Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Skin Care

Whenever there's a cold weather snap in NYC, the first place I feel it is my skin. I suffer from the Anglo-Saxon curse of dry, itchy, flaky skin in Fall and Winter. For 6 months out of the year, body lotion and my humidifier are my saviors.

I needed some new body lotion and, in keeping with the raw food lifestyle I wanted to make sure that I bought a clean and healthy product. The biggest bottle of discounted Jergens was not going to cut it. After all, my body is a temple, not a bargain basement. We know that skin is the largest organ in the body, and what touches the skin gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, hence the reason pharmaceutical companies are putting medication into patch form now. With this information I now subscribe to the philosophy of keeping products off my skin that I'm unwilling to eat.

The most obvious choice for many raw foodists with this philosophy is to slather themselves in coconut oil or another natural oil that's used as food. This admittedly feels nice, but leaves me too oily to get suited up for the day and ready to head out to work. I needed a light-weight everyday lotion that absorbs the same way a cheap old bottle of Jergens does. So, I took a little trip to Organic Avenue and found 2 different products.

One is called MSM Lotion for Face & Body and is made by Sunfood Nutrition. MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur found in all living organisms. It is said to promote healthy skin, joints, bones, as well as optimum cell nutrition. I have seen it in many raw/organic/vegan skincare products. I must say that this product is EXACTLY What I was looking for. It is moisturizing, absorbs well, and doesn't have an offensive odor. In fact, the "Pure and Natural" scent actually smells pleasant.

The friendly sales associate at Organic Avenue also directed me to TATE'S Miracle Conditioner. Yes, it's a hair conditioner that can double as body lotion. As a matter of fact, there are nearly 100 uses for the product including everything from make-up removal to posion ivy treatment. It is also vegan and raw, made mostly of plant based material. When I tested the product by rubbing a dollop into my dry hands, it felt greasy for a few seconds, then it practically disappeared into my hands, leaving them feeling soft and moisturized. I bought this product and have used it at home for this purpose and also an after-shower "leave in" conditioner. I will note that it does not retain moisture in the skin as well as the MSM lotion. I find that I need to reapply it more frequently. Still, it's a fascinating product that I recommend.

One final note that I feel I MUST mention is that is that my skin is not nearly as parched this year as in years past. My entire body feels immeasurably more hydrated on a raw living foods diet and the effects are felt as outwardly as my top layer of skin, which is much less flakey - actually it hasn't flaked or itched at all yet this year. My eyes aren't as dry, I crave lip balm less, and my cuticles aren't red and torn. I take this as insurmountable evidence that a raw lifestyle is essential for healthy living. Still, it's nice to have a few skin care products that won't detract from this goal.


  1. Isn't it nice? I noticed that Live-Live on East 10th makes their own MSM lotion and charges less. So, I've changed the link to their product. I have tried both and they're practically the same.