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Detox Beauty Routine

A few changes to your diet and beauty care routine can give your body a detoxifying beauty boost.

If you maintain your body through diet and exercise, you may continue to look and feel great as you get older—but, as we all know, nothing will completely prevent the signs of aging from setting in. Still, the average consumer uses a number of different beauty and skincare products every day, from lotions, creams, and sunscreen to face wash, toners, and make-up in the efforts of looking and feeling their best.

Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that their go-to beauty products often contain potentially toxic chemicals. The skin is an organ of digestion and it absorbs these toxins into the bloodstream—where your circulation can propel them into contact with every single one of your body’s cells.

The good news is that a few changes to your diet and beauty care routine can give your body a detoxifying beauty boost. But even more importantly, be sure to turn over those lotion, cosmetic and soap bottles and keep a look out for 10 of the most common (and potentially dangerous) ingredients when shopping for your beauty products:

Parabens: These are known hormone disruptors and estrogen-mimickers.

Fragrance: It’s usually a proprietary blend and a way for companies to hide potentially harmful substances.

Phthalates (including“dibutyl phthalate”): Found in nail polish, these are known hormone disruptors in both men and pregnant women.

BHA (butylated hyrdroxyanisole): Banned in Europe, this substance has strong evidence of being a carcinogen and hormone disruptor.

Boric Acid or Sodium Borate: Also restricted in Europe, it’s known to disrupt male hormones.

Heavy Metals: These are found in dark hair dyes, and may appear as mercury in some skin lighteners. High levels of heavy metals like lead in the body disrupt biological detoxification processes and are linked with higher rates of everything from Alzheimer’s disease to cardiovascular disease.

PEG (“Polyethelyne Glycol” or “Carbowax Sentry”): PEGs are frequently used in household products and cosmetics, and are often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Formaldehyde (and formaldehyde releasers like Bronopol, DMDM Hydantoin and Quaternium-15): Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen used commonly as a preservative.

Preservatives that end in “-thiazolinone”: Methylisothiazolinone, for example, is a skin irritant—and there’s some evidence that they may be neurotoxic.

Triclosan and triclocarban: Found in antimicrobial soaps, these can disrupt thyroid and reproductive hormones.

If you suspect you may have been using beauty products that contain these ingredients, a seasonal detox is an effective way to clear your body of toxins. As a bonus, it could speed up your metabolism and improve your overall health. Here’s how to get started.

Detoxify Your Diet

Although there’s no proof that fasting, expensive detox pills or drinks improve your beauty, your diet does affect your skin. Eating more nutritiously and drinking plenty of water can help clear up acne, keep your skin firm and even improve your smile.

Dry Brush Every Day

It may sound a little strange, but consider starting a daily dry brushing routine for a minimum of three months. Brushing your body in gentle, circular motions with a natural bristled brush when it’s dry helps improve circulation and stimulates your lymphatic system to release toxins. Dry brushing also reduces puffiness and cellulite, improves muscle tone, sloughs of dead skin cells and encourages skin cell renewal. When you’re finished brushing, rub a detoxifying oil (like jojoba oil) all over the body and let it absorb for five minutes before showering.

Keep Your Skin Clean

If you don’t already do it, clean your skin daily with a detoxifying cleanser. Choose a cleanser that is natural, chemical-free and pH balanced. Avoid any harsh soaps, foaming cleansers or coarse scrubs that contain pumice.

Take Detoxifying Baths

Soaking in a detoxifying bath two or three times per week for 20 to 30 minutes can help clear pollutants from the pores of your skin. Some options include mixing Epsom salt with ginger, baking soda or apple cider vinegar, or another option includes blending Dead Sea salt, Bentonite clay and coconut milk. Just be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Apply a Detoxifying Clay Mask

The negative charge of natural clays like Bentonite clay helps to detoxify the skin by attracting the positive charge of any impurities and pulling them to the surface of your skin. You can apply the clay mask to your face or all over your body; allow it to dry for about 15 minutes before removing the mask with a warm washcloth.

If you have a health concern of any kind, consult with your healthcare professional

before considering a detox. Each person has specific dietary needs that reflect their unique biochemistry, health history and food reactions.

Carmen Nuñez is the owner and consultant at The Organic For You, located at 3495 Haddonfield Rd., in Pennsauken. For more information, visit the Facebook page @The Organic For You.

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