This is a guest post by my friend Jennifer Robins of Predominantly Paleo.
I was diagnosed with my first official autoimmune disorder in 2008 after having my first two babies back to back (in under a year). I was overwhelmed and horrified that I was supposed to take a prescription for the rest of my life.
Since then, of course, I’ve learned that caring for autoimmune disease goes far beyond pill popping. Even though in theory thyroid hormone replacement should get the job done for me, it takes much much more to manage chronic disease.
After the birth of my third baby I got much sicker. I had already been gluten free (as implemented in 2008 upon my initial diagnosis), but still had a lot of work to do. I cleaned up my diet even more and also began implementing other lifestyle changes to help my body and gut heal. Want to know where I dropped the ball?!
I was so focused on what went IN to my body that I completely neglected what went ON to my body.
With so many cosmetics, body washes, lotions, and anti-aging moisturizers on the market, I made the mistake of assuming they were safe. I mean why wouldn’t they be? Shouldn’t these products be tested to assure we’re protected?
The short answer is: NO. And knowing now what I’ve learned about food safety and quality, it makes sense that some of our body care products may also carry risk.
To be honest, “risk” is an understatement to say the least. We have thousands of chemicals that we ingest through our skin (our biggest organ) every day, and most of them lack any scientific data that they are even safe for us!
Frightening, yes? Even more frightening to a person whose immune system has waged a war on itself.
Though slow to catch on, I’ve been taking LOTS of time to learn about
- what exactly I was putting on my face and skin,
- which commonly used chemicals posed risks for me, and
- which products were much better choices.
I’d like to share a few of my go-to products that I feel are a great addition to the journey of healing and managing autoimmune disease.
Healthy skin from the inside: Collagen
The first thing I use every single day is COLLAGEN.
While this may seem like an unlikely skincare choice, it actually has been instrumental in keeping my skin looking plump and healthy. It also helps protect joints, keeps nails strong and healthy, and is crucial for gut healing.
I take two scoops in my coffee each morning and it dissolves completely and has no taste. Alternatively, you can take this BEAUTY GREENS product from the same company which adds in greens to the collagen, even better! (Although maybe not so great in your coffee…wink)
My hair is the longest and strongest it has ever been. EVER. And that’s saying a lot with thyroid disease!
Now that we’ve established healthy skin really does start from within, let’s talk about day-to-day face stuff like moisturizer, anti-aging goodies, and all the fun stuff!
I’ve gone through phases with skincare, because honestly I’ve never been blown away by products – safe, organic, toxic, or otherwise. I’m really finding a groove now, though, and feeling much more enthusiastic about a daily regimen. I think now I am seeing my skin look so much more vibrant that the payoff is there to stick to it.
Healthy skin from the outside: Face, Eyes & Body
For washing my face, I use this CHARCOAL BAR – especially now that it’s warmer outside. It feels good to get the day’s funk off! My skin feels soft and bright afterwards.
To moisturize, I like using this FACE OIL with Ylang Ylang + Chamomile and find a little goes a long way.
These two products are so clean that I don’t have to worry about a reaction or “side effect” as we AI sufferers often fear with new products.
If I want a little extra anti-aging umph around the eyes, I like this EYE CREAM. It’s no surprise that it’s a best seller as it feels great and absorbs well. (I can’t stand products that just seem to sit on the surface of the skin.)
For an all over moisturizer, I’m still just a simple COCONUT OIL girl. It’s simple and works and feels great too. Plus it allows me to budget for more fun stuff for my face!
And for faking a nice tan, I just found a SUNLESS TANNER that ranks super low with the Environmental Working Group’s safe skincare database (the other products I’ve included also rank well with EWG). I’m loving the extra warm glow as I work up my Vitamin D exposure in the Summer months. While I don’t fear the sun, I also know that there can be too much of a good thing (hello, photoaging). You can find the sunless tanner HERE.
I could get into cosmetics too and how I like to layer mascara like a drag queen (that’s another story for another day), but I’ll let you chew on this first!
A big thanks to the one and only Liz for letting me hijack her otherwise classy blog.
Let me know if y’all have any questions by heading over to my Facebook Page!