Have you ever read the ingredients on the back of your skin care products? From cleansers and toners to lotions and astringents, the majority of store-bought, mass produced beauty products come with a hefty list of toxic ingredients, such as dyes, fragrances, preservatives and other not-so-necessary fillers that are absorbed directly into your pores, which can eventually lead to a range of long-term health effects.

Think about how long you’ve used and will be using skin care products. Forever, right?! For all these years, we’ve been smearing these lotions, potions, cleaners and creams directly into our skin, absorbing all of their toxic dyes, fragrances and preservatives directly into our pores. It’s a little disturbing to think about, isn’t it?

The good news is that there are several natural ways beautify your skin without the use of these toxic products and ingredients. For centuries, women have turned to natural skin care products and have the incredible skin to prove they work just as well!

Sadly enough, nearly all beauty products in this day and age are mass-produced, which means that manufacturers are using the most inexpensive, highly-available ingredients to produce millions of products to push out to consumers. What does this mean for us? It means that the products we are using every single day, whether it be a beauty or household product, are loaded with an extraordinary amount of toxic and synthetic ingredients which are then absorbed right into your skin and can cause a host of issues. Because of this, it is so important that you read the ingredients listed on all of your products and know what’s in them and what you should avoid.

I challenge you to skim through your beauty and skincare products and read through the labels. As you read through them, you want to look for ingredients that are similar to those that you would consume when following a healthy diet. Search for healthy, unprocessed ingredients without anything that may be artificial. The closer your products are to nature, and the more its ingredients include those of a healthy diet, the more your skin and body will know how to use them.

A few harmful ingredients to look for in store-bought personal care products are:

• Parabens, which are a type of plasticizer used for preservation
• Artificial colors
• Synthetic Fragrance
• Toluene, a known paint thinner
• Sulfates, which can cause kidney and respiratory issues
• Titanium dioxide, a type of metal commonly found in beauty products and now has a direct link to cancer

Because we are exposed to so many toxic ingredients day in and day out, from the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and now, the beauty products we use, it’s more important that you keep a close watch on the ingredients you’re putting directly onto your skin and pores.

Here are 7 of the best natural skin care products that not only come with their own health benefits, but more importantly are free of chemicals, dyes, parabens, fragrance and essentially, toxins:

Coconut oil – One of the most versatile and widely-used health and beauty products today. When applied to your skin topically, coconut oil’s skin benefits include strengthening the top layer of your skin, removing dead skin cells, and protecting your skin from sunburn and even damage. Use coconut oil to cleanse, moisturize, remove makeup and even heal your skin. Ingested internally, coconut oil reduces inflammation throughout your body and skin, offers antibacterial properties, help nourish your gut, improves your overall immune system function, and aids in hormonal and digestive function. I highly recommend keeping a jar of organic expeller-pressed coconut oil in both your kitchen and bathroom and use it daily!

Apple cider vinegar – One of the most inexpensive natural skin care products and offers a host of skincare benefits. This powerful skin-clearing ingredient helps to kill pathogen and bacteria (such as acne), cleanses the skin, treats sores, offers anti-fungal properties and detoxifies the skin topically.

Honey – Specifically RAW honey, works as an incredible source of nutrients, enzymes and vitamins for the skin. This naturally-occurring ingredient helps fight breakouts, moisturizes, heals wounds and can even reduce the appearance of scars.

Tea tree oil – Has been used for centuries and works as an anti-inflammatory to help fight breakouts and reduce redness in the skin. As an added bonus, tea tree oil is widely known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, too. Because of its many benefits and versatility, tea tree oil is one of the best all-natural solutions for fighting acne (and so is Clary Sage!)

Sea salt – Packed with skin-boosting minerals like magnesium and calcium, helping to protect and restore the skin. Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe and remove dead skin, balance oil production and keep your skin moist and supple.

Aloe Vera – Most commonly known to help heal sunburns, is also very soothing when used topically on the skin. For centuries, aloe vera has been used to treat infections and diseases of the skin, as well as fungal infections, too. Aloe vera speeds up wound healing, such as breakouts, and helps detoxify your skin and body, especially when ingested orally.

Almond oil – Just like almonds, offers many health benefits, especially when applied topically to your skin. This naturally fragrant oil offers many antiviral, antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Because of this, it naturally helps treat skin rashes, dryness and even acne (when combined with the right essential oil for your skin type).

Vitamins that Nourish the Skin

Omegas are essential fatty acids that help bring moisture to your skin. When your skin is well moisturized, it is supple and elastic, which means less fine lines and wrinkles. Aside from skin health, omegas, such as EPA and DHA, help maintain hormonal function, nervous system health, and immune system function, too.

Collagen has quickly (and rightfully so) become one of the most popular natural skin care supplements on the market. This powerful protein helps to build healthy skin cells and is what keeps your skin looking soft, firm and youthful. And as an added bonus, it’s excellent for hair growth, too!

Vitamin C most commonly known to help boost your immune system, helps your body produce more collagen so it works beautifully when taken in addition to a collagen supplement. Not to mention, vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants, helping your body to rid itself of toxins while also boosting your immune system and supporting your adrenal glands, too. The most immediately absorbable form of topical Vitamin C is 10% L-ascorbic acid. This will help brighten the skin by radically reducing the effects of sun damage and spotting.

American Ginseng Known to eliminate blood impurities and facilitate skin cell oxygenation. Ginseng is a critical component of sustaining skin regeneration for a fresh and radiant complexion.

Diet Plays a huge role in not only your overall health, but your skin health, too. If you suffer from acne, eczema or other frequent skin issues, eat lots of dark, leafy greens, cut out gluten and sugar, get plenty of rest and try to stress a lot less.

In conclusion, the next time you purchase skin care products, please be sure to read the ingredients on the label and only give yourself the best nature has to offer. And for all you ladies out there that love to go to spas to get a facial, before you book your next appointment, ask them what products they use and do your own research first! Stay healthy and beautiful!