Friday of last week, I had the privilege of being interviewed on my beauty expertise by Dr. Kareem Sanhouri for one of his websites. When I was asked to complete this interview, I must say – I was flattered. It was a lot of fun, and I want to share it with all of my readers. So, without further hesitation, you may find the interview below. Enjoy, and please feel free to comment or ask any questions you may have.
Tell us a little bit about your background in skin and ‘beauty’ care?
I got my start in skin and beauty care when I took an active interest in my personal life in developing a natural beauty product line that deals directly with homemade bath products. From there, I began doing a lot of research on natural and organic ingredients, products, and methods to create products that women would enjoy that are cruelty-free, all natural, and are good for you. As far as written experience is concerned, I have been a freelance writer for the past three years now, and I work as a beauty blogger for three major cosmetic, beauty, and skin care brands located within the United States. My job entails a great deal of research on various health, skin, and beauty products and techniques.
What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions in the traditional beauty industry?
I believe that there is a common misconception regarding ‘natural’ products in the traditional beauty industry. Many companies which lay claim to offering ‘natural’ products use this as a front to convince consumers that the products they are selling are good for them and maybe even organic (even without saying the word ‘organic’). Many women are tricked into buying products they believe are better for them than traditional products, when in reality the overall product is in fact loaded with ingredients people can’t even pronounce. Just because a product may contain one natural ingredient, doesn’t make the product all natural. Another misconception I believe people need to be aware of is companies that claim to offer Cruelty-Free products. Just because a finished product states itself as ‘Cruelty Free’, doesn’t necessarily mean the ingredients that went into forming the finished product weren’t tested on animals. Do your research on brands, and you may be shocked what you come up with.
If you could urge women to make only one change in their conventional beauty habits, what would it be?
I would suggest that they be sure to take proper care of their facial skin. According to research, approximately two thirds of women do not wash their makeup off before bed each night. This can contribute to the aging of your skin, and myriad skin conditions can develop such as acne, dermatitis, and even rosacea. Some dermatologists believe for every night you choose not to properly wash makeup off of your face, you are aging your skin by 2 days! That’s a scary figure, and one which is so easy to avoid. Avoid wearing makeup to bed at all costs. Always be sure to wash all remnants of your daily makeup off, exfoliate the skin to encourage new skin cell growth at least a couple of times a week, and moisturize.
When shopping for products, we all know there is some dangerous stuff out there — what are some of the ‘nasty’ ingredients that people should look out for?
Steer clear of Formaldehyde, otherwise known as FHP’s, and Paraben containing products. Formaldehyde is used in beauty and cosmetic products as an anti-bacterial agent. It is classified as a carcinogen, and has even been found to cause different types of cancer. Not only that, but it has also been known to cause allergic skin reactions, and even affect the immune system. It’s found in many products in the beauty world, some being fingernail polish, eye shadow, and various bath and shower products. Parabens are preservatives used in certain cosmetics, deodorants, facial cleansers, body washes, and more. This particular chemical increases the risk of breast cancer due to the estrogen mimicking qualities this particular ingredient possesses. It’s absorbed through the skin when applied, and is extremely dangerous to your overall well being. There are many, many other ingredients I could speak about, but these two, in my opinion, top the list for most dangerous components found in beauty products.
So, if you want to be ‘safe’, what are some of the most important things to keep in mind as a consumer?
As a consumer, I recommend you start reading the ingredients on the backs of the products and cosmetics you want to purchase whenever possible. Some companies are sneaky, and don’t include certain ingredients on their labels, as they aren’t required to by law. Unfortunately, the cosmetics and beauty products available on the general market are not as mandated by law as they should be, and many companies take advantage of that. Get acquainted with the ingredients and do some research on the various components found in these products. If something seems bad, it probably is. Stay away from products containing ingredients in which you can’t even pronounce. Chances are, they are just as bad for you as they sound.
Are there ‘natural’ ingredients that are you look for, that you would recommend people make a point of using?
Two recommendations in which I have are products containing natural oils, such as essential oils which can come in a variety of fragrances, and mineral based cosmetic products. Mineral makeup is a fantastic alternative to typical cosmetics, due to the fact that they leave out all of the ‘bad’ products, including the two I mentioned earlier. This makeup works just as well as other commercial makeup products – if not better. It can improve the quality of your skin, offers sun protection, and is for the most part purely natural makeup. Mineral makeup is derived from naturally occurring minerals found within the earth, and also offers a non-irritating cosmetic experience that is even great for women with problem skin. I highly recommend mineral makeup products for a natural, flawless look.
Preventing the signs/effects of aging seems to be tops on many people’s lists when it comes to beauty care goals. What do you think are some of the best ways to safely accomplish these goals?
First and foremost, as stated earlier, take care of your skin. You are only given one body, and properly caring for the skin you are blessed with will take you far. Incorporating a good vitamin supplement on a daily basis will also infuse your body with the nutrients and essential components for skin regeneration and health. Also, incorporating a biotin supplement can work wonders for your hair, skin, and nails. Drink more water every day and avoid fatty, sugary, and salty processed foods. Exercise more, which will keep you healthy and youthful. Don’t smoke, as smoking ages the body and the skin. Stay away from bad cosmetic products, and be willing to spend the money on good quality natural makeup products instead. Exfoliate your skin all over at least two times per week with a salt or sugar scrub. Incorporate retinol based products into your daily skin care regimens, to aid in the regeneration of new skin cells.
If ‘nutrition’ was part of your response above: What (more) can you tell us about nutrition and the effects it can have on overall ‘beauty’?
Nutrition is vital to your overall appearance. If you consume an unhealthy diet, you are risking pre-mature aging, skin problems and complications, and other health problems. You are also putting yourself at risk for obesity, and as a result, diabetes and heart disease. Consuming a healthy diet can ensure you have the energy you need to get through your day without feeling tired and sluggish, and maintain a healthy weight. When you eat well, your skin, hair, and nails will show your efforts. If you have existing medical conditions, they will improve overall when you choose healthy over unhealthy. Nutrition is one of the most vital components to overall beauty.
What about exercise – do you believe it plays an important role, and if so how important?
I believe exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and beauty. Not only does exercise keep you fit, it also gives you energy, and enables you to be a happier person due to the release of endorphins it draws out. Exercise is also good for your mentality, because it allows you to gain self-esteem when you see the improvements you can make in your body overall. Some women who have gone through bouts of serious, chronic depression were told to give exercise a try – and once doing so, found the happiness and love for life they had lost. Exercise also allows the skin to regenerate by moving oxygen through to the tissues and skin, stimulating the formation of new skin cells.
Do you have any ‘secret’ natural beauty tips that you can share with our readers?
These are a couple of great beauty tips that I can offer, which are easy to do at home, and require next to nothing in terms of cost because you probably already have the ingredients at home, and if not, they are very inexpensive and natural.
- Stop buying body scrubs. They generally contain way too many ingredients -most of which you don’t even need. Instead, make your own! Simply add 3 TBSP of brown sugar to a mixture of 4 TBSP olive oil or liquid coconut oil. Blend together with a spoon, and use it to exfoliate away the dead skin on legs, hands, and body. Use a small bit at a time and apply it gently in small circles. You can even add a few drops of essential oil to give it the scent you love. Rinse, and enjoy your smooth, moisturized, beautiful skin!
- Toner is an important part of any beauty regimen. You should stop buying overpriced, chemical laden facial toner, and make your own. It sounds intimidating – but I can assure you, it’s very simple. All you will need is about 10 roses, any color, fresh; Filtered or purified water, enough to cover the rose petals, a pot with a lid, vegetable glycerin (about 3 drops per bottle), and some jars or spray bottles. Simply remove the rose petals from the flowers, add them to a mesh colander. Rinse well and then add to a pot on the stove. Pour your filtered water over the top, and turn the pot onto boiling. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the water with a ladle or turkey baster and put into jars and spray bottles. Add three drops of vegetable glycerin per bottle, place the lid on the bottle, and shake for a few seconds. Use as you would any facial toner, and enjoy the benefits of nature!