5 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Skin

Gal Toiletries ExtraSmallDid you know that your skin is your largest organ?

Not only that, it’s also your body’s #1 defense against the outside world. And it gets more fascinating still – since you have both an outside skin, and an inside skin.

(That inside skin covers things like your digestive tract and your respiratory system – not necessarily something you would think about)

Back in the early days when I first went gluten-free, I attended a lecture that was geared toward gluten-free folks like you and me.

The presenter was very insistent that there was no need to be concerned about putting gluten-containing products on our skin.

He said it was virtually impossible for gluten in skin care products to be a problem – because we weren’t ingesting it.

At the time, I thought it made sense.

But guess what?

He was wrong!

While it’s true that we don’t ingest our toiletries or cosmetics – whatever we put on our skin does get absorbed.

And that’s important!

Also, if there’s any kind of fragrance in these products – and there almost always is – you’re inhaling that too.

In other words, there are three pathways to consider:

  • Ingestion
  • Inhalation
  • Absorption

With the latter especially – since your skin is your largest organ – you can bet your booties that any gluten-containing ingredients in your personal care products ARE going to get inside you.

They will be absorbed.

Besides – since gluten sensitivity isn’t limited to the gut, and is a known culprit behind system-wide inflammation, intestinal permeability and more, it can also lead to many neurological disorders.

Of course, it isn’t just gluten, or wheat, that you need to be concerned about.

Your average cleansers, soaps, shampoos and conditioners (the list goes on) – also contain a lot of chemicals, many of which are cause for concern.

Remember – you absorb everything you put into and on your skin.

With that in mind, here are a few simple things you can do, to ensure a healthier skin -and a healthier body.



Healthy skin depends first and foremost on a clean, healthy diet.

And a clean, healthy diet means eliminating the foods you are sensitive to, the ones that no longer serve you.

Acne, or any kind of skin disruptions, are sure signs that something’s up, and your diet is the first place I would explore as a likely cause.

For example, if you know that dairy is a problem for you, then by all means eliminate it!

Sneaking dairy in once in awhile will simply fan the flames. (It could take months to undo the damage.

And while I use dairy as an example here, the culprit behind your skin issues and digestive woes could literally be anything.

If you want skin that glows, start here!


Drink Plenty of Water

Water is crucial for diluting and eliminating the toxins that have accumulated in your body.

Since your skin is a major avenue for removing those toxins – it’s an important player in how your body removes anything it considers harmful.

Aim for 8 to 12 8-oz. glasses of water daily. (Try setting a goal to drink a glass of water thirty to sixty minutes before each meal).

Dehydration, by the way, is a primary cause of fatigue and headaches – it even slows metabolism!  (Important not to overlook, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.)

No question about it, water alone is your most important detoxifier and the ultimate way to pamper your skin.


Toiletries & Things

Did you know that the average woman uses 12 different personal care products every day?

On average, those products typically contain upwards of 168 different chemicals – so this is one area where you really want to sit up and take notice.

Add to this the fact that ingredients in personal care products – harmful or otherwise – are mostly unregulated.

Which means there are many, many ingredients used in self-care products that are actually quite harmful – including many chemicals that have never been tested for safety.

As with everything, label reading is key. And the words you want to look for are things like:

  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Both phthalates and parabens are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they can wreak havoc with your hormones.

Not only do your hormones control every system in your body, they are also super sensitive to anything that might disrupt their delicate balancing act.

(This in turn can lead to such diverse conditions as ADHD, thyroid issues or early breast development in girls).

Many of these chemicals are also lipophilic – which means they like to settle in your fat cells.

That’s right – they’re fat-loving!

And since they like to hang on for dear life, this could be the real reason you’re unable to shed those last ten pounds.

Bottom line:  Seek out labels that are clearly marked as paraben or phthalate free. 



If you really want to pamper your skin, we can’t overlook cosmetics, and the same general guidelines apply.

First and foremost, seek out this language:

  • Paraben-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan (if you are Vegan, or avoiding dairy & eggs)
  • Fragrance  (more on this one in a bit)

Keep in mind that for any item you use on a regular, daily basis, there is always a safer and less toxic option available to you.

(With the exception, perhaps, of hair dye – I’ll share more on that another time).

Check out brands such as Annemari Gianni or Ava Anderson, both available online. And there are plenty of others – whether you order online or purchase at your local health food store.

And yes, this discussion does include mascara, eye shadow, moisturizers – literally anything you put on your skin.


A Word About Fragrance

Before I wrap this up, there is one more label ingredient to steer clear of.

And that is the word “fragrance” commonly listed in both toiletries and cosmetics. (Or the words parfum or perfume).

Fragrance means, by default, that the product contains phthalates. (Legally, the manufacturer isn’t required to be more specific.)

Those phthalates act as a sort of glue, holding the fragrance in the product – so you hair will still smell nice hours later.

But at what cost to you?

Phthalates, as we established, are not something you want to come in contact with on a regular basis.

However, on the average day, you are exposed to many more environmental toxins than your body is able to keep up with – many of which you can’t control.

And while that’s a problem, I would say that the first thing is to make peace with that fact.

And then focus, instead, on the things that you can change!

That’s why pampering your skin is such an essential part of self-care!

As with so many things, it all begins in your home.

Want to learn more?


My Extreme Pantry Makeover has been designed, to help you the consumer, take back control of your health as you learn to choose safer alternatives for the many household products we all use every day – and it begins, of course, in the kitchen!


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