Raw Food and Natural Beauty

by Susan on November 6, 2010


When we are eating raw food, we start paying a lot of attention to what goes into our bodies. I thought it was time for a little reminder to think about what we are putting on our bodies, too. Our bodies are absorbing chemicals from our beauty products almost as easily as if we were eating them.

Pick up your bottle of lotion. Or your face cream. Read the ingredients. Now, go get a spoon and dig in. Obviously, I am kidding. But while we wouldn’t eat what is in the jar, we don’t think twice about slathering it all over our bodies. When we take into consideration that our skin is the biggest organ on our bodies, and is highly absorbent, I think we need to wake up and be much more aware of what we are putting on our bodies.

Think about how the medical world is now dispensing many of our drugs, through skin patches. There are patches for menopause, birth control, quitting smoking, depression, and chronic pain. The patch is even being considered for delivering insulin for diabetics. A simple patch that you place on your skin. This should alert you to what a great transportation system your skin is for drugs and chemicals.

There are quite a few great chemical free alternatives out there. Because they can be expensive, I thought I would share a few of my lo-cost, effective skin treatments with you.

My favorite skin moisturizer is Sweet Almond Oil. I actually get mine in bulk at the local co-op.  After every shower, before I dry off, I coat my skin with the oil and then towel off. Not only is the oil very moisturizing, it is quick and easy to do in the shower and if you do it while your skin is still wet, you get the extra added benefit of sealing in moisture. I love it. You can always add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil (make sure it is appropriate to put on your skin) for a beautiful fragrance.

I even add a few drops of almond oil to my hair conditioner. My hair is a bit on the dry side so the extra oil makes my hair beautifully shinny and healthy. Sweet almond oil is full of oleic and linoleic essential fatty acids. It is also a great source of vitamin E and A with a few B vitamins thrown in for good measure.

The next time you are thinking of buying that expensive, perfumed skin lotion, think sweet almond oil instead. Your outsides and your insides will thank you. I would love to hear about your natural beauty products!

For other natural beauty products, check out these posts:

Salt Rubs

Bath Salts

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen November 7, 2010 at 12:32 am

We use baking soda and raw apple cider vinegar to wash our face. Use coconut oil for our skin…alway use cold pressed and organic – coconut oil also as a moisturizer for the scalp! Love your idea of sweet almond oil. What kind do you use??

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Nikita November 7, 2010 at 8:17 am

I use sweet almond oil as a makeup remover and Manuka Honey to wash my face.

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Mary Ann November 7, 2010 at 8:45 am

I have a HUGE tub of raw organic coconut oil in my shower and slather it on every day!!! :)

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Karen November 7, 2010 at 9:25 am

Hello! I think almond oils is a great idea, but you should not forget to read more about how deep oils can moisturize the skin. the power of penetration of a oil, is just at the surface. It cant penetrate in the inner levels of your skin, like another compounds of moisturizers. And we do need to hydrate those levels, also. But is a good idea when you do need to hydrate your skin when coming from sun exposition.

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Susan November 7, 2010 at 10:05 am

Honestly, I find the oil to be more agreeable for my skin and works better than moisturizers! What other compounds are there that could be found naturally?

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Dot D. November 7, 2010 at 10:51 am

My concern is for the folks who have allergies to coconut and nuts. Indeed, what are some other compounds that can be safely used? Honey is a good one, but does that penetrate? How does one test for these substances??

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Faith Lubitz November 7, 2010 at 11:42 am

I use olive oil….I do it when my skin is still wet so I don’t have to use as much, I don’t want to get too greased up…the water helps spread a small amount on. And as far as the deeper layers needing hydrating it’s true but for that we need to be eating correctly, not looking for exterior products. The deep levels are controlled by hormones ,and of course the water balance in the body is affected by the urinary tract/kidneys….too much dietary salt (even good salt) can leave us dehydrated- the kidneys take water away from the skin to dilute the salty bloodstream, leaving dry skin. I use lime juice and herbs and shallots and spices instead of salt, also dulse flakes are great! For those of us in the menopausal years, achieving proper hormones can be challenging.

I have found a couple of natural ways to balance my old lady hormones…green smoothies, and cardamom—I chew up the cardamom seeds, yummy.

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Faith Lubitz November 7, 2010 at 11:45 am

final note, I recommend an excellent shower filter too for those of us especially who take a daily shower, or like longer showers, since the chlorine in city water is very drying to the skin. I have a great filter that does more than the smaller units that are sold in health food stores and coops. It’s got a larger filtration area…I got it from a man who is in Eden Prairie MN, email me if you want his contact info. flubitz@hotmail.com Faith

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Dot D. November 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Faith, All good news and, of course, I totally forgot about hormones playing a role in all this. :) Thanks!

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Hanna November 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I use a variety of organic oils on my skin. Just recently I made half a liter of olive oil in which I’d soaked a few branches of pine and spruce. This is a great oil that helps your blood circulation (or so the books I’ve been reading promise. I tend to add a few drops of essential oil to smaller amounts of the oil so I get to choose my favorite scents of the week for example.

It’s really easy to make and feels lovely on the skin. I also do the same routine in the summer time: shower, then oil before the skin is completely dry. In the winter time i reverse the routine: oil first – especially for my legs, then shower. This way the oil actually protects the skin from the water and it doesn’t get as dry during winter time :)

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KL November 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm

I use organic, vegan soaps from Obermeyer Naturals to bathe and they are wonderful (http://www.obermeyernaturals.com/Handmade-Soaps-p-1-c-248.html). I wash dishes and bathe my dogs with Castile soap (Dr. Bronner’s). I wash my hair with baking soda and water, moisturize my skin with sweet almond oil (make sure you get it in glass jars, not plastic), and use salt crystal deodorant.

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Karen apostolova November 8, 2010 at 5:58 am

Hello Susan, actually almond oil have a good penetration, but grape seed oil and flax seed oil have better deeper penetration. Also flax has good levels of omega 3 fat (essential to replenishment of skin properties). For face we can always use the almond milk, the same that we can make to drink. Once per week, because is deeeeep hydrating and might not be good for oils skin. Also the butters are more effective, specially now in the winter, like cocoa butter or oil, or cacao butter. Olive oil is great because of the antioxidants naturals. Just like the cacao butter is rich in antioxidants. Olive oil can be used to treat the hair, before wash with your usual shampoo. and mosqueta rose oil has huge deep hydrating power, and because of this might be used on the face, on the rides, or for pregnant women, on the body. Sorry if my english is not enough good to write correctly.

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Karen apostolova November 8, 2010 at 6:04 am

Oh yes, I forgot about aloe vera, great for regenerating skin…..try to find the more natural possible, exactly those prepared to drink.

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becky November 8, 2010 at 11:54 am

Thanks girls for all the tips! What does everyone use for aging skin..or sundamaged skin?
Also I need my face tightened up! Any recommendations! Thanks!

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Cindy November 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

Sesame oil is supposed to help reduce the appearance of brown scars so I use that after every shower. I started just putting it on the scars but now I just slather on after shower like you do with the almond oil. Just read about this one is anyone’s interested in wrinkle treatments! “Grind oat groats into a powder and make into a tea. Apply to the skin to smooth out wrinkles.”

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shirley beavan November 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Great info I love coconut oil for my skin must refrigerate to keep solid otherwise it becomes an oil not bad

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Catherine November 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I have just recently been using coconut oil for my skin. I resisted for years because of having hypersensitive skin, but the coconut oil actually helps heal my skin and I am loving it. Thanks for the good article above! got anything up your sleeve for thinning hair?

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Nikita November 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Apparently primrose oil works for thinning hair (take pills internally). Does anyone have a good face wash recipe that is easy to use/make and works for sensitive skin?

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Karen Apostolova November 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Catherine, I m using tea tree oil for the hair. Is great! Specially if is very damaged. I use on the ends, because mine have this tendency to became double. Sesame oil I ve tried i had one very bad allergic reaction related with my breath and hert biting. May be better to try on a little part of the body first. And no, I m not allergic to sesame seeds, but the oil made me this reaction. I tried oats just like Cindy advise. Is also great, but for grassy skin should be used just once per week.

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Julie Testerman November 9, 2010 at 8:29 am

Karen A–what do you think about organic Shea Butter? I started using this recently on my face and really love it. It has really helped with the wrinkles around my eyes. It doesn’t tighten my face, but it sure is soft and hydrated. It is hard in the jar, but once you put in on your finger, the warmth of the hand makes it spreadable. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I appreciate it very much.

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Sarah Mendenhall November 9, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I use all natural organic handmade soap and moisturize with olive oil scented with a few drops of vanilla, I love how fresh my face looks and feels!

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Kathy November 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I bought a “do it yourself” natural beauty products book called “Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homeade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self” by Stephanie Tourles, a bit over two years ago. It has some great recipes to take care of the body head-to-toe. There are some simple ideas for masks, cleansers, scrubs, shampoos, and conditioners that you can make with fresh ingredients and kitchen staples. There’s a fantastic recipe for an all-in-one scrub/cleanser/mask that is made out of ground oats and sunflower seeds hat can be kept in a jar for up to a year– I tripled the recipe last year and gave it to all my friends as a stocking stuffer!

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Karen Apostolova November 12, 2010 at 6:16 am

Hey Julie, I saw the shea butter to sell in one vegan shop, but I ve never tried. I really want to try it. And now that you are saying is so good I will try it. I m hearing a lot of people talking about damascena rose oil or mosqueta rose oil for the wrinkles around eyes. I tried a tester and is phenomenal! I have to buy it! :) Now for the body I m using the coconut oil, the same used for the deserts, and it gives to my skin such of softness, like a baby skin. I could not believe just the coconut butter could make it. Thanks to everybody for share all this information, this blog is so good for having this such of discussion here.

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Daphne November 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I prepare and use shea butter and glycerin for my lotion now instead of commercial products, and I have noticed how soft my skin has become. I use african shea butter as my sunscreen.

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Susan - Canada December 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I’d love to use Manuka Honey as a moisturizer. I’m sure I should mix it with some oil because it is quite thick. I’m just not sure of the ratio I should use for each. Any ideas out there? Thanks.

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Emma January 20, 2011 at 11:20 pm

About the oat groat tea- how exactly does one prepare that? Does one add steeped tea to the ground oats or just hot water…?

Any details are much appreciated!

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Tguch March 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Hi ! I wash my face with raw honey- it is water soluble and leaves my skin soft and clean. No need for moisturizer! I make my own body lotion from coconut oil, shea butter and cacao butter. I am excited to try these other oils for my hair and wrinkles that are mentioned above. Thank you so much everyone for sharing!

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Françoise Mathieu March 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm

There’s a great new book that’s just come out called “there’s lead in your lipstick” by Gill Deacon (no relation of mine I just loved it) that talks all about toxins in beauty products AND gives you recipes for healthy alternatives. She also names some “greenwashed” brands who claim to be green when they aren’t. I highly recommend it. I gave it to my 13 year old and her friends and they were shocked and immediately started making their own products instead. Scary when you read it .

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ujunwa February 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

For thinning hair Castor oil is great. It makes the hair to grow in a short time. For my skin being in a hot climate in Africa I use a mixture of Coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil and drops of sweet orange oil. I have amazing glowing skin even with the hot weather. I haven’t looked this great in all my years of using expensive store bought lotions and this is just under two months of going natural.

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Belinda October 26, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Ujunwa,

I am interested in trying your mixture of oils that you mentioned in your post. Could you tell me how much of each of the oils you use in your mixture. I currently use coconut oil, but would be interested in mixing it with the oils that you mentioned.

Thanks!

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