
- You are preserving the planet’s health and making it a bit more beautiful, too. Purchasing an organic product potentially removes a chemically laden product from being used. This means that toxic ingredients washed down the drain are not disrupting our delicate eco-systems. With few government regulations on skin care ingredients, keeping certain chemicals out of nature is an initiative that must be taken by skin care manufacturers and consumers. There is progress being made with some states banning ingredients, like plastic, exfoliating micro-beads and Triclosan, but until it becomes more wide spread it is up to you to do your research. Be sure to look for companies who source their ingredients from renewable resources that are sourced ethically and responsibly. This helps to keep our planet’s resources balanced and healthy.
- Organic products work. For too long “organic” translated to “granola” and the misconception that organic products could not perform like products made with chemical and artificial ingredients. However, over the years we have found sources for beneficial organic and plant-based ingredients that contribute to our success in making healthy products that work. In fact, we hear every day from customers who are amazed at the effectiveness of our serums or moisturizers. It is why we do what we do each and every day – so that we can share our excitement and successes with everyone around the world.
- Your Health is Worth It. We all have a health journey. Whether it is cancer, skin ailments like eczema, or the desire to lose weight, we have found through customer accounts, personal experiences, and research, that eliminating certain chemicals in personal care products can alleviate symptoms. Conscious skin care choices, made in tandem with a healthy lifestyle and diet, can even be preventative solutions for some health issues. The symbiotic relationship we have found between feeding your skin and feeding your body is important to understand when taking inventory of your health and well being.
No matter what type of skin you have – oily, dry, or combination – thoughtful product selection can have a dynamic impact on your overall health. Yes, not just your skin health, but overall health. But don’t take it from us. Make a conscious effort to swap your products out for organic, plant-based alternatives and discover for yourself just how positively your skin, and body, will react to the change.
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The Importance of Reducing your Toxic Load
We all have a general idea that toxins are bad for our health and that it is a good idea to stay away from them whenever possible. But do you know the prevalence of toxins in our lives and what they are actually doing to our bodies?
It’s a naïve thought that toxins only come from household cleaners or polluted air. In our daily lives, we are exposed to a myriad of toxins, including those in our home, air, food, cosmetics, and personal care products. They can be found in the artificial sugar you put in your coffee, the candle you burn on your desk, and the salad you eat for dinner. The number of toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis is staggering...almost unbelievable. A modest estimate says we are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxins each day. These toxins contribute to what is called our “toxic load” and can have serious affects on our health.
You might be surprised, but here are a few effects that toxins could be having on your body:
- Weight Gain. Toxins in our bloodstream affect our body’s ability to balance blood sugar and metabolize cholesterol. Synthetic toxins are also highly fat soluble, meaning the body will create fat to store them instead of expelling them from the body. Not only can this cause weight gain, but overtime it can lead to diabetes.
- Breakouts. If your body is overrun with toxins, your organs and body systems can become overwhelmed. The liver and lymphatic system are vital in filtering out toxins, but if they become congested with toxins, the only way out is through the skin. This can lead to acne, eczema, or other rashes.
- Digestive issues. When your liver, lymphatic system, and large intestine are not working in harmony, waste does not get expelled from the body properly. Carrying a heavy toxic load can lead to chronic problems like inflammation, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, and even Chrohn’s Disease.
- Hormone Imbalance. Toxins can be endocrine disruptors and throw off your body’s hormones. The most commonly affected hormones are estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, insulin, and cortisol. Hormone disruption can lead to health issues like reproductive problems, early puberty, obesity, heart disease, and even breast and other cancers.
So how can you reduce your toxic load? With a bit of mindfulness, you can change daily habits to minimize the toxins introduced to your body. Here are some tips:
- Detox. Choose a cleanse or detox program that will help you rapidly expel toxins from your body and restore health and balance.
- Increase Your Water Intake. While your liver and other organs help to filter out toxins, water can aid in flushing them out. Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder highly recommends jump starting your day with hot water and lemon, another easy and quick way to expel toxins.
- Go Organic. Chemical pesticides are heavily used in agricultural practices and the residue can leach onto the food you eat or in the ingredients used in your skincare products. Choosing the organic option will ensure that hidden toxins aren’t lurking in your salad or moisturizer.
- Aerobic Exercise. Getting the heart pumping, legs moving and lungs inhaling and exhaling at a healthy pace are all benefits of exercise. Activities such as walking, running, yoga, cycling and climbing all benefit the circulatory system and help to keep toxins moving..hopefully right on out of the body.
- Avoid Products Made With Phthalates and BPA. Phthalates are made up of eight hormone-mimicking chemicals. They are used to make plastics softer (like shower curtains) or fragrance in candles or personal care products last longer. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used to make plastics hard and shiny. Both mimic hormones and can feminize small children and cause cancer later in life.
- Introduce Nutrient-Dense Foods to Your Diet. Think kale, broccoli, spinach, blueberries, and almonds instead of processed, fried, or foods made with artificial flavors and colors. These foods offer the body vitamins and minerals that improve health, increase energy, and keep weight in check. A great way to introduce these foods is with a daily green smoothie.
Our bodies are up against a large toxic burden, so it is important to minimize your exposure when at all possible. The origin of Sally B’s is rooted in this idea. Creating non-toxic products made from organic ingredients is our way of helping us and you live a clean lifestyle. Instead of the toxic options so commonly found in the beauty aisle, you can rest assured that the products from Sally B’s are benefiting your skin and your health.
Skin Care Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C has made a name for itself as a powerful and important antioxidant, essential for optimum skin health. L-ascorbic acid is one of the most common forms of Vitamin C, which we use in our Antioxidant Skin Boost, and is among the most stable and effective. Research shows that L-ascorbic acid, can do a number of things like repair free radical damage, promote collagen production, reduce inflammation, and strengthen skin and hair.
Repair Free-Radical Damage
Free radicals are unstable cells, meaning they are short an electron caused by external factors like oxidation, pollution, cigarette smoke, and various health conditions. While Vitamin E is the primary defender against oxidation, Vitamin C is particularly powerful against the free radicals caused by pollution. When Vitamin C is added to the skin it neutralizes free radicals by donating one of its electrons to an unstable free radical, making it whole and happy. Contrary to how free radicals are formed, antioxidants like Vitamin C remain stable, even with the loss of their donated electron.
Promote Collagen Production
Collagen is the key to firm, soft, and supple skin. Without it our skin loses its elasticity, which in turn leads to wrinkles and fine lines. Our bodies naturally create it, but as we age our bodies break down the collagen and our ability to produce more diminishes. Luckily, when topically applied, Vitamin C has been proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen.
Research shows that Vitamin C protects against harmful substances that contribute to disease. Because of this, studies suggest that it has some anti-inflammatory benefits.
Strengthen Skin and Hair
While it is promoting collagen production, Vitamin C is also working to strengthen blood vessels underneath the skin. It also plays a big role in absorbing iron, which helps to keep hair healthy and strong.
Your body naturally produces some antioxidants, but Vitamin C is not one of them. So, it is important that you introduce the nutrient to your body through diet (think broccoli, citrus fruit, strawberries, and tomatoes) and skin care every day. Why every day? Vitamin C is not stored in the body. It is water-soluble and the excess is expelled with urine.
While Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it is more beneficial when formulated with other antioxidant and cell-communicating ingredients. This is why we created our Antioxidant Skin Boost. The powder mix combines L-ascorbic acid with Organic Pomegrate Extract, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, and Resveratrol for a product that repairs and protects. Using our Antioxidant Skin Boost every night can give your complexion a healthy glow, while slowing down the aging process.
5 Things Everyone Should Do For Their Skin
To us, skin care solutions are not black and white. While some companies want you to believe that their product will be the solution for everyone, we will tell you that what works for your friend may not work for you. When a product promises you that it will cure your acne, we will tell you that your acne may not be cleared up with product alone, but rather with some additional lifestyle changes. We believe in the grey area and that everyone’s health journey is personal to them.
While we are genuine with our education about this grey area, there are a few instances where we have a very black and white opinion. Up until now we have been PC with the way we present these opinions, casually working them into our blogs and hoping you will draw your own conclusions. But we’ve had enough! We’ve had enough of hearing people admit they don’t wash their face morning and night! And we can’t believe that some people still douse themselves in perfume!
Many of you have asked us for skin care “rules” that will lead to healthy skin. We usually tell you that rules don’t apply because no two people are alike. But today we respectfully ask to rescind that answer and give you our top five “rules” of skin care that everyone should follow.
5 Things That EVERYONE Should Do For Their Skin
- Avoid exfoliation beads and abrasive ingredients. Harsh ingredients like plastic microbeads, Apricot Pits, salt, sugar, grits, or coffee grounds should never be used on the face. They can irritate delicate skin and even break the tiny capillaries found underneath. Plus, micro beads can irritate our precious aquatic ecosystems. Fish eat them, they clog coral, and accumulate in our floating garbage patches. Read more about the dangers of microbeads here.
- Always wash your face morning and night. Our face is a magnet for dirt, grime, and bacteria and there is no reason to let it fester on your skin. When you do, it clogs pores and can cause acne or cause skin to be abnormally oily. Wash your face morning and night with a gentle cleaner to keep skin clean and healthy. Read more about how to wash your face here.
- Never buy a hand sanitizer or antibacterial soap containing Triclosan. This ingredient is not good for you or for the environment. It has been linked to hormone disruption and brain damage. It can make its way into breast milk just as easily as it makes it into our waterways, where it converts to chloroform. To top it all off, Triclosan is a completely unnecessary ingredient. According to an advisory panel to the US Food and Drug Administration, Triclosan is no more effective in killing bacteria that plain soap and water. Read more about the dangers of Triclosan here.
- Stop wearing perfume and fragrance. Perfumes are made with ingredients that are not only unregulated, but are not required to be disclosed. When you see “fragrance” on a label, what you don’t see are the 3,000 some chemicals, including phthalates, that it represents. You aren’t given the opportunity to research what damage these ingredients could be doing to your health and that of those around you (though you probably realize the headache is a side effect of your overwhelming scent). And if perfume is too hard to quit, consider the tiny, still developing babies you might snuggle with or sit closely too. Read more about the hidden dangers of fragrance here.
- Remove sugar and dairy from your diet. It’s going to be hard, but you’ll be glad you did. Sugar can cause skin to be inflexible (hello, wrinkles!) and dairy can cause redness and inflammation. We’re not nutritionists and can’t offer much science to why this happens, but we have it on good authority (i.e. customer experience and a NY Times Best Selling Author and Nutritionist that we trust) that limiting sugar and dairy will clear up some of the skin issues you have been struggling with.
We rarely point a finger or call it so bluntly, so you know that we are passionate about these lifestyle considerations. And while they seem like bummer lifestyle changes, the solutions are simple. Buy a simple, micro-bead free castile soap to wash face and body; start your bedtime routine 5 minutes earlier so you’re not too tired to wash your face; wash hands with soap and water; use essential oils to add aroma to your persona; and use coconut or almond milk to quench the craving for sweets and dairy. There are officially no more excuses!