Toxins & Autoimmunity: The Dangers of Trying To Meet The Standards of Beauty

I kid you not, as I’m writing this, a commercial just came on TV, advertising a beauty cream to get rid of dark circles under the eyes. I mean, goodness forbid we should have dark circles, or wrinkles, or the ever dreaded under eye bags. Oh, and they’re willing to send me this container of toxins for FREE, if I pay shipping and handling.

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Toxins & Autoimmunity: Dangers of Trying To Meet The Standards of Beauty

Every day, we are bombarded with products, promising us perfect skin, long lashes, whiter teeth, less cellulite, and on, and on, and on. We see our favorite stars, looking all plump lipped and wrinkle free, telling us all about their miraculous beauty cream or shampoo. Inside, we know that their money has bought them the fountain of youth through injections and surgery. But, we continue to spend our bucks on their latest discovery in the hopes that we can look as good as they do.

I am in no way perfect. I have fallen under their spell quite a few times. Before my lupus diagnosis, I was a beauty product lovin’ maniac. I had all the latest anti-aging creams and potions, cosmetic kits, anti-cellulite creams, and hair care products. When I started breaking out in hives after tanning, I started getting spray tans. Every few weeks, I would get my fake nails filled and painted. Any time my roots would start to show, or I would simply get a wild hair and need a change, I would dye my hair. I even had lip injections done once. The result wasn’t worth the pain; so, I never had it done again. I probably used at least 50 different products a day.

The sad part is, I knew all of this stuff was toxic. In the past, when I had switched to natural products, they just didn’t work as well. I really hate to say it. I still have never found a natural based, anti-aging product that works to make my skin look younger. If you have, honestly, I would love to know the brand and product name. So, none of this stuff was good for me; however, I still felt the need to try to meet the typical standards of beauty.

Then, I received my lupus and psoriasis diagnosis. Instinctively, I knew I needed to chuck the toxins. I began by finding natural replacements for all of my products. I did my research. The No Poo haircare method and facial oil cleansing were popular at the time (they still are now, too). I decided to adopt them both. Since this is more of a post on toxins, not my personal beauty routine, I’ll just let you know I stuck with the oil cleansing and I tossed out the No Poo. The next step was to throw out all of my toxin-filled products. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t sting….ALOT! There were a few things I refused to part with, my Chanel lipstick and Lancome eye shadow kits.

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It’s been over a year since that day. I’ve found some pretty decent natural products that have helped keep me from looking like the Crypt Keeper. Nevertheless, we have to ask ourselves why we continue to slather ourselves with toxins, to try to meet the public’s standards of beauty. With everything we know about the link between environmental toxins and autoimmune disease, it seems as though we would all be making changes to our beauty routines. Right?

Thankfully, we’re living in a time where the standards of beauty have changed quite a bit. We now have acceptance of a beautiful woman, Chantelle Brown-Young, a fashion model, living with vitiligo. Our vision of beauty is definitely taking a turn for the better. But, we still have a way to go.

Bottom line is, these toxic chemicals are making us sick. If you’ve made nutritional and lifestyle changes, but continue to slather yourself in chemicals every day, you will not get better. And, for those of us with skin conditions, this toxic burden is simply adding fuel to the fire.

What can we do to lessen the toxins we take in, and still be beautiful? Well, we can do a few things. First, we have to replace our beauty products with ones that are better for us. I’m providing a list of products I use and companies I love. Second, we have to stop the tanning beds and spray tans. We all know the dangers of tanning beds by now; but, for those of you spray tanning, think of those toxins going into your lungs, as you’re being sprayed. I’ve been in one of those booths before. No one, except maybe an Olympic swimmer, can hold their breath the whole time. Also, the chemicals are seeping into your skin in order to make you look tan. Third, try to go the natural route with hair and nails. Maybe look into henna color. For blondes, stick to foil haircolor. Less chemicals hit the scalp that way. Nails are a bit trickier. I can’t even use nailcolor because if I end up in the emergency room, the doctors can look at my nails to judge my lung function. There is actually a lot a doctor can tell, just by looking at your nails. If you cover them up, they can’t see jack without some invasive procedure. This could slow your receiving the timely care you need.

Those are the biggest changes! If you’re ever confused about whether or not a product is healthy for you, go to the EWG Skindeep website here. You can immediately see how your product rates on their scale. They’ve tested thousands of products for safety. I use it any time I want to try a new product. Then, I weigh the risks to benefits.

The most important thing we can do is to change the standards of beauty. If we all looked alike, how boring the world would be. By standing up for our beauty, just the way it is, we empower other women to do the same. You don’t have to adopt the no makeup, no hairstyle approach to beauty. I wear full makeup every day. Just find and use products that are better for you and not filled with toxins. It’s going to be much healthier for you.

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Are you suffering from toxic beauty overload?

My favorite beauty products:

Skincare– At night, I do oil cleansing with equal parts Kasandrino’s Olive Oil and Castor Oil.
Morning cleanse with Acure Brightening Facial Scrub or Juice Organics Brightening Cleanser
Moisturizer: Derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Cream at night and argan oil in morning
Eye cream: Derma e Moisturizing Eye Cream at night and Juice Organics Brightening Eye in the morning

Makeup– Eyecolor, lipstick, gloss, eyeliner, mascara: Red Apple Lipstick
Foundation: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Healthy Skin Foundation
*Note: I do use Dermablend Foundation to cover my vitiligo. It scores a 3 on the EWG rating scale. It’s the only product I’ve found that works; so, even though I prefer a 2 or lower, I still use it.*
Bronzer:100% Pure Cocoa Pigmented Bronzer
Cheek color: I usually make my own by mixing red beet powder and arrowroot powder.

Self TannerAlba Botanica or True Natural

Toothpaste: I love this recipe from here.

Hair care
Shampoo and Conditioner: Acure or Derm Organics
Hair color: EcoColors (at home)

Body Care-
Shower gel: Acure Moisturizing Shower Gel or Dr. Bonner’s mixed with Kasandrino’s olive oil
Body Cream: Kat’s Whipped Psoriasis Body Butter and Vintage Traditions Body Balm
Hand Cream: Fresh Sugar Hand Treatment
Deodorant: Primal Pit Paste

I think that’s everything. It’s not nearly half as much as I used to use pre-diagnosis. I think it’s also important to tell you that I do make a few other products myself, with essential oils and other natural ingredients. I’ll be writing up my recipes for the blog real soon.

Things are different now that you have an autoimmune disease. Any toxin can act as a trigger. The sooner you clean up your diet, lifestyle and toxic overload, the faster you can begin healing. Maybe, like me, you’ll discover you never needed all that junk anyway. You’re beautiful just the way you are! But, a little natural eye cream doesn’t hurt either.

As always, I wish you good health…..and, good food!

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive compensation.  Thank you for supporting my blogging efforts here at Paleo Cajun Lady.- Tara Perillo*

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Tara Perillo

Welcome all. I am Tara Perillo, herbalist, homeopath, yoga and fitness instructor, and healthy foodie . After successfully reaching remission of my lupus symptoms, through changes in my diet, exercise, and lifestyle, I wrote the ebook, Sickness To Fitness Quick Start Guide. I am also honored to have my paleo and AIP recipes featured in Paleo Magazine, Paleo Living Magazine, Shape Magazine Online, 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts, The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, and blogs by The Paleo Mom, Kris Kresser, Whole New Mom and many others. My focus is to help others become stronger in every facet of their lives. Join me to become stronger in health, mind, body, and spirit, together!

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4 Replies to “Toxins & Autoimmunity: The Dangers of Trying To Meet The Standards of Beauty”

  1. I love Lanolin. I buy the medical grade sold for breast feeding mothers. Dry skin, eczema, or just bags under my eyes, surely a good nights’ sleep with some lanolin will solve it.

  2. Thanks for your post . I’ve been using Suzanne Sommers line of skin and hair products. They’re certified organic and totally toxin free. She’s recently come out with a line of foundation and lipsticks, which I plan to try as I’ve been so pleased with all of her other skin care/anti-aging products. You can purchase her products on her website. I’ve also found that Tarte is a pretty pure product and use their eye shadows and mascara. I have to be extremely careful in making sure that what I use is the least toxic and doesn’t contain any hidden gluten that can be absorbed through the skin and these products I find to be completely safe for me.

    1. I love Suzanne Sommers cosmetics! I had totally forgotten about her line. Thanks for reminding me! It’s wonderful that you are so careful in choosing your beauty products. Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations!

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