Health from the Outside-In: Rethinking Your Daily Beauty Regimen

By Rosie Steele, Lead Patient Coordinator

Growing up in the Anderson Family, I have always been a person who thought about my health from the inside out. For as long as I can remember I have sought to eat a healthy and whole food diet, packing in great nutrition from foods rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and proteins. I was taught the importance of supplementing daily with great things like probiotics, omega 3s and adaptagenic herbs. When illness came to attack, I have always fought back with powerful immune boosting vitamins and herbs like echinacea, colloidal silver and vitamin C.

Recently, however, I have begun to understand my health from a different angle – from the outside in! As important as it is to recognize the potential toxicity from the foods that we are eating and medications we are taking, it is equally important to recognize potential toxicity in our environment. The standard body care products that line the shelves of the local drug store are just not good enough for me and my family any longer.

In light of all that I have learned, I have made some simple changes to my daily beauty regimen. These are simple and inexpensive changes, that can provide a priceless improvement to overall health and well-being.

  • Ditch the Lotion! Your skin is the largest organ of the body, absorbing about 60% of what is applied to it. The average American woman puts between 12 and 20 chemicals on her skin each day, primarily through lotion. In light of this, I have decided to ditch the lotion. What am I using instead? Coconut Oil! That’s right – it isn’t just for cooking! Coconut Oil (organic, extra virgin, non-refined) has amazing benefits to the skin, healing and moisturizing without the toxic effects of lotions and cream.

  • Switch up the Toothpaste! Over 95% of the toothpastes on the market today contain fluoride. Numerous studies have documented the harmful effects of fluoride on our bodies, including lowered IQ, and links to Cancer, Infertility and Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s motivation enough for me to switch out that standard toothpaste to a non-fluoridated option. Right now I am using the Tom’s of Maine Brand. You can also easily make your own (combine coconut oil, baking soda and your favorite essential oil, such as peppermint, citrus or thieves).

  • Dump the Deodorant (Antiperspirant, that is)! Antiperspirants work by clogging the pores to block the release of sweat under your arms using the active ingredient aluminum. Not only is it a bad idea to block the release of any of our bodies’ excrement (better out than in!!!), but putting Aluminum into our bodies is arguably an even worse idea! Aluminum causes major problems to the central nervous system, attacking the brain, and increasing risks of neurological disease – so why risk it? So long, Secret! I’m using the Tom’s of Maine brand here as well.

  • Try Oil Pulling! I could write an entire article on this topic alone. Oil pulling is a practice that dates back thousands of years. Essentially you take about a tablespoon of oil and swish it around your mouth for up to 20 minutes a day. The oral benefits include whiter teeth, cavity and gingivitis protection. Just a side note – this has health benefits beyond the mouth as well, including improvement with sinus and sleep problems, alleviation of headaches and TMJ pain, and improvement in skin conditions! Before you start this routine, make sure you do your homework on what kind of oil to use – I am using the very same oil that I am rubbing on my skin (organic, extra virgin, non-refined coconut oil)! Also, you don’t want to spit the oil out into your sink as it might clog the drains, so make sure you spit it in the trash.

  • Give Dry Skin Brushing a whirl! Dry skin brushing uses a natural brissled brush to exfoliate the skin daily prior to bathing. This practice has amazing benefits to the body. Not only does it exfoliate the skin, but it activates the elimination of waste in the body by stimulating the lymphatic system. Other benefits include improving circulation, reducing cellulite and reducing stress. Again, this is a topic that warrants an entire article, so do your homework here as well in selecting your brush and in learning correct technique.

When it comes to health and beauty, there is so much out there and it can become overwhelming! However, these are easy and inexpensive changes that add very little time and cost to my daily routine that I would recommend to anyone!