Natural Hair and Skin Care Basics

Natural Hair and Skin Care Basics
September 19, 2011 Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

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If a healthy eating plan is important to you, then you should also consider the health, environmental and ethical impacts of what you put on your skin and in your hair.

I get so many questions about natural hair and skin care that I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts, even though it’s not directly related to healthy eating.

There are five basic criteria I use in choosing natural hair and skin care products. They are, in no particular order:

1. Maintain Natural Balance

Whenever I can, I try to choose products and methods that clean while maintaining the oil and bacteria that my skin and hair need to stay healthy.

2. Non-Toxic

The skin is an organ of defence and filtration of toxins. Unfortunately, lots of the chemical toxins we’re exposed to can make it past our skin and directly into our blood stream.

3. Ecologically Stable

If you think beyond your own health, most regular shampoos and cleaning products have toxins that will last beyond your drain and affect the health of animals, plants and microorganisms out in our ecosystem. {jumi [files/includes/youtube.php] [UkE20VtDm_k]}

If you look for products that don’t have sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS) and parabens, then chances are the company knows enough to keep most other toxins out as well. They’re by no means the only toxins, or the worst ones, but I use them as a kind of barometer.

4. Cruelty-Free

If you follow a vegan diet plan, chances are you want to avoid products that use animal ingredients and animal testing. It’s nearly impossible to know everything about all research and production methods. But where I can see things that I don’t support, I choose to buy things that meet my standards.

5. Low Packaging

There is so much plastic in the world, that any step I can take to reduce it is a step I will choose. Buying solids instead of liquids means that you can store it in a tin or on a dish.

There are solid forms of shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and deodorant. Not only does it reduce the plastic you use, but you use them much more slowly and they’re fantastic when you’re traveling.

If you do use liquids, try to buy from a place where you can take in your own bottles to get refilled.

Nutrients for Natural Hair and Skin Care

In addition to what you put on the surface, remember that your hair, skin, teeth and nails need proper nutrition to keep them healthy and strong. Sugars and toxins that you eat show up on your skin, so a healthy diet plan is the best way to keep your skin clear and glowing.

The specific nutrients that are most important for your hair and skin are vitamin A as beta-carotene, along with vitamin E and selenium. Minerals, especially zinc, silica and calcium, are important for teeth and nails.

A healthy eating plan that includes a wide variety of whole plant foods should get you a base level of these nutrients. Some that are particularly good are carrots, squash, sweet potato, almonds, sesame seeds, brown rice, broccoli (are there any lists of healthy foods that don’t include broccoli?), Brazil nuts, and lentils. Daily Balancer from Wellness Resources is a good way to top up on them.

What are your criteria for natural hair and skin care products? Let me know what your top priority is by leaving a comment below.

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