Between 40-60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed directly into the body. Unlike the digestive system, however, the skin does not have the same lines of defense. Molecules small enough to be absorbed directly into the blood stream will pass right through. In the case of self-massage with certified organic oils, porousness can be a positive thing. However, it can also be a negative thing. Think about all the exposure to synthetic, harmful chemicals in personal care products and household products, such as cleaners. Eek!
Toxic residues (or Ama) in the body contribute to the onset and progression of disease. Ama also leads to weight gain. This level of toxicity is not simply due to poorly digested food – rather, toxicity is also increased by our exposure to synthetic chemicals. These chemicals are found in nearly all cosmetics and skincare products, including many that are promoted as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’.
Thanks to the cosmetics, we are loaded with toxins, especially women.
Considering that almost 90% of the more than 10,000 ingredients used in personal care products have NOT been properly evaluated for safety, this is a little concerning. What is more disturbing is that even ingredients that are known, or suspected, to be carcinogens, mutagens, irritants or reproductive toxins are commonly (and legally) used in personal care products!
Breast cancer incidence rates in the United States have increased by more than 40 percent between 1973 and 1998. In 2008, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is one in eight. So what does breast cancer have to do with cosmetics? ONE THIRD of all personal care products now contain chemicals linked to cancer!
Toxic synthetic chemicals are highly fat soluble. When we are exposed to these chemicals the body creates fat to safely store these toxins. The body does this because it cannot process and eliminate the toxins safely!
Carbamates, a group of insecticides and herbicides used in the growing of food and in cosmetics, are used as growth promoters in battery-farm situations. The function of carbamates is to actually slow down the metabolic rate. So… the same chemicals used on our non-organic fruit and vegetables and in our cosmetics is used to fatten livestock! Carbamates are also used in pharmaceuticals to promote weight gain in humans.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, these synthetic chemicalswe put on our skin can be thought of as ama. Or basically toxins in a jar. Yes, our lipstick can indeed make our bums look fat!
In a lifetime, your average woman will, in fact absorb 4 kg of lipstick! Yikes.
The only way to be sure that what you’re putting on your skin won’t harm you is to purchase certified organic products. Be sure that the whole product is certified, not just some ingredients. Certified organic stamps are an independent third party guarantee of an “organic” claim.
The certified organic food certification is far more strict than the current certified organic cosmetic certification. Thus, it is best to choose food certified cosmetic products. These products must contain a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients. This percentage excludes water and salt. Note that there is a 5% allowance for natural, non-organic ingredients that must comply with very stringent processing criteria.
For example, these days you might pick up a shampoo that says “70% organic”. However, if the whole product isn’t certified organic, that 70% usually just refers to the water content of the shampoo. How did they make it organic? They simply threw a few certified organic tea bags into the water when making the shampoo! Gosh, and you’re paying extra for that! Sadly, the other 30% of actual ingredients are the same old toxic muck they’ve always put in the shampoo!
When I first began learning about Ayurveda, I was rather concerned by the- ‘if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin’ teaching.
Oh man, I loved my make-up, skin care routine, hair dye and hair products! After a little searching, I was relieved to find an Australian company producing a range of certified organic cosmetics. This company also produces body care and skin care products. All of the products are certified to international FOOD standards (MiEssence products). The cosmetics are so fresh, they actually have a use by date.
If you want to check them out, go to this website: www.mionegroup.com. If you love make-up, try Couleur Caramel as well. Couleur Caramel has a great, extensive range of certified organic make-up. Their line includes pencils and every shade of eye-shadow under the sun.
In these times of green consumerism, there are more and more organic and certified organic products coming onto the market everyday. Most of the certified brands appear to be pretty good and avoid the big nasties. However, it is best to read the labels to be sure.
If you can’t be bothered with reading labels, you could go for some Ayurvedic brands who stand by the premise ‘if you can’t eat it…’. Some good ranges include:
Or, if you’d like to save some money, you can always just use ghee as a moisturizer. For one, ghee it is certainly edible. Ghee is easily absorbed and is incredibly good for the skin! This is what I used before discovering Samanvaya Pure.
My husband swears by honey as the ultimate blemish controller and wound healer!
You may find, like me, that your complexion improves enormously from your Ayurvedic food and lifestyle practices. When you strengthen and stabilize your digestive fire (Agni) this helps to reduce toxins (Ama). Strong agni also allows one to digest and assimilate more fresh foods loaded in antioxidants. Finally, be sure to carry out regular internal and external ‘oiling up’ through your diet and self-massage. Guarantee, you will naturally improve the quality of your skin and hair while decreasing the affects of aging.
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