Welcome to Clean Beauty (Dirty City)! This new series was unofficially born years ago when I began to raid my kitchen cabinets and mix together ingredients to slather over my face and scrub my body. My own skin struggles led me to clean up my beauty act and eliminate many products I realized were irritating and filled with chemicals. Such began my exploration in getting back to basics – today coconut oil and manuka honey are just at home in my bathroom as in the kitchen.
Beauty From the Inside Out, And Outside In
We all know beauty is an inside job – even though every cream promises to cure us from those pesky pimples – it really does matter what you put at the end of your fork. But of course, it does matter the products you use and what you put on your skin. On average, we are exposed to over 120 chemicals a day just in the beauty products we use from our face washes, nail polishes, shampoos, makeup, etc. While you may not be able to get that guy to stop smoking his cigarette next to you on the street, there are lots of things you can do to avoid exposure to these nasty chemicals in your own home.
Exposure to these chemicals can go way beyond skin irritations – they are hormone and endocrine disruptors and can build up in our system to cause increased risks of cancer, birth defects, hormone disorders and more. The same is true with our laundry detergents and household cleaning products. If we care about what we put it in our body, it’s just as important to care about what we put on our body and in our ecosystem.
A good rule of thumb to go by is if you couldn’t eat it you probably shouldn’t be using it on your skin or in your home. Since it is all about beauty from the inside out, these posts will often include an eat this, do this type of thing. First up is a spotlight on one of my favorite superfood ingredients: spirulina and chlorella. If you’re struggling with irritated, inflamed, stressed-out skin and low energy, these guys may be your answer.
Why spirulina and chlorella?
Both sea algaes, spirulina and chlorella are two of the most potent superfoods on the planet. They are high in protein, B vitamins (great for glowing skin!), filled with chlorophyll, and are mega-detoxifiers.
They’re like siblings – they have a lot of similarities and in many instances can be used interchangeably but they both excel at different tasks. Chlorella is a single-celled microalgae that is especially great for detoxing heavy metals and harmful particles and increasing oxygen in your body to enhance cellular repair. Spirulina is easily digestible, helpful for weight loss, energy and immune boosting. Not to mention spirulina has 10x the beta-carotene of carrots. Use them together and see their effects multiply. Both have an incredibly strong taste (and smell!) so start by using small amounts in tonics and smoothies.
Where do I get these sea algaes?
It’s really important to pick up these super powders from a trusted source. It goes without saying that it’s no good to get spirulina that’s been grown in a contaminated water source (that can be filled with heavy metals). Take a look to see what is at your local health market or online at ThriveMarket.com. I love the Chlorella from Sun Potion.
Chlorella Morning Tonic
Make this your morning ritual. This tonic will turn on your digestive system, strengthen your immune system, detoxify your body, and cleanse your blood, liver, and kidneys. I always make sure to take this morning tonic during my monthly cycle – it’s an incredible blood builder and helps minimize PMS symptoms and boost energy. If the taste is a little too strong for you, start with less chlorella, or add it to smoothies, which will mask it more. Gradually work your way up and increase servings as desired.
- 1 glass of filtered water water
- ½ teaspoon chlorella
- Splash of aloe water
- Squeeze of lemon
Stir all ingredients together and enjoy on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
Soothing Seaweed Mask
My facialist Cara at CAP Beauty introduced me to this insanely soothing face mask for inflamed and irritated skin. Spirulina is antibacterial, which is helpful for acne-prone skin, and helps neutralize free radicals that come in contact with our skin day in and day out. The result is more evenly toned, brighter skin. This can get a little messy so wear an old tee and use a hand towel you don’t care too much about. If you have sensitive or dry skin, try adding a small amount of mashed avocado or manuka honey to the mask.
- ½ – 1 teaspoon of seaweeds (chlorella or kelp powder or spirulina or combo)
- Splash of aloe water
- Splash of filtered water
Stir chlorella and waters together until you achieve a spreadable paste. Use a brush to apply all over your face (you can also use your fingers). Leave on for 10 – 15 minutes then wash off with warm water. Splash your face with cool water, pat dry, and follow-up with your favorite moisturizer.
Here are a few more ways to use spirulina from my friends at Sakara.