If you’ve been around a while, you may have known that I have been trying to take better care of my skin – I mean we only have one to live in. 😀 I wanted to take today to talk about a topic that is near and dear to my heart – living a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve been around a while, you may have seen me talk about eating healthier for one or why I love to attend SoulCycle classes or on Instagram, I would show you some of the essential oils I was using. At the end of the day, I am trying to find what healthy means to me and I think all of these things play a role, including the skincare/makeup/beauty products I use on daily basis.
A little bit of background…
Five years ago, on a Saturday, I went through my normal routine, I woke up around 9 or 10 and starting doing my weekly weekend chores that needed to be done before I had to catch my next flight out on Monday and start the weekly routine of living out of a suitcase for 4 days a week. That day in particular, I went to the grocery store, dry cleaners, attended a weight lifting class at the gym and then headed back to my apartment to rest up before a friend’s birthday party later that evening. After relaxing for a few hours, I started to feel queasy, then my focus started to get narrower and my head was pounding – turns out, I was having my first migraine. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the start of my life living with migraines. Now, let me say this – I don’t nearly have migraines as bad as other friends I know, but it still sucks to have to stop your life whenever one hits.
Over the next couple of months, I started having them more frequently. My doctor prescribed medications and told me whenever I started having the pre-cursor signs of one, that I should take the meds, drink lots of fluids and get some rest. There wasn’t much more we could do. I didn’t want to believe that – so, I turned to Dr. Google (I know, I know….it can be a dangerous place, but I am someone who needs to know all of the facts to be calm – I can rationalize my way out of a lot if I am armed with knowledge). During my research, I found out that environmental factors along with stress, hormones and some food additives may be the cause of my migraines. Now, the stress was understandable – I worked (and continue to work) in an extremely stressful position, but environmental factors are something I can have more control over.
Why am I planning to make these changes now?
Well, to be quite honest, I didn’t know the products I was putting on my skin day in and day out were that dangerous until recently. Sure, I knew there were some products that were better for me than others, but I didn’t know that the FDA has banned less than 10 chemicals to be used in our products versus the EU banning over 1000 due to safety concerns.
Another thing I learned from doing my research is that some of the products I am currently using have chemicals which are deemed “hormone and endocrine disruptors” and may be interfering in some of the health issues I’ve been having, including my migraines. (This information came from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) where they sited some pretty impressive research. You can check out one of the articles I spent time on here).
After I started down the path of testing some of these better beauty products, I started reading an extremely interesting book around what we eat and how it impacts our bodies, The Plant Paradox. The author, a cardiologist, re-iterated that our daily grooming products can interfere with the hormones in our body and can be one piece of the puzzle to addressing some health concerns, including migraines and severe allergies (which I have been struggling with for 20+ years)…
Ultimately, I have decided that I need to try out a few new products with “cleaner” ingredients because everything that I eat, interact with, or use could impact my body and how it functions. And, it couldn’t hurt to try these products out and see if they help with some of my health concerns.
Just a few thoughts before we jump into my recent favorites….
While I am trying to make a conscious effort to be more aware of the products I am using on daily basis, I am going to be gradually making these changes and am still going to be using products that work for me. I personally think, like all things in life, this needs to be about balance. Of the products that I have already tried to incorporate, I am loving some of them more than my old products. Others not so much.
I’m a firm believer that we have to be comfortable and confident in the products we are using for ourselves and we all have different needs and priorities. While I may start sharing products I believe are better for me – both in efficacy and chemicals within the products, it may not be the case for you and that’s totally fine. I’m just want to share my opinion on what’s working for me (like I do with everything on SGSB) and hope that it helps you in someway, shape or form.
What clean beauty products have I tried and loved already?
Since this all is overwhelming and overhauling a complete routine is time consuming, expensive and just plain mind boggling, at times, I’ve decided to continue down my journey in baby steps, which is why I’ve chosen to focus on skincare as my next step. I would eventually like to overhaul my whole routine, including makeup and other products I use regularly, but it’s not about perfection – rather it’s about making progress and moving forward in using products safer for my body.
If you want to learn more about clean beauty and some of my favorite product finds, be sure to sign up for my Better Beauty newsletter, where I’ll be sharing some of my research, favorite products and more!
Now, on to the fun part – these are the handful of products that I have already started using and loving….
India Lee Brightening Cleanser
This gel cleanser feels luxurious when I first put it on my skin. And it helps me to remove a good amount of my makeup while providing a dose of vitamin C, which gives it a bit of a brightening boost (so long, dark spots). While it cleans up all the dirt off my face, I have never felt that it strips it, which makes for the perfect canvas to apply creams and serums targeted at my skincare needs.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel
This lotion is may be my favorite product I’ve tried in a long time. About three times a week, I put it on after cleansing at night and the next morning, I wake up with brand new skin….ok, it’s not completely new, but the properties in the formula help to remove dead skin cells and create a beautiful glow the next morning.
Naturally Serious Cold-Pressed Peel Pads
Similar to the resurfacing peel above, these pads help to remove cleanse and exfoliate my skin. I typically use them in the morning or on the evenings I don’t use the resurfacing peel to help pick up an excess residue after cleansing. A big bonus, these pads have a very cool texture to them which is super refreshing.
Recovery Sleeping Cream
While I have a morning skincare routine, I have really focused being consistent on my nighttime routine because the products can really absorb in and I can maximize their full potential. My skin is on the normal to dry side – more on the latter this time of year – and this lotion works wonders because it is able to provide the right amount of moisture depending on how my skin is reacting that day. I can honestly say, since using this sleeping cream (and probably the resurfacing peel), my skin has never felt softer.
Nyakio Lip Balm
I suffer from chronic dry lips. You can probably find a ten lip balms lying around my house, in bags, in the car…when traveling, I find myself constantly reaching for something to prevent my lips from getting cracked. Since I started using this lip balm in the evening before bed, I have only needed to use a lip balm once or twice throughout the day and it’s more because it’s a habit rather than really needing it.