Cleaning up your beauty routine can feel overwhelming, expensive, and time-consuming — but it doesn’t need to be.
I sat down to talk about how to craft a healthy routine with Margo Marrone, a trained pharmacist, homeopathic healer and co-founder of the organic beauty and skincare brand The Organic Pharmacy. Margo’s mission is to bring natural remedies and products into the lives of women of all skin types and backgrounds. In a wellness culture too often dominated by dangerous and artificial remedies, she believes we all need to go back to the basics and strive toward “clean beauty” and happy living.
Here are her top 5 tips to spring clean your beauty routine for healthier skin:
1. Ditch Sugar
Sugar is highly addictive and part of so many meals that we can forget how much it hurts our bodies. Not only is sugar full of empty calories and a potential cause of organ damage and disease, but it also can trigger painful, damaging chronic inflammation. When we consume too much sugar, the excess glucose is converted to triglycerides that are then stored as fat in the blood, where they react with the body’s proteins to cause inflammation. Avoid puffiness, dryness and wrinkles by swapping out sugar for artificial sweeteners that do not elevate your blood glucose levels, like Splenda. Limit sugary foods, and try to cut out soda altogether. A healthy exercise routine can also lower triglycerides.
2. Read The Labels
Our skin is our largest organ and we can absorb up to 60% of what we put on it — so the more natural the products we use, the better! Unfortunately, the cosmetic and personal care industries are highly unregulated, and many innocent-looking products on the shelf are often full of skin irritants and toxins. Check the ingredient list on your products for harmful chemicals like parabens, synthetic colors, triclosan, phthalates, formaldehyde, toluene, propylene glycol, petroleum distillates and acrylates. Look instead for organic products full of natural vitamins that make the skin healthy and fresh. When in doubt, go for products with fewer ingredients.
3. Moisturize Every Day
Just as you need to drink water every day, you also have to hydrate your skin on a daily basis. Moisturizing fights dryness that makes wrinkles and lines stand out, and make your skin look dull. Look for organic products, and establish a routine. One of the biggest and most common mistakes people make is applying moisturizer to dry skin. Dry skin has a build-up of dead skin on the top that will block the lotion, so be sure to gently exfoliate, shower or wash your face with warm water, and apply moisturizer immediately, while your face is still damp. Those with oily skin need to moisturize, too: try a product with natural ingredients such as grapeseed or avocado oil. And don’t neglect the rest of your body – moisturize from head to toe.
4. Out With The Old
Using old products can cause infections, so be sure to throw out cosmetics that are more than 6 months old, or any skincare products that are past their expiration date. Clean brushes with non-toxic solutions, to get rid of old product build-up and avoid breakouts. Bacteria can grow in between the bristles of your toothbrush, so be sure to rinse your brush clean each time after use and replace it every three months. Buy a new brush after you’ve been sick. Don’t share your toothbrush or keep it in an airtight container, where germs will multiply.
5. Choose the Right Sunscreen
Summer is almost here – be sure to buy the right product to protect your skin. Go for sunscreens with “broad spectrum” protection; these block not only the UVB rays that cause sunburn but also UVA rays, which contribute to skin cancer and premature aging. Choose SPF 30 or higher, so you don’t have to reapply as often. If you have allergy- or acne-prone skin, avoid products with preservatives, fragrances, or oxybenzone. Sunscreens made with salicylates and ecamsule are less likely to cause reactions, even on sensitive skin.