Don’t spend a fortune on cosmetics when everyday foods offer therapeutic and beauty-boosting benefits without potentially harmful ingredients.
Cleopatra bathed in milk, Japanese geishas washed their faces with rice water, and the Romans slathered themselves with olive oil. For thousands of years, it was understood that certain foods had the power to nourish the skin not just when consumed, but when applied topically. In recent years we’ve become more reliant on mass-produced cosmetics, with sales of these products in the United States expected to top more than $62 billion this year. But reports on ingredients like endocrine-disrupting phthalates and the potentially carcinogenic foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate may be cause for concern. While Canada and the European Union have banned more than one thousand cosmetic ingredients–including retinoic acid, an acne-fighting ingredient commonly prescribed in the U.S.–the Food and Drug Administration has not yet followed suit.
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In response to these mounting concerns about the ingredients found in skin careproducts, consumers are looking for more natural products. A 2016 report from Mintelindicates widespread interest in food-based and probiotic skin care options among American consumers, 78% of whom already use, or are interested in using, products containing fruit-based ingredients. Eveline Ashton, a bioenergetic practitioner and holistic healer, has noticed this trend as well. “With the growing awareness of climate change and movement toward organics,” she says, “I think people are waking up to some of the old ways, where natural is better. I certainly found in my practice that many people came to me because they were not happy with the standard medical emphasis on pharmaceuticals, and more and more people are developing allergies and becoming sensitive to chemicals.”
To nourish your skin the way your ancestors did, set aside the expensive products full of questionable ingredients, and try out these natural skin care options. Most of these dermatologist-approved ingredients are probably already in your kitchen cabinet!