With all the recent press on both the health and safety of our personal care products as well as the limited FDA regulations on labeling them, the average consumer is both disillusioned and concerned. This consumer is however helping to create the necessary change needed for the cosmetic industry.
Cosmetic sales are projected to reach 9.9 billion dollars in the US by 2016. And the largest contributor to this growth will come from products touting “natural” and “organic”. This section in particular has boomed in the past ten years. Small companies “known” for producing all natural products are quickly being gobbled up by large firms, from Shiseido’s acquisition of Bare Essentials to Clarins’ acquisition of the French organic brand Kibio.
The world is hard enough to migrate without adding, “what’s in your personal care products” to the list of concerns. We teach our children to trust their teachers, doctors while shying away from people they do not know. It is a complicated message to have both trust and skepticism and know where and when to draw the line.
Since there is no secret to my obsession with ingredients for skin care, I no longer need to hide the truth. I don’t have to load up on apple cider vinegar in shame, or fear judgment for my ramblings on its virtues. The truth is we don’t have to look that hard or far for the perfect skin fixes. Reading about the latest jungle berry or sea wonder for skin, cosmetic companies are having us race to the beauty counters for the next miracle in a jar. Don’t be tempted!
You might have heard that sure, parabens and other chemicals in your skin care are bad if ingested, but they can’t penetrate your skin so you don’t have anything to worry about. The fact is, much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. Just think about nicotine and birth control patches. We administer effective doses through the skin to our bloodstream, enabling us to forego a daily oral pill in lieu of a patch that prevents pregnancy. Or a patch that keeps nicotine in our system without the side effects of smoking, allowing us to wean off of an addiction. While there may be some chemicals that are too large to enter our bloodstream, the majority are small enough to penetrate.
We constantly hear how important it is to exfoliate, but chances are you are not doing it properly. You can both over-exfoliate and use the wrong ingredients, both will cause damage to your skin. So while it is important to make sure you exfoliate (as dead skin cells left on the surface of your skin can do everything from reduce the efficacy of absorption from the products you apply, increase dryness, aging and irritation to clog pores), it matters with what and how often. Most people are not exfoliating properly.
Skin care can seem so complicated and overwhelming. With all the products on the market each touting to have the perfect answer you are looking for to achieve beautiful skin, I often find consumers looking for simple answers and clear information. One of the most asked questions skin care experts get is what do I really need to use every day and how often. Is just washing my face enough? What is a serum and why do you need one? At Sumbody we get calls, emails and customers walking into our stores daily looking for these answers. I love to see people really care about and want to take care of their skin. They have questions and are seeking answers.
Since we are big bakers in my family, our friends, family, and neighbors are used to receiving our baked goods for every occasion. My girls brought cookies, cakes, and pastry to every school event. Somewhere along the line, we started cooking up bath concoctions instead of consumable goodies, and everyone loved them. For birthdays, teacher gifts, and parties, our treats were in high demand. But beware: When you start to give your loved ones your homemade products, they get hooked, and it is hard to keep up with the demand. People will expect these homemade products, and they won’t be shy about letting you know this when holidays, birthdays, and special events roll around.
How to get professional results and full-on pampering without straining your budget (recipes included!)
In addition to a pampering treat, facials are the key to healthy skin. To maintain a radiant healthy glow, you should try to fit in 2 facials per month (or one a week if you can make it happen!). If you follow these simple tricks of the trade, you will be amazed with the results you can achieve at home. Plus, I know how hectic it can be to try to squeeze in time for a facial at the spa or salon—now you’ll be able to get a great facial whenever it’s convenient for you—no commitment required. And if you get in the habit of doing your own facials, you’ll get to know your skin better—what it responds to in different situations. Ultimately this will keep it healthy, youthful and glowing. Being intimate with your skin is the first step to maintaining its beauty.
Can you trust labels such as “natural” and “organic” and what about “trusted” names like Johnsons & Johnsons? Most consumers believe if a label says “organic”, “ natural” or “safe”, it must be true. We assume that there are regulations that govern what companies can claim on their personal care product packaging. This assumption makes sense—food labels are highly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and many of the same claims appear on both food and cosmetic products. But the ethos of food labels does not extend to cosmetic labels. The truth is, the 60 billion dollar beauty industry is hardly regulated, leaving marketing teams free to paste half-truths and all out lies on labels. The onus falls on consumers to learn how to decipher the truth and use the information to make choices that fit within their comfort zone and lifestyle.
When I look at protecting and maintaining beautiful skin, I look beyond the products we apply. Our lifestyle is reflected in our skin. Everything from stress to lack of sleep effects the way we look and feel. It is the sum of our life that keeps us glowing.
Winter can be harsh on both our exterior and interior. With everything from constantly being inside with heaters on (which cause excessive dryness and dehydration), to damage from elements (such as wind, ice, extreme cold temperature), and lack of natural sun light, winter can be difficult.
Here are some tips to keep your spirits up and your skin beautiful this winter.