According to research, the skin absorbs an incredible 60 percent of the chemical rubbed into it. In other words, some of those creams, lotions, shampoos, and moisturizers eventually work their way through the skin and into your body. You might think that that’s okay, but most commercial skin care products contain chemicals that can cause allergies and even disrupt your hormones.
What’s more, science still hasn’t really gotten a handle on the problem. Science works by isolating factors and then looking for correlations between those factors and disease. But today, women are exposed to hundreds of different chemicals through their skin, all of which interact in ways not yet studied by science. Whether it’s safe or not, therefore, to use anything other than natural body lotions remains a mystery. So what can you apply topically to your skin that will not only nourish you from the outside but protect you on the inside too? Take a look at some of these topical skin care ingredients.
Coconut oil is a rare saturated plant fat. Science is revealing that eating coconut oil probably isn’t a good idea because of the risk it poses to the cardiovascular system. But the good news is that applying it to the skin can have positive benefits, especially if the overall quality of your diet is poor (that is, you eat only a small amount of whole plant food).
Why is coconut oil so good for the skin? Research shows that the fats contained in the oil help to add resistance to the epidermal barrier of the skin, reinforcing it and reducing the chances of inflammation and dermatitis.
You can also apply coconut oil to your hair too. Not only does the oil have antifungal and antibacterial functions, it selectively attacks the bad bacteria living on the surface of your skin, but keeps the good ones alive.
Amla is the native Hindi name for the Indian gooseberry. It’s not particularly well known in the West, but it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia. Amla is actually a food, although you’ll most commonly find it associated with herbal medicine if you do a search for it online. On the inside of your body, Amla has been shown to work wonders. Diabetics are given Amla see an incredible halving of their fasting blood sugar levels, reducing them to the normal range without any other medical intervention. And those with high triglyceride levels in their blood also see a halving in levels once using amla for a couple of weeks.
Amla can also be made into a paste and applied to the skin. Currently, it’s the highest antioxidant food known to science that is available to buy, and it can help bolster the skin’s natural defenses, protecting it from pollution, sun damage and the chemical byproducts produced by your metabolism. Amla can also be rubbed into the hair and has the effect of making it darker and more lustrous over time.
Essential oils, like almond oils, actually strip out a lot of the nutrients found in foods naturally. But the benefit is that the oils can be easily spread over the surface of the skin. Almond oil is a lot easier to apply than almond butter. With that said, almond oil still has its benefits. The good news is that not all of the skin-friendly vitamin, vitamin E, is lost during the refining process. And this vitamin, once it comes into contact with the skin, has gentle, antibacterial properties which can help to reduce skin rashes and inflammation. What’s more, almond oil smells really good too, so this is definitely one topical ingredient you need to look out for.
Lemon Essential Oil
Citrus fruits are among the most underrated fruits in the world. While the nutrition community focuses on berries and pomegranate, lychees, oranges, grapefruits, limes, and lemons seem to be forgotten. They shouldn’t be: they all contain powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants unique to the citrus family.
Lemon oil is an incredible oil for the skin. Not only is lemon famously antibacterial thanks to all the limonene and acid it contains, but it’s also been shown to have a positive effect on age spots (which are usually just oxidized fat deposits below the top layer of skin).
Lemon oil is also great as a teeth whitener, detergent and for cellulite when used in conjunction with a healthy diet. If you don’t want to apply lemon oil neat, you don’t have to: just mix it up with another carrier oil, like jojoba and apply generously all over the body or to problem areas. Lemon oil has the ability to penetrate deep into pores and kill acne-producing bacteria.
Do you love avocado toast? You’re not alone. But avocado isn’t just Millennial’s favorite snack food: it’s also chock full of healthy ingredients for your skin,
Avocado is the only fruit in the world that is based on fat. Over 70 percent of the calories from the fruit come from fat, making it almost completely unique. The avocado flesh contains all the fat soluble vitamins, including A, E and even, in some circumstances, D. All of these vitamins can penetrate the skin, and so rubbing avocado all over your face is a great way to nourish your skin naturally, while also moisturizing it using the avocado oils.
Science also shows that, just as when eaten, avocado is an inflammation-reducing food. People who eat avocados on a regular basis have lower overall inflammatory markers and lower markers in their skin. There are dozens of recipes for avocado face masks so just Google it.
Were there skin problems in ancient Greece? There were according to Hippocrates, founder of medicine in 400 BC. And what was his remedy? Apple cider vinegar. He used vinegar to kill fungal agents on people’s skin, returning them to health and helping them to overcome common ulcerations and diseases.
Today, apple cider vinegar is used by people who want to overcome acne, as well as those with potassium or magnesium deficiency, as apple cider vinegar is high in both.