Your skin and hair are your first lines of defense against harmful contaminants getting into your body. Because every skin cell and hair strand plays a role in protecting you, each one also bears the brunt of the damage caused from stressors in the world around you.
Luckily, there are natural ingredients and clean beauty products that can protect your biggest defenders and keep your complexion and locks looking youthful, healthy, and radiant.
Harmful Environmental Stressors
Every single day, your skin is met with a barrage of irritants that take their toll on its appearance, elasticity, and tone. Those same irritants damage your hair too, leaving it dull, lifeless, and dry.
Levels of pollution vary by geographic location. Big cities and valleys have higher concentrations of pollution, though small towns with factories can have unsafe air quality too. These particles are much smaller than your pores, so they penetrate the deeper layers of your skin and hair follicles.
When these particles are introduced, they begin to break down the natural collagen and elastin in your skin, causing:
- Fine lines and deep wrinkles
- Increased inflammation
- Uneven tone and texture
Even on the cloudiest of days, your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays. Unprotected sun exposure is one of the biggest culprits of aging skin and damaged hair. The sun's rays break down collagen, which is the protein that keeps your skin taut and healthy. UV rays cause:
- Slackened skin
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Hyperpigmentation or “sunspots”
From the high heat of summer to the bitter cold of winter, extreme temperatures take their toll on skin and hair. Hot weather prompts the skin to produce more oil, clogging pores and leaving you prone to breakouts and uneven texture.
The low humidity of colder weather robs your skin and hair of moisture. The result is dry and flaky skin that looks dull and drab. Cold weather causes your hair cuticles to lift, making it difficult for moisture to lock in and leaving you with split ends and coarse dry hair.
Many of your habits and routines can negatively impact the health of your skin and hair, affecting how they look and function:
- Sleep: Too little robs our body of the opportunity to repair and restore.
- Smoking: Cigarettes cause cellular damage and lead to premature aging.
- Diet: Processed foods, too much sugar, and a lot of salt all rob your skin of nutrients.
- Water: Not drinking enough water leaves your skin dry and dull.
- Travel: Changes in sleep, air quality, and temperature lead to breakouts and an uneven tone.
- Alcohol: Too much alcohol can dehydrate you and your skin.
Traditional Personal Care Products
Yes, this falls under the list of things that can harm your skin and hair. Most beauty products are packed full of chemicals that are not only topically damaging but can even affect your long-term health.
Consumers assume these products are safe to use because they don’t come with warnings attached. That’s because the personal care product industry isn’t regulated in a way that gives a line of sight to potential risks in each bottle.
The onus is on the consumer to research healthy and effective ingredients that can protect your hair and skin. We’ve gone a step further by highlighting natural ingredients that restore and revitalize the appearance and texture of your hair and skin.
MSM is a clean beauty powerhouse. It’s a sulfur compound found organically in your body that holds together your amino acid chains and inhibits the breakdown of collagen, making its anti-aging properties second to none.
Its high sulfur content reduces inflammation and helps rid the skin of impurities. Products with MSM increase cell wall permeability to better allow nutrients to penetrate deeply into the skin, which is why the best natural moisturizers contain it. Products with MSM are highly effective in:
- Reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Evening skin tone and texture
- Improving elasticity
- Calming irritation
- Increasing moisture levels
MSM also helps rebuild the keratin in your hair, making it stronger, shinier, and better able to hold moisture. MSM shampoo and conditioner help repair split ends and damage done from coloring and styling. These products reduce tangling while leaving hair light, soft, and more manageable.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
ALA is a powerful antioxidant found naturally in your body and in superfoods like broccoli, beets, and spinach. ALA slows down your skin’s aging process by promoting healthy cell regeneration and then protecting those cells from free-radical damage.
ALA is both water and oil-soluble, so it penetrates deeper layers of skin, slowing collagen breakdown and resulting in:
- Minimized appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Lightening of sun and age spots
- Smooth and soft texture
- Increased hydration
- Improved overall firmness
Vitamin C is kind of the holy grail of skincare. It is an incredibly strong antioxidant that, when applied topically, immediately improves your skin’s overall health and appearance with its strong anti-aging and pigment-correcting properties.
Using clean beauty products with Vitamin C helps your skin produce more collagen and can:
- Prevent environmental damage
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Brighten an uneven and dull complexion
- Reduce the appearance of dark spots
- Heal acne and other scars
- Ward off premature aging
Aloe vera does way more than soothe a sunburn. It’s rich in vitamins A and C and packed with antioxidants and enzymes that make it anti-inflammatory and restorative. Aloe vera is a natural exfoliant and provides amazing relief for people who suffer from acne or severely dry skin.
This moisturizing powerhouse can keep fine lines and wrinkles from getting deeper and prevents further environmental damage.
Aside from a natural and healthy way to make products smell amazing, many essential oils have healing properties. Lavender, lemon, rosemary, and rose oils are just a few that have strong anti-aging and protective qualities that, when added to clean beauty products, amp up their benefits.
Make the Switch
Switching to clean beauty products is the best way to restore and revitalize your skin and hair while protecting them from future damage. These natural ingredients produce amazing and targeted results for a youthful, healthy, and glowing appearance that will astound you.