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If you wouldn't drink it, would you put it on your skin?

You'll often hear me talk a lot about detox and gut health on my blog and that's because looking after your digestive system is one of if not the most important things you can do to stay healthy and prevent illness and disease. An important part of staying healthy entails minimising your exposure to toxins as much as possible. The problem is many of are oblivious to the amount of toxins we toxins we are unknowingly exposing ourselves to.

Chemical toxins find their way into our body through a variety of means, ranging from the obvious - alcohol, drugs, caffeine, nicotine and pharmaceutical and recreational drugs, as well as through foods such as artificial sweeteners, nitrates used in processed meats such as salami and bacon and ham, processed or trans fats, preservatives, colours, flavours and non-organic foods that have been sprayed with chemicals and or fed antibiotics. But there is another entry point for toxins to penetrate our system and that is through the body’s largest organ– the skin!

As women, maintaining our outward appearance is a natural part of our biology, but often the ways in which we choose to do this, actually contributes to the battle against the ageing process.

Take a moment to think about the sources of toxins you may be lathering on your skin each and every day simply from using basic toiletries and beauty products ……

• Soap • Moisturises • Shampoo and conditioners • Toothpaste • Mouthwash • Deodorant • Shaving cream • Cosmetics – foundation, lipsticks, mascara, eye shadow, blush • Sunscreen • Perfume

There are over 175 potentially harmful ingredients contained in these common bathroom and beauty products alone and over time the chemicals they contain can accumulate within our body. Many of the ingredients used in these products can also irritate our skin, or cause allergy or respiratory sensitivity; and some studies have even revealed they can neurological and developmental challenges in children. Some of the chemicals found in common personal care products have even been touted as carcinogenic and aluminium used in common deodorants has been linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Now I’m not telling you to go out and be a tree hugger and grow yourself some hairy armpits, or never wear French perfume again, but what I am saying is to become more aware of just how many chemical based products you are using on your skin each day and think about which ones you can replace for chemical free brands to minimise your exposure to toxins as much as possible.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, the foaming agent used in commercial brands of shampoo, soaps and body wash, penetrates the skin and accumulates in the brain, eyes, heart and liver and petroleum and mineral oils used in many moisturises and toiletries, leads to premature dryness so the more we use, the more our skin becomes dependant on them to stay moist.

In addition to doing an audit on bathroom cabinet, I recommend you combine this with my tips below to maintain healthy and beautiful skin….

My Top Ten Tips for maintaining a beautiful, glowing complexion:

1. Stay hydrated – consume small frequent sips of purified water every day because 95% of your body is water and most of us don’t drink enough. I recommend 2 – 2.5 litres per day as a good general guide.

2. Eat healthy fats - essential fatty acids like fish, extra virgin coconut oil, chia and flax seed, extra virgin olive oil, avocado, raw organic nuts and seeds.

3. Look after your liver - avoid too much coffee, alcohol and foods with artificial ingredients and sugar. Eat organic food as much as possible and undertake a regular healthy detox program – I cover more on detox in my book Eat Yourself Healthy In 28 Days.

4. Use 100% natural skincare and toiletry products - read product labels and search for artificial ingredients.