Did you know that about 60% of any substance applied to the skin is absorbed into the body and can even be detected in the blood within minutes? Studies have shown that we may actually acquire more toxins through inhalation and skin absorption than through the foods that we eat. That's pretty scary! The sad thing is that plenty of the body care products that I was purchasing that claimed to be "organic" or "derived from natural sources" were not nearly as natural as I thought. Most "natural" body care products still have chemicals in them.
Chemicals in body care products have been linked to reproductive problems and to some cancers. Many synthetic chemicals have also been linked to developmental deficiencies and learning disabilities in children. Even the fragrance in products have been reported to cause headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin irritation, and much more. I could go on and on but I think you get the picture that what we put on our skin should be as important in what we put in our bodies.
I think the best way to gradually change our skin care habits is to do just that...change gradually. Making your own products from natural household supplies is the cheapest way to do so. I use witch hazel mixed for astringent after washing my face. A bottle costs about $1.50 and lasts quite a long time. I mix it about 2/3 witch hazel and 1/3 water and store in a squeeze bottle and pour some on a cotton ball to apply to my face. For removing makeup olive oil is an excellent natural product to use. I dab some around my closed eyes and rub and then rinse to get any makeup off. A body scrub can be made out of sugar and olive oil. The list goes on and on for homemade beauty products so if interested do a Google search.
I also use store bought products which substitute the harmful chemicals for natural ones. But even my "natural products" are not pure from all chemicals. There are only two companies that I can really recommend products from as pretty much as natural as you can get.
Terressentials claims that they only use ingredients that the USDA permits in certified organic food. Yes, the products are really all natural.
The prices are a little high for me but I did try the lotion out a few years ago and can tell you that not only was the scent amazing (all natural, no synthetic fragrance) but the lotion worked. It cleared up my dry skin and with no irritation which I sometimes get from other products. If you are truly concerned with traditional body products Terressentials is the way to go. Even switching one product at a time will make it cost effective. I at least urge you to look around their site, they have a lot of media and research data included.
This company has amazing products with real natural ingredients for pregnancy and for baby. I buy their morning sickness tea when I am pregnant and have used their lotion for the kids (and myself!). It is smooth and smells delicious and I can be confident that what I am putting on my children is healthy for their little bodies.
I also use their baby bottom balm for diaper rashes and it clears it right up. It is also wonderful for cuts or scrapes, burns, and insect bites so we keep a jar of it in the bathroom cupboard. They can also be found at Amazon.com so I can use my swagbucks to buy them!
These are just my personal recommendations and I have not been paid to advertise them. I think it is best to try to make or use as many beauty products as possible and then look for an outside source on the items that you can not make yourself.