|Kat James has helped
thousands of women with her
natural beauty program.
Watch Your Mouth
Funny commercials suggest that if we dutifully swish harsh mouth-washes around and take all that torture like a man, the hard-earned payoff will be a healthier, germ-free mouth. But several medical experts warn that alcohol-based mouthwashes can dry out the mouth, contributing to tooth decay.
It is also important to note that several studies, including a 1991 study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, found that mouthwashes containing more than 25 percent alcohol dramatically increased the risk of oral cancers. Seek out mouthwashes and toothpastes that are not merely free of alcohol and other harsh ingredients such as sodium laurel sulfate (which, in toothpaste, can contribute to canker sores), but also those that are crammed with powerfully therapeutic ingredients such as coenzyme QIO (CoQIO)proven to heal gum tissue when applied topically or xylitol and green tea, both proven to kill bacteria in the mouth without irritation or drying it out. No blind faith or self-abuse is required.
Save Your Own Skin
Synthetic deodorant bar soaps have no benefit to the skin, and strip it of its protective barrier. Try essential-oil-containing natural soaps for much healthier skin, For dry skin, use a soap high in olive or coconut oil. For oily skin, seek extra antibacterial protection with soaps containing neem, tea tree or other naturally purifying oils. Note that terrific-smelling essential oils such as sandalwood and lavender make you smell great while also fighting bacteria without leaving the skin dried out and vulnerable the way synthetic antibacterial soaps do. For your face, forget soap altogether, and go for a good cleansing milk or cream instead. Choose a shaving cream with nourishing plant oils rather than mineral oil, which blocks the pores. Skip the alcohol-based, synthetic after shave, and go for either an aloe-based anti inflammatory and anti-aging skin healing gel if you have acne or inflamed skin, or a natural after shave with great-smelling essential oils that moisturize while addressing irritations such as ingrown facial hairs (read more about folliculitis in my Q & A section at www.betternutrition.com). For fighting wrinkles, choose collagen-building and skin thickening ingredients instead of harsh acids and gritty scrubs, which can irritate and inflame the skin and have uncertain long-term effects. Then stock up on truly natural, broad-spectrum sunscreens containing a protective and anti-inflammatory zinc oxide and titanium dioxide duo, which-unlike synthetic sunscreens-in animal studies have not been found to have estrogenic effects or collect in the body.
One item I suggest you stock in your bathroom cabinet and travel kit is grapefruit seed extract (GSE).
GSE can be effectively used anywhere on the body - taken orally or used topically - to fight bacteria and fungus. The GSE liquid can be used in sprays for skin and feet, on your toothbrush, as a gargle and even added to questionable drinking water when traveling.
Cornstarch based GSE-containing powder fights athlete's foot and jock itch without the risks of talc, which is linked to cervical and lung cancers.
Hold On to Your Hair
If you're currently using or considering prescription or over-the counter hair-loss drugs, some of which have been linked to erectile dysfunction (such as Propecia)
and heart changes (as in the case of minoxidil), consider supplements and topical preparations from your health food store, several of which have been proven in clinical studies to reverse male pattern baldness by blocking the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) without side effects. For more on hair health and hair loss, see my in-depth story "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow. .." at www.betternutrition.com. In the meantime, use a shampoo and a conditioner that purify and nourish the scalp with essential oils and marine extracts while inflicting no pore-clogging petro-chemicals or perfumes on the scalp.
Smell Like a Man, Not A Man-Made Smell
And now for some major news about antiperspirants: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will soon require a warning label to be displayed on antiperspirant deodorants containing aluminum. Recently confirmed findings have shown that these deodorants can cause harm to people with kidney problems. The FDA asserts, however, that accumulation of aluminum in individuals with normally functioning kidneys is considered minimal.
For those seeking aluminum-free deodorants as well as those free of irritants such as perfumes and propylene glycol (PG) but who have been disappointed at the lack of truly effective choices, there is also some very good news to report: The first PG-free stick deodorant technology has finally been perfected and paired with odor-inhibiting substances such as lichen.
Today's heavily advertised (and heavily perfumed) deodorants and men's fragrances leave you literally covered in hundreds of undisclosed synthetic perfume chemicals. Even so called natural products that list the words "fragrance" or "perfume" may contain as many as 200 or more undisclosed toxins. The manufacturer isn't required to list them. But if you switch to the body care products listed in the sidebar, you'll not only smell more like a real man, you'll soon come back to your senses and reject the fake smells and over-stimulation you've been slapped with for far too long. Welcome back to the real world, man!
- Janson Oral Comfort Toothpaste and Mouthwash Spray with CoQ10
- Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap
- Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap
- Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
- Youthful Essentials' Skin Healing Gel
- Aubrey Organics' Herbal Mint & Ginseng Shaving Cream and Ginseng Mint Aftershave
- Nutra-Lift One Step
- Herbal Armor Outdoor Protection by All Terrain Company, Inc.
- Fight Back DHT Blocker by Nutritional Consulting Corp.
- Morrocco Method Shampoos and Conditioners
- Herbal Clear PG Free with Hidrox Deodorants
- NutriBiotic liquid, capsules, powder, ointments, ear drops and sprays with GSE.
Holistic beauty expert and health advocate Kat James is the author of the acclaimed new book The Truth About Beauty and host of the new nationally televised PBS special of the same name, premiering this month. Learn more about her book, special and cruise program, Total Transformation@, at www.lnformedBeauty.com. To send questions and read Kat's replies each month, log onto www.betternutrition.com.