A few years ago, I resolved to use only products with natural oils and butters to cleanse and moisturize my skin after realizing how toxic the skincare industry can be. Fun facts: The skin is the largest organ and it has the ability to heal itself. But, how well it’s properly cared for from the inside and out is key for healing and its overall health.
Going plant-based definitely creates a domino effect. Since changing my diet, I’ve also changed how I think about skincare. Although food and the environment are directly related to the state of one’s skin, the products we use can either help or wreak havoc as well.
When it comes to skincare, I believe that quality and not quantity is key. The truth is, you don’t need many products to maintain healthy skin. I’ve since adopted a simple, non-toxic skincare regimen that works for my pockets and lifestyle. For anyone wondering about the benefits of using natural oils and butters, here are things to consider + products to get you started on this natural skincare journey.
Commercial skincare can be toxic for your health
This is where research is key. Commercial skincare products are laden with synthetic and toxic (sometimes hard-to-pronounce) ingredients and substances that can clog your pores, irritate or harm your skin, and cause health concerns. For example, if you’ve wondered why you may be experiencing back or chest acne, then consider what kind of products you are using, and what kinds of ingredients are listed on the product.
Let’s look at lotions and moisturizers that contain added fragrances/parfums. Did you know that companies don’t have to tell you what is used to make your skincare items smell good? So, they list “fragrance or parfum” as an ingredient, which is typically a blend of undisclosed chemicals. Fragrances are a leading cause of skin allergens and sensitivities. Isn’t that sketchy?
Another common skincare ingredient is parabens (e.g. methylparaben and propylparaben), which are used as preservatives in skincare products. Parabens have been found to mimic estrogen in the body. This can wreak havoc on your hormones, thus contributing to acne. It is also well documented that parabens are linked to increased risk of breast and skin cancer. I’m not trying to scare you, but knowledge is power.
One of my favorite skincare brands is Nubian Heritage. It is Black-owned, cruelty-free, and they have amazing body washes and lotions without the toxicity! I’ve used their Patchouli & Buriti, Raw Shea Butter, and Coconut & Papaya lines. Other reputable non-toxic skincare lines to try are SheaMoisture and Alaffia. And make sure to support smaller businesses too!
Natural oils and butters don’t contain water, so they lock in skin’s moisture
Have you ever stepped out of a shower or pool and your skin became dry or washed your hands and noticed how pale or dry your hands were? I’m sure the answer is “YES!” Water is added to skincare products to help dissolve the rest of the ingredients. However, that can disturb your skin because when water evaporates, it also removes the oils from your skin as well. This can lead to moisture loss and dryness. That doesn’t mean that water in skincare is bad, as pure water is harmless. Keep in mind though that not all skincare products are created equal.
I love moisturizing my skin with natural oils. The best oil that I have ever used for my skin is organic, unrefined coconut oil. Coconut is definitely a jack-of-all-trades as it’s also used in cooking, oral health, hair care and so much more. It has a high amount of MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides), which helps keep your skin deeply moisturized. To maximize the health of my skin, I add oils to natural butters.
Natural butters like shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter offer many healing properties that should be considered. They are high in essential fatty acids, so they hydrate the skin and lock in the needed moisture. The best way to get your butter fix is by investing in high-quality, raw and unrefined butters and whipping them through do-it-yourself or by purchasing from a trusted brand. One of the best non-toxic body butters I’ve used is by Kharis Organics.
I was gifted the lemongrass and floral body souffle butters by my fellow brown girl Marie, the founder. My youngest sister and I enjoyed the butters so much, that I had to share them in this post! Each butter is whipped with fair trade butters, quality carrier oils and essentials oils to nourish and moisturize your skin. The butters smell fantastic and feel incredibly luxurious with each use. Not to mention, I love how they make my skin glow. You can use the discount code: TAIWO at checkout to save 10% on her products!
Natural oils and butters are rich in vitamins (and you need them!)
Two of the best vitamins for healthy skin are vitamin C and E. Vitamin C exhibits anti-oxidant properties, to help your skin to fight inflammation and rejuvenate itself. It also combats scarring and lightens blemishes on your skin, which helps to give your skin a glowing, even complexion. Vitamin E is literally a “holy grail” in skincare and for very good reason. It protects your skin from harmful UV rays and contains fat-soluble anti-oxidants that helps defend against pollutants and other environmental factors that affect your skin. It is fantastic!
I use a vitamin e oil with a jojoba/rosehip blend to moisturize my face after cleansing. Also, rosehip oil is naturally high in vitamin C and jojoba works wonders on sensitive acne-prone skin, so this blend is a true win. To help with scarring and to even out my complexion, I follow up with pure sweet almond oil.
What are your favorite natural butters and oils? What about non-toxic skincare brands and products? Let me know!