It's estimated that the average woman applies over 500 chemicals to her body each day (between soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, fragrance, etc.). Because many of the ingredients in these products don't have to be disclosed on product labels (thanks to patent-protecting legislation), it can be tough to know exactly what we're absorbing and what long-term effects those chemicals might have on the body.
Any exposure to potential toxins can have an adverse effect on the body, and can get in the way of the full-body, full-life wellness we work hard to maintain. Consider this: the skin is not only our largest organ, but our largest detoxification channel and one of the means by which foreign substances can enter the body. Anything the skin takes in is transferred to the bloodstream. Also, if the skin is blocked with chemicals, we can't properly expel toxins from within the body (so they just hang out and continue to circulate in our bloodstream. Not ideal.)
Particularly when we're doing a cleanse or a detox, keeping these channels open is essential to getting the maximum benefit of cleaning up the system.
Reducing some of our exposure to toxins can be really beneficial. An easy place to start is with buying organic, plant-based, chemical-free skin care products, or... making your own!
I use a body scrub every day to help open up detox channels and keep my system happy and well (from the inside out, and the outside in). I've discovered that making my own scrub is not only cheaper, but more fun, than buying a pre-made brand.
This one takes about three minutes to throw together and stores well in a glass jar or small storage container. A fun crafty project and an effective, organic, clean personal care product? Beautiful (in so many ways)! [Notice the ribbon? Perhaps this could be a homemade gift idea?!]
It includes just three ingredients:
Organic coconut oil: this powerful anti-inflammatory plant-derived saturated fat is highly moisturizing and smells amazing. Because it's solid at room temperature, it helps to retain the scrub's consistency. You can warm it slightly before using in this recipe to make scooping and mixing a little easier.
Organic raw brown sugar: this is what gives the scrub it's exfoliating power. Look for a brand that is specifically labeled 'raw' or 'demarara', as they do not have molasses added (regular brown sugar does).
Vegetable glycerin: this clear liquid is an extract from vegetable oil, and is often used in natural cosmetics as moisturizer and as the base for vegetable soaps. It can also be used in processed foods as an emulsifier. The brand I use for makeup removal happens to be food-grade, so I suppose if you wanted to eat it, you could. But don't. I imagine it would be like eating soap. : )
To make this [incredibly yummy-smelling] scrub:
- Combine 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and 3 tbsp vegetable glycerin in a bowl.
- Using your hands, combine everything until it reaches a smooth consistency. Work out any clumps of coconut oil to distribute evenly.
- Transfer to a glass jar and store wherever you keep your cosmetics.
Use about a teaspoon on face or body once daily to exfoliate (and pretty much give your skin dessert).
You can also add essential oils for a different scent if you wish! I've used lemongrass essential oil in this particular recipe and it is darn good.