One of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Should Know, did an episode on makeup and beauty products and THAT was the beginning for me. These two guys research a topic, and trying to be as neutral as possible, report back on what they find (the episode on Barbie---Oh! and guns are both amazzzing too!)
So what they found, horrified me. I grew up with all organic clothes and food, doing yoga and meditating since the age of 5, yet I totally missed the memo on beauty products.
In the US regulations of beauty products tend to be much more lax than in Europe. An easy way to explain it is, Europe has to prove something is safe, before it’s legal. In the US, everything is legal, until one can prove it is dangerous. Yet, when you consider what it takes to prove something carcinogenic, it’s much harder than one might first think.
Slowly, more evidence-based research is coming out linking some ingredients in beauty products to cancer and other health issues. Take parabens as an example, a type of preservative, which according to wedMD, are in about 85% of all personal care products. Not to mention our food and prescription drugs.
New research conducted by the non-profit Silent Springs Institute has linked parabens with an acceleration of breast cancer cells using only trace amounts of parbens. Basically—this means even if we are exposed to very small amounts of parabens, our risk of breast cancer increases drastically.
Ummm that’s pretty fuckin serious.
And that’s just ONE of the ingredients in our beauty products…
Sorry if I just totally freaked you out, but by now you probably get why I’ve begun researching what I put on and in my body. I try to go as natural and organic as possible, particularly since so many chemicals used in US products have NEVER been studied for human use.
My research into beauty products went deeper and deeper and I struggled to find a moisturizer that was effective for my skin type and also natural. I kept coming back to oils. And as my research went into oils, I began learning more about the skin microbiome, the flora that keep our skin healthy and happy.
Here is something that helped me understand the power of the microbiome—in college I was prescribed antibiotics for acne, a prescription that kills bacteria. And, hell yes, it’s effective, but at a great cost. Hello yeast infections and tummy aches…
Today we are seeing more antibiotic resistant strands of bacteria, so antibiotics are quickly becoming a less and less attractive option for doctors—basically—science has flipped sides. If we can cure acne by killing bacteria through antibiotics, we understand acne has a largely bacterial component, so why not cure acne through feeding the bacteria that prevents acne, the healthy, good bacteria.
Succinic acid, a type of fermented fatty acid of Staphylococcus epidermidis has been found to inhibit growth of Propionibacterium acnes. Basically, if the bacteria on your skin has the right kind of yummy food, it'll be extra good to you!
Makes sense right?
Soaps, harsh chemicals, antibacterial anything, parabens—all that fun stuff kills the skins natural flora, the way the skin has evolved to stay healthy. But cleaning with naturally antibacterial oils like coconut or olive, keeps the skins microbiome in check, helping kill the bad bacteria and feed the good bacteria. YES!
Like I said, I began oil cleansing, basically using coconut and olive oils (NO SOAP) to wash my face and vulva. And, I LOVE it! I’m never going back.
I have gone on and off birth control in a somewhat vicious cycle where I go on birth control for acne, then I miss who I am while off of birth control, so I stop and then right away I begin to break out horribly again. This is the first time in my life, while off of birth control, my skin is flawless.
I always had really oily skin that was dry and flaky. WHAT!? so annoying. Like, the worst of both worlds, right!?
Since I’ve stopped using soap, my skin has found a natural balance all on it's own. It no longer over produces oil, and it no longer gets mega dried out.
I have to say though, the first month my face purified, a bunch, and there was definitely an adjustment period, which is one reason I waited to write this post. I had a few breakouts and was a little uncertain about the whole thing. But I kept with it and I am so glad I did.
Here are the specific details:
I take a little spoonful, maybe ½ to 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut or olive), rub it between my palms, then very gently massage it into my face and neck for about 30 to 60 seconds. After which, I rinse with warm water and depending on my skins sensitivity that day, a warm wash cloth. My sister does the same thing except she uses seabuckthorn oil from Living Libations which I'll talk more about below. In the summer I may do this, however because I live in a place with such harsh winters, I like to use heavier oils.
I always have jojoba oil on hand (I use Dessert Essence since it's ethical, organic--they've been around forever, you can get in anywhere and no one can beat their price) but I love using an oil filled with tons of vitamins and antioxidants as my main squeeze and for me that's sea buckthorn oil. Then to seal my skin I use a few daps of a rose cream mixed with a drop of rose oil.
I chose Living Libations because I read about a million oil product reviews online, but I kept coming back to them. They make everything to order, using only fresh oils. Although they aren't cheap, you are definitely getting what you pay for, plus they last foreverrrr! The ReWild Yourself podcast has interviewed the creator of Living Libations, Nadine Artemis, several times and I just LOVE her! Her ethics, her heart, and her integrity. Totally check it out if you’re interested in learning more about the skin's microbiome. Daniel Vitalis, the host of the ReWild Yourself podcast talks for a million minutes in the beginning of his show, so I’ve definitely been known to fast forward to get to his guest speakers.
A disclosure, I have no association with Living Libations. I am not getting paid to talk about them, I really do just love them, I believe make some of the best products out there and I use them daily myself. If you would like to support Infinite Milk you can shop using my Amazon Affiliate link HERE
It helps us A LOT so thank you! thank you! Plus it doesn't cost you a thing!
Another reason to shop my Amazon link if you are thinking of buying is because Living Libations website is a bitch to navigate. Like, the worst. Sorry Nadine, but it's true.
The products I use daily are:
Sea Buckthorn Oil Best Skin Ever If I had to choose one oil for the rest of my life this would be it. You can use it for everything from cleansing to a moisturizing. It's an all-in-one miracle!
Grapefruit Cellular Renewal I use this to help reduce acne, fine lines and scar tissue. Plus, it smells delicious!
Rose Glow and Creme I use this to deepen my moisturizer and seal my skin. I love it particularly in the winter months.
Rejuvenating Rose Glow Face Serum This has a much warmer feel to it than the Sea Buckthorn oil. Normally I mix one drop into my rose creme.
Zippity DewDab Acne Treatment I personally haven't tried this one yet but have heard great things and am planning to order it next time around.
Please email me or leave a comment on Instagram if you’d like to know more, or if you have any questions at all or oil cleanse yourself! I would LOVE to hear from you!