Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Best Natural Skin Moisturizer

Annie Berthold-Bond is the author of an excellent book called Better Basics for the Home, which I recommend wholeheartedly to anyone interested in decreasing exposure to noxious household chemicals. She provides many "recipes" for making the basis for a nontoxic home. These recipes range anywhere from homemade facials to wood cleaners, whitewash to pesticides.

One of the best recipes in this book is for a skin moisturizer. Living in Denver certainly has its advantages, but one of the drawbacks is that skin that might seem healthy in more humid climates suddenly becomes dry, scaly, and just looks plain unhealthy. There are certainly plenty of moisturizers out there to help out the skin. But many of them contain chemicals that may not be so great for the skin - or for the body itself, since the skin tends to absorb whatever is placed on it.

For example, parabens are used as preservatives for many skin lotions, but they may interfere with testosterone production, as these studies conclude. Synthetic fragrances often contain multiple chemicals, including two that are on the EPA's hazardous waste list, and one that has even been banned by the FDA. (Companies get past this ban because of laws that do not require them to list the ingredients that make up a product's fragrance.) And a compound called benzophenone-3, widely used in skin care products and sunscreens, is absorbed into the skin and actually generates free radicals -a known cause of cancer.

Hence, the need for a great skin moisturizer that is not only effective, but nontoxic. And this one fits both criteria. In fact, it is the best skin moisturizer I have ever come across, bar none. And it's very inexpensive! Here's the recipe, courtesy of Better Basics for the Home:

1/2 cup aloe vera
1/8 cup vegetable glycerin

How simple is this? Just combine the two in a small glass container. If it seems too sticky, add more aloe vera. If it doesn't seem to moisturize enough, add more glycerin. It also works great to heal the skin after a sunburn. Berthold-Bond claims that after using it daily for four months, her age spots disappeared. If you have age spots, why not give it a try? It can't hurt, it just might help, and in any case, your skin stands to benefit tremendously from the added moisture.

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