The 411 on Natural Skin Care: A Four Part Series


I have always been fairly obsessed with skin and skin care, and over this past winter my obsession has surely peaked.  Mother nature seems to be really giving us a run for our money lately and I must admit my skin is having none of it.  As a long time science lover and new skin care addict I finally took the plunge into the completely insane world of skin care products.  

Trust me I know how overwhelming this world can be - with so many choices and so many grandiose claims with pretty packaging it’s hard to weed out what is worth spending your money on.  That’s why I use a general rule of thumb when I’m interested in a new product: I will go straight to the ingredients list to do a quick skim-through before reading any product claims on the package.  This can help you avoid being suckered into the product marketing by making a more informed, conscious choice.

I have had several patients, friends, and family asking advice on skin care products that I would recommend for various skin conditions or just for overall maintenance of healthy skin over the past little while.   As a soon to be ND (6 weeks and counting…) there is an obvious emphasis on looking for companies and products that contain as many natural and organic ingredients as possible to help limit our total toxic load.

SO with this in mind I thought what better way to come up with great suggestions than to hold an AAAD approved product review from a few carefully selected companies. 


Let the glowing skin begin! 

Here are the prerequisites:
  • Product is not tested on animals, nor are the ingredients within the product.
  • Product line does not contain any of these ingredients:
    • Eythyl, Methyl, Propyl & Butyl Parabens
    • Phenoxyethenol
    • Propylene glycol
    • Synthetic fragrance
    • PEGs (Polyethylene Glycol)*
    • Free Nano particles
    • Petroleum or petrolatum
    • Coal tar
    • DEA (Diethanolamine)
    • TEA (Triethanolamine)
    • Urea (Diazolidinyl or Imidazolidinyl urea)
    • DMDM hydantoin
    • Phthalates
    • PVP
    • PVC
    • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
    • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
    • Tetrasodium EDTA
    • Triclosan
    • Chlorphenesin
    • BPA
    • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
    • Methylisothiazolinone
    • Hydroquinone
At the end of the day it’s important to remember what our skin’s primary function is: a protective barrier! Our skin is like a little self-sustaining environment that likes to be at a pH of around 5.  When we use a cleanser or facial product that changes this pH drastically (some treatment products vary slightly due to their chemical nature) or destroys the lipid barrier, we can see disruptions in our skin’s ability to maintain its effectiveness as a protective barrier.  It is then that we start to see chaos break loose in the form of:

  • new or aggravated eczema
  • dry flakey skin
  • redness/inflammation
  • increased sensitivity
  • acne 
  • aggravated rosacea
  • dullness
  • hyper-pigmentation
  • excessive oiliness
  • etc…!


From a naturopathic perspective, the state of our skin is an indication of what is going on on the inside.  The foods we eat, the medications we take, our hormonal state, the products we use, and our genetics all determine how our skin is functioning.  Although there is a lot of internal support you can access through your ND or health care provider, the products we put on our skin make a big difference as well. 


The best advice I can give you is to simplify your skin care routine and choose to invest in products with high quality non-irritating ingredients. Your skin will thank you later — I promise!  


So stay tuned and get excited for the four part series where I review and give important tips on choosing natural:

  1. Cleansers
  2. Exfoliants
  3. Moisturizers
  4. Serums/Facial Oils


Love,
Nadia 



A long time athlete and health advocate,  Dr. Kumentas’ goal is to help her patients become excited about making positive lifestyle choices in order to enjoy healthier, happier lives.  Her driving force is a passion for healing the whole person on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level using carefully selected natural therapies, fitness, and integrated medicine.  She truly believes in the importance of practising what you preach and investing in your health.  
Dr. Nadia Kumentas practices at Zen Beginnings Wellness Centre in Toronto and has a special interest in dermatology, woman’s health, and pain management.

To learn more about Dr. Nadia Kumentas visit www.DrNadiaKumentas.com or contact her at nadia@zenbeginnings.com.


Text Image courtesy of : Corbis.com

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