...Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It has the distinction of being the first line of defense for our immune system. And since what we place on our skin is absorbed into our blood stream, doesn't it make sense that what we use topically could be affecting our health?
Cosmetics are big business. Numerous products for men, women, children, and even babies have us spending millions of dollars every year. Yet what exactly are we paying for?
The fact is that less than 20% of the chemicals in products we slather and spray on our bodies have been assessed for safety by the industry's safety panel. Since 1938, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned only eight from the nearly 12,000 ingredients used in cosmetics, while our neighboring European nations have banned over 1,100....
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That's why I love Tropical Traditions! I just received my order of face cream and am so happy to be using it again!!!! For the kids...it's Burts Bee's body wash and shampoo, and for my hair..well...I need to find something better than what I have right now. I've tried a natural shampoo and conditioner before that was supposed to be free of any chemicals...but it made my hair really dry and unmanageable. I need an extra moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Around the house I currently use Theives, by Young Living and I've tried their toothpaste as well and my mouth always feels SO clean after using it, cleaner than with any other toothpaste.
Don't ya just love genetics? They can be nice but it seems like often we inherit some not so nice genetic traits. I inherited "lovely" skin from my Dad's side of the family...one key identifying feature being large pores. Over time, I've learned that the only way to prevent your pores from getting bigger is by cleaning them out REALLY good. If you don't clean your pores really well, the dirt and oil builds up and stretches the pores, causing your pores to continue to get bigger and bigger. I found one product that I LOVE that really helps get my skin super clean and helps refine pores. It's the Mary Kay Microdermabrasion Set. It's a 2-step process that starts with the exfoliator that uses the same professional grade exfoliating crystals used by dermatologists. You have to be careful not to rub it into your skin too vigorously because it is pretty rough and could irritate your skin. After washing off the pore refining exfoliator, you apply the "Replenish" serum. This serum contains vitamins, antioxidants and anti-irritants and sets the smooth, refined skin you achieved after using Refine (the exfoliator).
I have really loved this product, but I do think it is a little pricey. However, as I near the end of my bottle and looking for a bargain (without becoming a Mary Kay Consultant just to get products at a 50% discount) I found that there are consultants on Amazon, selling Mary Kay Products at a discount. I got my microdermabrasion kit because a Mary Kay consultant had a drawing at our Gym and I won it. Normally I wouldn't have spent $55 on something like that, however I have found it to really help soften my skin, clean out my pores and give me overall nicer, brighter more supple looking skin.
Now, if you don't have $30-$55 to spend on a microdermabrasion kit like the one by Mary Kay, I have also learned a number of ways to shrink your pores, including much cheaper alternatives that you can concoct at home with ingredients from the kitchen to help clean and tighten pores.
I use St. Ives Apricot Scrub (can be used daily) to keep my skin (and pores) squeaky clean. After using the face scrub, follow up with a pore minimizing toner like witch hazel or Homemade Skin Toner, followed by your favorite moisturizing cream.
The apricot scrub doesn't do as good a job refining as the Mary Kay Refine exfoliator, but if you want to be frugal, it's a MUCH cheaper alternative.
You could also make your own exfoliating scrub with sugar and olive oil, but when making it for your face, opt for brown sugar over granulated because it is less course and be careful not to scrub vigorously as the sugar can be rather abrasive.