If you are thinking cut to the chase, I don't know what some of these terms mean, then read below.  I wanted to provide this page to give insight to some terms or words that may be unfamiliar to you.  You may have seen them throughout the website, a blog or maybe even a tutorial.  The goal is not to make you feel overwhelmed or more confused but to educate you on the terminology. 

As we enter an era that is consumed with health and eating healthier we look for certain ingredients that we know do not give our body nourishment.  Did you know there are certain ingredients in beauty products that we should avoid as well? I want to also list a few so you know what they do and why you should avoid them. Next time you go to the store to buy makeup, hair, or body products take a peek at the back of the ingredients. Heck...maybe you can go in your bathroom right now and take a peek!

What Is...

Gua Sha? 

Gua meaning to scrape and Sha meaning to reddish rash, blood stagnation.  This is used to gently massage and manipulate specific energy points, help break up blood stagnation, release toxins, and promote lymphatic drainage.  Resulting in bright and lifted skin.

Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a light touch, subtle physical therapy recognized by both the international medical and spa wellness communities.  Analgesic and restorative, MLD provides deep relaxation while accelerating cellular repair and regeneration. 

Lymphatic System?

This network is a major component of your immune system.  Our bodies have a network of lymph vessels very similar to the blood vessels of our circulatory system.  What flows through this network, carrying away pathogens, microscopic foreign particles, and waste of other dead cells, is lymph fluid.  Foreign waste and toxins are filtered out from the fluid at lymph nodes in the body.  Sluggish lymph flow will cause toxins to build up and make your face look puffy or worse your cells will eventually atrophy.

Ingredients (Chemicals) To Avoid In Beauty Products...

Dimethicone. It is a silicone that is made in laboratories as a silicon-based polymer.  This means it makes products easily spreadable and can be found in shampoo, conditioner, cream, lotion, and foundation (Hint...your makeup primer!).  The coating action inhibits your skin from performing its natural duties such as sweating, sloughing dead skin cells and it traps bacteria in the skin (no bueno for acne prone skin).  The worst of all it is an endocrine disruptor (Hello Hormones -_-)

Chemicals from the phthalate family (DBP, DEHP).  Used as solvents in cosmetics to make product soft and malleable. Again, endrocine disruptors as well as damage to reproductive system, liver, lungs and kidneys.  You can find these chemicals in your nail polish, deodorants, lotion, soaps and hair sprays.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES).  Used as emulsifiers in products. Found in toothpaste, shampoo, bath salts, and body/shower gel.  According to the Environmental Working Group's SkinDeep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderatehazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption. Are you seeing a trend here with endocrine disruptors, or is just me? 

Parabens (including methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl).  Used in products as preservatives and germicides.  You can find in products like conditioner, makeup like foundation, concealer, creams and others.  Parabens can mimic hormones (more specifically estrogen) in the body and disrupt the endocrine system.

Chemicals from the ethanolamine family (DEA, TEA, MEA). Abbreviations for monoethanolamine, diethanolamine, and triethanolamine. Ethanolamines are clear, colorless, viscous liquids with ammonia-like odors, which have the combined properties of alcohols and amines.  These chemicals are used as emulsifiers, pH adjusters, preservatives and foaming agents.  Look in products like soap, hairspray, eyeliner, shaving creams, mascara, fragrance, eye shadows and blush.

Petrolatum and Mineral Oil.  Used a moisturizer in products like baby oil, skin and lip products.  They are endocrine disruptors and carcinogenic. They seal the skin off from air, water, or anything else getting in or should I say getting out.

These are just a few ingredients to keep watch of.  Pretty scary if you ask me that all this is in products we use daily.  There has been a study in the UK that discovered women who use makeup absorb almost five pounds of chemicals into their bodies EACH year! What?! Our liver cannot break all those chemicals down.  So where does it go? It gets stored in our fat layer of skin...our adipose tissue.  That is why ultimately these toxins stay in our body leaving us vulnerable to disease and health issues.  

I do not disclose all this to scare you but to help educate and make aware.   I urge you to reconsider some of your products that contain these ingredients.  On average women use 10 beauty products before walking out of the door.  Look up your cosmetics on the SkinDeep Database from the Environmental Working Group to see if they are safe for you to use. You can also subscribe to the safe cosmetics campaign: http://www.safecosmetics.org/.