Ask 10 different women “what is the biggest beauty mistake?” and you’ll get 10 different answers.
I used to think radiant skin and beauty was achieved by eating good food and using the best skin care. While simple, nutrient-rich food is important there are other pieces in the beauty jigsaw puzzle.
Reading labels, not claims
Claims on one side of a beauty product may say “gives radiance” but how and with what?
Find out what is really in your skincare by reading the labels.
A useful guide is Environmental Defence Canada’s Pocket Guide to the Toxic 10 ingredients in skin care:
Helena Lane, creator of Helena Lane Skincare, which is available at 3 Singing Birds and Nesters Market said, “My formulations have as few ingredients as possible, but ones that are richest in nutrients specific for our skin.”
I agree with her “less is more approach.” Lane said, “I also believe most people use too many products too often on their skin.”
We do not need the vast array of products, even “natural” ones, available to us.
I simplified my skin care, favouring natural ingredients like shea butter, clay, almond oil and aloe vera.
I wash my hair less frequently, which allows the natural oils to nourish my hair removing the need for pricey conditioning treatments. I gently massage some almond oil into my hair the night before I wash it. I also get my hair cut regularly as that maintains strength and prevents split ends.
Quantum Vitamins has a selection of non-toxic products, including: Be Clean Naturally soap and balms, Works Wonders skin balms and Green Sisters creams.
Ignoring how you talk about yourself
The most luxurious non-toxic beauty products matter little if you’re constantly saying unkind words about yourself. Words can be kind or toxic.
For example, telling yourself, “I hate the skin on my face” or “I wish I had thinner thighs” fuels negativity.
What are your first thoughts when you look in the mirror? Are you looking at a blemish, grey hair or wrinkle or are you saying, “I love you?”
In her book The Art of Extreme Self-Care (available at Armchair Books) Cheryl Richardson said, “Each time I said, ‘I love you, Cheryl,’ I felt a little less awkward and a little kinder toward myself.”
Self-acceptance, in a world where we are bombarded with airbrushed “perfection,” is key. Unfortunately it isn’t very easy, but it’s worth starting!  Choose words that build yourself up. Vow to only say words about yourself that make you feel good rather than berating yourself.
Resist the temptation to compare yourself. I find this a lot easier having left Facebook! Iyanla Vanzant said, “Comparison is an act of violence against the self.” I agree.
There will always be critics, don’t be one of them. We are a wonderful blend of a beautiful, messy work-in-progress. Or is that just me?
Joanna writes at and her book is available at Armchair Books.…