Dr. Anna’s Beauty Book Club:
Beyond Soap by Dr. Sandy Skotnicki
When Dr. Anna is not treating clients, she’s researching, and Beyond Soap is one of her favorite books. Written by Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, Beyond Soap has become a cosmetic industry bible, teaching thousands of people how to take care of their skin and safeguard their environments against toxicity.
Dr. Anna would like to share a few tips she learned from Beyond Soap to help you make better choices:
Go back to basics
Dr. Skotnicki claims that around 40% of the industrialized world suffers from skin sensitivity, however, the bulk of the beauty industry’s products exacerbate these issue (including that expensive night cream you bought on Sephora labeled ‘organic’—sorry!). She recommends reverting back to the basics—think Dove Soap, Cetaphil, and the Green Cricket line. Dr. Anna usually keeps a stock of simple products in her clinic, in addition to her own line of 100% safe, non-toxic skin care products.
Read (and understand) your labels
Most labels on cosmetic products are engineered by a marketing team, not a lab! Labels like ‘fresh’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ might sound promising but they carry very little scientific weight. Dr. Skotnicki notes that some essential oils—commonly understood as a safe way to perfume products, can be irritants and even disrupt hormones. Here are a few ingredients to avoid (which is not a complete list): Parabens, Phthalates, BHT, Retinyl palmitate, and Retinol (aka, Vitamin A).
Yes, you can be ‘too clean’
Repeat after me: Only wash what is dirty and smelly.
That’s Dr. Skotnicki’s motto. Although hygiene is important, it’s a delicate balance between cleanliness and working against your body. Drugstore products can strip your body of natural chemicals, as can showering too often and scrubbing your skin. Paying close attention to your diet and exercise is a natural way to boost the body’s circulation and ability to regenerate itself.
Remember: bad food equals bad smells.
Start with the Product Elimination Diet [PED]
The PED is a three-step detoxifying process to help those who suffer from skin issues including sensitivity, eczema, and adverse reactions. The first step is to stop using every product that you own. Then, while you wait for your complication to clear up, slowly introduce products from Dr. Skotnicki Low-Contact Allergy and Irritant List which is available online. Over time, by monitoring your skin’s reactions, you’ll discover which products you can safely use.