The Green Blog
"Green" Skin
Don't let the title of this blog entry fool you. We are not referring to the "green" skin that the Wicked Witch of the West had; rather, there are ways to help the environment by using eco-friendly (or "green") alternatives to treat your skin.

The cosmetic market of today uses parabens, preservatives, fragrances and chemicals that are not beneficial to your skin. And when you wash these substances off using water, these contaminants, which are not biodegradable, can end up in the water supply.

Consider these alternatives to replace skin care products containing chemicals:

- Oatmeal is one of the oldest and most powerful cleansers and exfoliants that can be used all over the body. Not only do the healthy little grains help lower your cholesterol, they also help your skin retain its moisture and smoothness, as well as improve the appearance of scars or discoloration. The cloudy and milky water they give off when soaked is a great toner for the skin. If you grind it up, oatmeal is perfect for a soothing bath and is safe to go down the drain. A little goes a long way!

- Eggs are goodies stocked with amino acids and proteins that help tighten the skin, reduce the appearance of pores and puffiness, and can even be washed through hair to moisturize and strengthen the follicles and create great volume!

- Apple cider vinegar is a powerful astringent used to fight acne. The acidity cleanses deep into the pores and rids the skin of oil and dirt. Be sure and use it as a spot treatment rather than a toner since it will be too harsh to apply all over the face.

- Lemon juice is a popular skin whitening agent. Have discoloration or sun damage? Apply lemon juice to the unwanted spots and within weeks you will see great improvement! 

Sugar, paired with honey and olive oil, makes for a sweet exfoliation treatment to get rid of dead skin cells and help cell turnover.

- Green tea is the holy grail of skincare. Not only is it healthy to drink, it is amazing for the skin since it contains many antioxidants that will slow the aging process and aid in sun protection. Simply brew the tea and wait until cool, then pour it into a container of your choice and use it as a toner.

- Baking soda is the new shampoo, and you have the safe and chemical-free benefits of not having to use moisture-stripping, sulfate-laden shampoos ever again! Use one tablespoon per wash. You can dissolve the baking soda in half a cup of water or add a small amount of water to make a paste. Massage the solution in your scalp and leave for a minute. And rinse your hair with the apple cider vinegar mentioned above to leave it silky and conditioned. Use a solution of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to half a cup of water.

- Honey is an ancient remedy that has amazing antibacterial properties and can be used to heal scars, fresh cuts, or even be added to a facial mask to detoxify the skin.

- Olive oil is the best organic facial moisturizer and makeup remover on the market. It was used by Greek women in order to keep their skin soft, supple and glowing. You will get the same results by adding it to your new organic skincare regimen.

Add these items to your grocery list and make it a challenge to see how many of these ingredients will replace your favorite products. The results might surprise you. Remember that with any new skincare product, the rule of thumb is to try the product out for at least two weeks so that your skin can get used to it. Better your skin and better the environment with these healthy and safe alternatives!