Making the nontoxic switch is not easy for a few reasons: the massive learning curve, choke-on-them ingredient names, and the heavy hits to your wallet. Another piece of resistance, however, also comes from the difference in performance of some of the products. Yes, nontoxic stuff definitely makes your skin feel softer and more supple, smell like flower aisle in Shoprite (which is about the closest I get to actual foliage), and makes you glow like Jlo.
However, there are some things we’re just going to have to work harder on. For example: mascara. Nothing is going to be Mac. So, rub on some elbow grease and wiggle that little plastic wand back and forth from root to tip 2-3 times. A little more work for a little less disease is no biggie.
Same goes for creams and lotions. As you may know, its quite difficult to find a cream-based nontoxic moisturizer, as creams require both stabilizers and emollients to keep the formula from separating and to maintain its luscious viscosity. But because most companies want to avoid these additives, you’ll end up with an oil or a balm, which is basically a solidified oil. And putting an oil on your skin is going to make you feel.. well, a little oily. At least at first.
Lately, this has been the most ubiquitous comment when showing a customer a balm in response to their request for moisturizer. The subconscious grimace emerges as they imagine rubbing OIL all over their faces. Won’t OIL make me OILY! and OILY means PIMPLES! Plus, I feel… OILY!
Calm down, people. That’s now how this works. Same way eating FAT won’t make you FAT. (I promise. No one ever got fat on avocado alone.) Give your skin A MINUTE. It will drink it all in, I promise! Why don’t your other creams feel like this, you say? A couple of reasons. One, ’cause they’re prettaaay watered down. Like, the infuriating potato-chips-bag-filled-with-air watered down. Second, because many of them are aided by these coolio things called ABSORPTION ENHANCERS, or skin-penetration enhancers, like propylene glycol, which change the molecular structure of your skin so that the product will enter no holds barred and you won’t have to feel one inconvenient minute of a little bit greasy:
“in general, nearly all serums and moisturizers on the market today are formulated such that some of the beneficial ingredients will penetrate the skin. However, in our one-step society, people are always looking for an even faster solution. Some companies have started to produce skin care products designed to enhance the penetration of skin care ingredients into the skin.”
Obviously, you won’t see any creepola enhancers in Junk Free products. Which means you may have to deal with the initial, ahem, discomfort of being a little oily. Trust me, you’ll get over it when your face plumps up like a Vatican cherub and your lips puff out like memory foam pillows.
If you think you don’t need a moisturizer (which a surprising toooo many of you do,) or if you want to understand the general housekeeping of your pretty little face, keep reading.
Your face (and eyes, and scalp, and skin, and everywhere) produces oil ’cause the stuff rocks. It keeps you moist and juicy an protects you from patriarchy and Fascist governments. But really, its our body’s way of maintaining itself as a well-oiled machine (get it??? get it?) . When you wash with conventional cleansers, your skin is being Stanley Steemered of its good stuff. So you slather on cream to alleviate the situation. And then you get some pimples. Why? Because a drugstore cream won’t replenish your skin’s moisture to the quality and extent of what your face needs. So it goes into overdrive, pumping out until it overproduces into a beautiful mound of pus on your chin.
We cleanse, we moisturize. But your moisturizer can only do what its supposed to if you cleanse properly. Cleansing sets up the pH balance of your acid mantle, or the most superficial layer of your face, which (just like your gut!) needs to remain at a specific level of pH. See here:
“…in case you snoozed through pH day in chemistry class: Introduced back in the early 1900s, pH stands for “potential hydrogen” and is used to describe the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance, which ranges from 0 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline).
Why should this mean anything to you? Because the health of your body—and skin—is directly linked to maintaining the right balance between acidity and alkalinity.
“The skin’s barrier, which is known as the acid mantle, is responsible for keeping in lipids and moisture while blocking germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria,” explains Patricia Wexler, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. “To work its best, the acid mantle should be slightly acidic, at a 5.5 pH balance. When it’s too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive; you may even get eczema. You may also experience inflammation, which inhibits the skin’s ability to ward off matrix metalloproteinases [MMPs], the enzymes that destroy collagen and cause wrinkles and sagging.”(http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/ph-levels)
[Refer to my last instagram post about toner for more on how to maintain your skin’s pH]
We have to care about the pH of our skin unless we want to start endorsing Proactiv. I mean, it looks like a pretty awesome gig, but I already have two legitimate jobs, and a couple of side projects. Like my kid. I’m good for now.
Good skin means= mild cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. If you want to get extra fancy, throw in an oil cleanser (huh?! what? how can oil, cleanse? trust me here.)
- FEELING A LITTLE OILY WONT KILL YOU, BUT CRAPPY INGREDIENTS MIGHT.
PS. If you still need help, come visit us at JFB. We don’t bite. Unless you’re a forkful of baked ziti.