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10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin

By Laura Lambert, Mom.me

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average woman uses 12 products per day, containing 168 unique ingredients. That's a lot of ingredients to consider. Perhaps the easier way is to scan labels for the biggest offenders—known as the Cosmetics Dirty Dozen.
 
 
 

Drink Another Glass of Water

Every detox begins with one thing: water.

If you dig a little into the research, you'll find that water is not the cure-all it's often purported to be when it comes to glowing, healthy skin. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be drinking your fair share, if only to avoid the many ill effects on your skin from the flip side: dehydration.
 


Read the Label

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average woman uses 12 products per day, containing 168 unique ingredients. That's a lot of ingredients to consider. Perhaps the easier way is to scan labels for the biggest offenders—known as the Cosmetics Dirty Dozen.



Stick with Sunscreen

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
Ah, the sunscreen conundrum. Most of us would like to avoid skin cancer, as well as all the signs of visible aging associated with sun exposure. But so many sunscreens leverage questionable chemicals to help make that happen. According to the EWG, the top chemicals to avoid are retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone—plus things like unnecessarily high SPF, added insect repellent or aerosol cans. You can dig down into their sunscreen guide for product-by-product comparisons.



Skip the Soap

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin

Banish the term "squeaky clean" from your vocabulary. The same chemicals that strip away the dirt and germs take with them the natural oils and immune-boosting bacteria your skin needs to stay healthy. Non-detergent cleansers, which are mild, do the trick without damaging your skin barrier. You might consider oil cleansers or micellar water as well.



Turn Down the Heat

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
Hot water can be harsh and drying—and the effects tend to get worse as you grow older. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, told Women's Health U.K., "When you're in your 20s, you can take a hot shower, be red and swollen and recover in an hour, but in your 30s, it may take two hours. By your 40s, your skin just doesn't have the ability to shrink back to its original state, so you stay ruddy all the time."



Get Your Beauty Rest

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
We're being literal here. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you puffy or give you raccoon eyes—although both of those things are true. It also triggers cortisol, which has a cascading effect on your skin, including making inflammatory skin conditions, like acne or psoriasis, even worse.



Ditch the Dairy

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
While the science is not 100 percent settled, the anecdotal evidence is pretty overwhelming. If your skin is acne-prone in the least, cutting dairy can make a dramatic difference.



Eat the Rainbow

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
Eating a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables is going to do your body good—including your skin. Nutrients that are key? Beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium. Vitamin C, in particular, is a powerful antioxidant. While you're at it, healthy fats and omega-3s round out your meals and benefit your skin as well.



Exercise

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
Breaking a sweat doesn't just keep your heart healthy, it can also improve your skin by increasing blood flow and decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone). It can even make you look younger on a molecular level.



Take All Claims With a Grain of Salt

10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin
Words like "natural," "pure" and even "organic" are basically meaningless when it comes to beauty products in the U.S. Only about 30 ingredients are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Compare that to more than 1,400 in Europe and Australia. (The pending Personal Care Products Safety Act, which has support from the likes of Kourtney Kardashian, aims to change that.) That's why it pays to be an educated consumer of beauty products, and to embrace the kind of lifestyle changes that will result in glowing, healthy skin, without the toxins.
10 Nontoxic Ways to Get Healthy Skin

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