If you’ve ever walked down the beauty isles of your local grocery or cosmetic store, you’ve probably been bombarded by a massive selection of face washes guaranteed to erase every blemish off your skin and the face of the earth. With so many to choose from, and of course a dire need for smooth skin, how do you decide on a single product? Some advertise all-natural ingredients, others have fancy scents, some even have glitter. Sounds pretty great right?
Not so fast. Remember that your skin is super absorbent, so everything you put on your skin finds its way into your body through tiny pores. Skin care products are definitely included, which isn’t a good thing given many contain nasty chemicals you wouldn’t anywhere near your body.
Here are some examples:
- Parabens: Parabens are the chemicals that prevent your products, like body and facial washes, make-up, and deodorants from getting infected with nasty bacteria or mold. Unfortunately, parabens are easily absorbed into the skin and have been found in the biopsy samples of breast tumors. The “Estrogen-mimicking” properties of parabens have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer (Cunningham 2013).
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): This chemical is found in 90% of beauty and cleaning products. It’s known for making that cool foaming effect that is so popular in most soaps, shampoos, and facial washes. However, this product tends to easily combine with other chemicals, and when that happens it becomes a harmful carcinogen linked to kidney and respiratory problems.
- Fragrances: The ingredients in your soaps that make them smell like roses, coconuts, or whatever your favorite scent may be are actually a “secret recipe”. Yup, companies are actually allowed to keep their fragrance recipes a secret so they can’t be copied or reproduced. Other than causing allergies and dermatitis, fragrances have been linked to a variety of health effects to the respiratory system. We will never know what toxic chemicals could hide inside the secret recipe, but are you really willing to take that risk?
If you are interested in reading more about chemicals in your skin care products Vanessa Cunningham over at the Huffington Post wrote a great (and honestly, scary) article titled “10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid”.
Reading about all these chemicals can be a bit scary, especially since the price tag on all-natural alternatives are quite out the average person’s price range. I mean 10 to 20 to even 50+ dollars for a simple facial cleanser. And all-natural/organic products expire super quickly, and some aren’t even legit.
So your probably wondering now, what can I do? The answer (as you may have read in the title of this article) is as simple as a 99 cent container of plain yogurt from your local grocery store. Yogurt is actually the easiest facial cleanser ever, and it works! Not only does it work, but yogurt actually has a ton of skin benefits.
Here’s the cool sciencey explanation (via Livestrong.com):
- Anti-aging: Yogurt contains lactic acid, which dissolves dead skin that otherwise clogs up pores and gives the skin a youthful glow.
- Fights Acne: Yogurt, like honey, is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It’s also naturally rich in zinc, which is an ingredient in acne medications. The anti-bacterial properties naturally kill the impurities on the skin that lead to breakouts, leaving the skin super fresh and clean.
- Reduces Discoloration: Overtime, yogurt has a slight natural bleaching effect on the skin. Age-spots,, as well as damage from too much sun, can be healed with yogurt.
Review: I have been using yogurt instead of a store bought cleanser for about two years. So since when I was 15. Before I used yogurt I had pretty typical teenage skin, was prone to occasional breakouts, and had some redness. I have generally sensitive and oily/mixed skin.
I first discovered yogurt because I felt that traditional face wash was too harsh on my skin. Sensitive options were very pricey, so I started reading about cheap DIY methods. And by accident, I discovered this article! I remember that after using yogurt for the first week, my skin already felt so much more glowy and healthier! Now my skin remains super calm, is much less oily and I hardly ever break out. It takes a little experimentation based on your personal skin type to figure out what yogurt to use, but once you do you’re set. You’ll see results usually in around 3-7 days of using the yogurt consistently.
Here are some before pics of me at 15 the day before yogurt. (Disclaimer: I am wearing mascara, but no other face makeup) My skin wasn’t necessarily bad at this time, but It was much redder and I was really prone to breaking out around my nose, chin, and cheeks.
And an after pic from about 5 months later (no-makeup). The biggest change was how my complexion evened out a lot and became much less red. Additionally, my skin was softer, smoother, and much less irritated. Nowadays I only break out once in a while!
A little yogurt = healthier skin and a happier you! xx -Izabel