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Why I Gave Up Face Wash

_DSC8771 I won’t blame any of you who may have already judged me, just a little, on the basis of this post’s title. So let me please begin by assuring you that while I am guilty of being a little bit of a hippie, I am certainly not of the dirty variety! To prevent you from backing away from your computer screens any further, allow me to clarify my opening statement a little. True, I have given up on face wash, but I haven’t given up on washing my face.

You see, 10 months ago I adopted a natural, plant-based lifestyle. It began with boycotting the farming industry and eating plant foods only, but as I gradually became more educated on what I was allowing into my body, it led to an intense questioning of what I was putting on to it as well. I was beginning to feel the myriad benefits of nourishing my body and cells with organic, nutrient-rich whole foods: no more additives, preservatives or chemical nasties. It felt only natural to extend the same love to my skin cells too.

To give you a bit of background, I have always had a ‘combination-oily’ facial skin type- in that I experience oiliness in the T-zones and hormonal break outs on my chin area at least once a month. Like a lot of girls I have tried several brands of facial wash that occupy the pharmacy shelves. Every time a ‘new formula’ was released and I would see an advert on the TV promising me pixel-perfect, oil-free skin I would rush out to road-test it. Roughly calculating, I would say I have been a consumer of different varieties of drug-store facial washes for nearly 20 years. And after all that time and money investment my skin-type was still ‘combination-oily’. After pumping 20 years’ worth of cash into buying washes that made no difference to my skin at all, it’s fair to say I had grown skeptical of these ‘miracle’ formulas.

The beauty industry indoctrinates women early on through glossy magazine articles and ad campaigns their golden mantra; you must wash your face twice every day. Then why did it seem so ineffectual?  It’s fair to say that when I delved into the online world to research the importance of using face wash and possible alternate options it was from the mind-set of an already very jaded customer. I was still shocked, however, to discover after only a few Google searches that the cosmetics industry is a largely un-regulated body; meaning they can use whatever ingredients they like in their products, often with scant regard to their safety or effectiveness and, in some cases, these potentially harmful ingredients don’t even need to be included on the label. The scariest part about all this is that our beauty products do not only go skin deep. 60% of what we apply to our skin, our largest organ, is absorbed directly in to our blood stream (just think of how nicotine patches work.) As soon as I realized this, along with the fact that most drug-store face washes contain a ton of synthetic chemicals and skin damaging ingredients, I knew I wanted to seek out an alternative method for cleaning my skin.

Here is a list of just a few of the toxic ingredients potentially hiding in your bottle of face wash that you may want to check for: – Alcohols and parabens; these have been directly linked to forms of cancer. -Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS); known to cause carcinogenic dioxins and nitrates to enter the bloodstream. – Dibutylphthalate; Due to a number of severe allergic reactions to these chemicals, L’Oréal Europe has stopped its use; they can still be found in L’Oréal US products. – Diethanolamine; known to be extremely hazardous and can lead to massive organ failure, particularly of the liver and kidneys.

So which natural, alternative methods have I switched my regular face wash for, you ask? On days that I don’t wear any, or only very light, make up I just wash with good old-fashioned water! Takes it all right off, even lightly applied mascara. However if I am wearing heavier make up, or my skin feels particularly sweaty or dirty, I have been using the ‘Oil Cleansing Method’. Working on the scientific premise that ‘like dissolves like’; it is a fact that oil dissolves oil. So when we apply oils to the surface of our skin they naturally succeed in dissolving our pores of make-up and bacteria, replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones. I have adopted this method of cleansing since June last year using olive, coconut and almond oils, and guess what? I no longer have oily skin. No more break outs on my chin. I’ve even noticed old acne scars are healing. Obviously this can be attributed to my diet and lifestyle changes as well, but I have no doubt that cutting face wash out of my beauty routine has been for the better.

Post written by Tribe member, Louise. Check out her blog PAPAYA + LIME here.

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