june-3-2009-479

It has been said that the health of your skin is a good indicator of how healthy the rest of your body is. It is also said that skin is the largest organ in the body. So when I started learning more about natural living I started to wonder about what I was putting on my face. After all would I slather alcohols and parabens all over my pancreas?

For Mama

Once upon a time my skin care/makeup kit looked like this:

  • several types of cleansers that were used to treat pimples and red, blotchy skin,
  • toners used to combat oily skin in the summer,
  • many different moisturizers used to combat dry, flaky skin in the winter,
  • “scrubs” to deal with flaky skin,
  • undereye concealer,
  • foundation,
  • powder,
  • eyeshadow and mascara,
  • blush, and
  • the occasional eye liner.

So basically I was clogging my pores, attempting to treat it with chemical laden cleansers, toners and moisturizers and then clogging my pores even more by attempting to conceal all of my skin problems that were only exacerbated by the cleansers. It was a vicious cycle.

Shortly after the birth of my oldest son I stopped wearing makeup – for both physical and spiritual reasons. There was a definite adjustment period for both my skin and my personal perception. But after a while I noticed that the red blotchy skin I’d had for years was finally starting to clear up. I still had lots of freckles (I am a red head), but they looked like they belonged.

Eventually I also started to ditch the cleansers, toners and moisturizers – all of which were full of weird chemicals I had used in the lab and recognized as toxins. Instead I began a new cleansing regimen that cost virtually nothing in comparison to my old program.

My new skin care products include:

  • washing my face with a natural soap,
  • moisturizing with the tiniest bit of coconut oil
  • daily fish oil or cod liver oil supplementation to add essential fatty acids and vitamin D to my diet
  • avoiding sun screens and getting some sun for additional vitamin D

For Baby

After clearing the chemicals out of my own skin care I wanted to search for natural alternatives for my baby’s skin. Besides wanting to avoid using chemicals on our baby’s skin we also needed to find products that are friendly with the cloth diapers we use.

We started using just very small amounts of natural soaps at bath time. With our youngest I switched from a commercial diaper cream to one that used herbs and good fats instead of chemicals. I am currently experimenting with a coconut oil-lavendar recipe for a homemade diaper cream. I need to pick up some more calendula and beeswax before finalizing the recipe, but I will share it with y’all when it is complete.

Their are some good skin care products on the market, though you do have to be careful and read labels. You can find fairly affordable natural skin products for both mama and baby here on my resources page.

What about you… how do you care for you and your baby’s skin?

This post is a contribution to Real Food Wednesday.

 

22 Responses to Natural Skin Care for Mama and Baby

  1. Chiot's Run says:

    I too started to detox my personal care routine last year. Now I use a natural soap, but only every 2-3 days (on my face) and I am currently using some grape seed oil for moisturizer, but I’m hoping to try some coconut oil when that runs out.

    My skin is still giving me fits, although it has been since I went off birth control. I figure eventually it will stabilize.

    I also think that sunscreen is bad bad bad!!! I grew up being slathered in it all the time, being a fair-skinned red head living on the equator. But at age 27 I was diagnosed with early stage skin cancer despite the religious use of sunscreen. I now wear a hat and try to stay out of the sun during high times, but I don’t wear sunscreen unless necessary (and I use mineral then).

    It’s good to see others doing the same thing. I’m sill trying to find the perfect shampoo, but eventually I’ll find it. Any suggestions?

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  2. Amy says:

    I used to work for Clarins and prior to that worked at a store that sold numerous brands of cosmetics and skin care items, including such “natural” brands as Bare Esentuals. Ah, the gross facts, tidbits, and stories I can tell…yuck.

    Even back then, when I could have been up to my eyeballs in gratis products, I washed my face with raw honey, exfoliated with “peels” made from naturally acidic foods such as citrus fruits, and moisturized with cocoa or shea butters that I had melted myself. Everybody would always go on about how beautiful my complexion was and would assume (or so it seemed by their purchasing) that I must use the lines I sold. Little did they know I’d never used those products nor did I wear foundation or concealer to work unless there was a reason to (aka a once a month breakout ;o)). I’ve also been making my own lipbalms, soaps, facial scrubs, body sugar scrubs, and so forth for years now, having had opportunity to understand the formulas of commercial products, why x ingredients does what effect, and studying how natural ingredients can provide the same effect. A fascinating process, to say the least.

    Many cosmetic and hygiene products are made in such a way to require more and more product as your skin and hair are damaged as result of their use. At the time I worked for one of the above mentioned companies, their sensitive skin line had peppermint oil and witch hazel in nearly every product, including a “skin soother” they especially liked to pride themselves on. Both of these are known to be skin irritants and thus do not help sensitive skin, but cause more damage instead. Even such a “mainstream” book as “Don’t Go To The Cosmetic Counter Without Me” made note of such irritants.

    One of the “Big Three” cosmetic counters, as we called back during my makeup artistry days, has a three step skin care system that works together to essentially damage the skin the best and require more product and more concealer and foundation. The book mentioned above made note of this too. It’s all so twisted and absurd, to realize we live in a culture that encourages such warped body image in order to sell products. Of course this is far from the only industry guilty of such things, but one that is damaging on a wide scale every day, to many many many people.

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  3. tarena says:

    I use coconut oil for my whole family’s moisturizer. I use organic make up and I use baking soda mixed with water to form a paste for our hair care! Love it!

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  4. Denise says:

    i have been using honey as a cleanser and vitamin E oil as a moisturizer which is working just fine and cost hardly anything.

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  5. I am working on moving everyone/everything over to more natural stuff. I am with you on making baby’s world as natural as possible, although it took my second baby to really cement that in. You can win some natural baby and momma products at my site this week through Thursday 8/12. The herbalist who makes them is a local gal, for me at least, and I know how you like the local angle! :) I really like her products, and they are very frugal in my opinion. The link to the giveaway is in the sidebar… Thanks!

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  6. Tina says:

    I haven’t worn make-up in 15 years or so but I always bought expensive shampoo/conditioners. After my first son was born, I threw out all shampoos and conditioners. I used vinegar and baking soda for a while and then went with a more natural shampoo/conditioner.

    I use olive oil and oatmeal soaps for my family which include one and three year old boys. I’ve never used Johnson and Johnson baby crap on either boy. And although I know there’s good natural products out there, we really don’t need it since we’ve been eating more good fats. Even in Colorado where it can get really dry.

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  7. Tina says:

    Amy, I’ve always wondered if the higher end companies knowingly made make-up that ruined skin. Or did they actually think that they were making good stuff and helping women. Did others that you worked with/for use these products as well?

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  8. Shannon,

    I subscribe to Shane Ellison’s, “The People’s Chemist” website and he recently sent out an email on Kukui oil. Have you heard of it? Below is an excerpt from the email. I haven’t tried the oil and cannot recommend it at this point but thought I’d throw it out there to see if you have heard of it.

    Shane Ellison quotes: “Kukui oil is among the fastest oils to be absorbed by the skin. This allows it to deliver anti-wrinkle compounds known as linoleic, oleic and various linolenic acids deep into the skin layers. These not only moisturize but also prevent the damaging process of crosslinking caused by too much sun exposure. Polynesian locals have used it traditionally to preserve their radiant glow. You can do the same. Despite its wild effectiveness, kukui is inexpensive and easy to find. But you don’t want to buy it loaded with adulterants like synthetic vitamin E and C. My brand of choice is ‘A’ Ala Dreams (http://www.aaladreams.com). They sell it without any additives whatsoever for about $5 per month depending on use! ” End quote

    Susan

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  9. suzannah says:

    since having my baby, i also started to reconsider and replace chemical-laden stuff with natural.

    i like jojoba oil as face/body moisturizer in winter for mama and baby. in summer, i’m using a pricier organic/natural face cream, but i found a good deal. a great natural lip balm is lanolin–leftover from nursing. not vegan or anything, but natural and petroleum-free–which molecularly is too big to ever be absorbed.

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  10. I make my own and have for some time. We’re all shampoo-free in our home. As PP have mentioned, kukui nut oil is great for skin care we use that, shea butter and mango butter too. It’s fun and remarkably easy to make your own.

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  11. I have been washing my face with a mixture of chickpea flour and neem powder for about a year. It’s awesome for my oily skin and was recommended to me by an Ayurvedic specialist. I can’t believe how much money I save!

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  12. How great to know I can moisturize with coconut oil. I have only just started to look into this. I didn’t wear makeup till I was in my mid 20′s and started looking like an exhausted mama, but now I’d like to treat my skin more minimally and naturally. A hourishing diet and rest help too, I find.

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  13. Denise says:

    Natural soap – can you point me in the right direction of some good products? Both of my children have sensitive skin as do I, and most of the over the counter products for sensitive skin are really no different except they contain less frangrance. Thanks for any advice you can give!

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  14. angie says:

    I am a diabetic and my skin is dry and itchy most of the time this kills me so I will definetly try anything that may help

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  15. Heather H . says:

    I have recently found Everyday Minerals to be the best, safest make-up out there. It has exactly 4 ingredients, all minerals that you can pronounce, and all too large to be absorbed by the skin. I don’t wear makeup often, but it is fun to get all “dolled up” for our weekly date nights. I would like to let anyone terrified of putting oil on there already acne prone skin not to worry. I was very impressed when I first started using it, it actually cleared up 90% of the acne that i started with, because of the natural antibiotic properties of the oil. Also the best oil for skin is Organic Unrefined Cold-pressed Coconut Oil. I buy Nutiva brand myself, as they use the whole fresh coconut.

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  16. For myself I wash myself w/Burt’s Bees face wash, try to use Mineral Makeups. I don’t usually put moisturizer on my face… I know I should, but I just don’t need it. For eye makeup removal I use Grapeseed Oil.

    For my baby we use Method baby products.

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  17. Jeannette says:

    We make our own all natural soap for the family to use. We also make our own all natural lotion, but with our soap our skin doesn’t get as dried out, so there is less need for lotion. However, one thing I did notice with pregnancy is that the hormones just got my face breaking out. The solution? natural astringent in the form of citronella and tea tree essential oils mixed with water. A spritz on a cotton ball and my face is cleansed and refreshed. (It also works as a mosquito repellent too!)

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  18. [...] Natural Skin Care for Mama and Baby (Read all the comments too!  I’m using honey on my face right now!) [...]

  19. Alison says:

    Denise, I also have sensitive skin also I have eczema, one of my favorite companies to order soap from is Praireland Herbs, I purchase either the baby bubbles or the lavender creme. http://www.prairielandherbs.com/

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  20. Denise says:

    Thanks Alison! I’ll check them out today. We’re all tired of being itchy all the time. :)

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  21. Annie says:

    oh no :(

    You must be referring to Clinique and I have been using that for over 10 years.

    Alas. We all learn at different times. Since the birth of my daughter 6 months ago my skin is just not what it once was (very healthy!)

    I do feel fortunate to have learned about Real Food, etc., while she is still young, at least.

    Thank you for the very informative comment.

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  22. Lisa says:

    i always suspected this within the beauty industry….same with certain pharmaceautcals–take them and they make you sicker.
    I sent this comment onto my niece who suffers from acne…thank you very very much for this…

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