How to Keep Your Skincare Clean in a Toxic World


I see landscapes of blue oceans that resemble natural infinity pools. Verdant fields saturated with rich hues of purple lavender, snow-white chamomiles, orange-yellow calendulas, and rows of lemongrass for as far as the eyes can see. I enjoy peaceful groupings of trees that create orange groves and olive groves. I appreciate the vast orchards of almond trees and avocados trees grown in pairs. When you choose skincare products from these environments, that’s how you’ll keep your skincare clean in a toxic world.

Hippocrates once said, “Nature itself is the best physician.” The same can be said for skincare. Below are the guidelines that I follow when I’m making and/or choosing natural skincare products.

  1. If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t use it. I do have a caveat to this principle. If an ingredient is listed by its botanical name along with its common name, I’ll make an exception to this principle. For example, Butyrospermum parkii is a mouthful, but we know it as Shea butter.
  1. If the ingredients are not edible or come from an edible source, I won’t put it on my skin. Your skin is the largest organ on your body. According to a published study in the American Journal of Public Health, on average, your skin absorbs 64% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).1 VOCs are organic compounds that easily become vapors or gases. Therefore, what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body.
  1. If it was made in a lab, leave it there. The problem is that laboratories are trying to replicate what is found in nature by using chemical processes. They only imitate the constituent of interest to them. Commercial perfumeries often do this to achieve a particular scent. Most often, the plant has many constituents that are beneficial to your body. Hence, you do not gain the full benefits of using the natural plant.
  1. If the ingredient’s list reads like War and Peace, the product will war with your skin. This is where you enter the territory of ‘too much of a good thing.’ Women cannot understand why Product X, with 100 natural ingredients, is causing their skin to break out. It’s simple. When you overload a product with ingredients, natural or otherwise, it overloads your skin. Also, you get a less potent product because you’re only getting droplets of each ingredient. Hippocrates said it best, “Everything in excess is opposed to nature.”

Everyone wants beautiful, flawless skin. We search for miracle creams, potions, and serums to do what nature provides for us. Whether you adopt the guidelines herein or develop your own, the principle is simple: keeping your skincare products clean in a toxic world is easy, if you don’t overlook what is naturally around you.