For nearly fifteen years, I have been writing about fashion and beauty. I helped women and men make sense of the latest products while declaring some shimmery nail polish an absolute must-have. I witnessed exciting moments when fashion and beauty trends were born as they crystallized in the electric air backstage of fashion shows, during glitzy, glamorous, celebrity-studded events, or in the hectic rush of a fashion shoot.
And I am guilty of heralding fashion fads that were forgotten the week after the magazine hit the newsstands. I have interviewed, reviewed, analyzed, and criticized. My true love is homemade “edible” beauty. Dieting and the subtle, yet powerful ways it shapes our looks fascinates me and makes me search for delicious cures to wrinkles and pimples. As a nutritionist, I have fallen in love with natural ways to improve the skin’s clarity, tone, and vitality.
When it was time to write this book, I could not resist sharing everything I have learned in those years about skincare and offering you dozens of yummy recipes that bear a very close resemblance to those you cook for dinner. In addition, there is a hefty dose of science. You will learn many things that will never be published in glossy magazines, but this essential knowledge will form the foundation that allows you to become your own beauty expert and organic lifestyle guru.
As you read this book, you will learn how your skin absorbs nutritive and toxic substances, what certain chemicals can do to your body, where to look for them, and how to avoid the most obnoxious ones. You will learn about the dangers of synthetic fragrances and paraben preservatives, and you will understand why they cause allergies and increase your risk of cancer and other devastating diseases.
I strongly believe that when you know what is going on in your skin, you will understand why certain ingredients work and others do not. You will be able to follow my recipes for organic, homemade skincare more consciously and will shop for ready-made beauty products with more insight. Cosmetic products are food for our skin, and each chemical ends up in thousands of hungry mouths covering our skin—pores, that is.
Whenever we buy the latest lotion or potion, we assume that people who make it have only good intentions in mind. We assume that our governments regulate cosmetic makers and demand vigorous safety testing. We assume that cosmetic makers consciously avoid making products that contain ingredients with questionable safety records.
Perhaps it is time to stop assuming anything. The chemical industry works nonstop. The amount of synthetic chemicals in use all over the world has increased twofold over the last ten years. Today, we have more than 100,000 chemicals in use in different areas of our lives, and less than 5 percent of these chemicals have been thoroughly tested for their long-term impact on human health.
Even proven toxins, such as lead and mercury, were presumed innocent for years—until dozens of well-documented cases of serious adverse health effects piled up, thus prohibiting the use of these chemicals in paints, household items, and cosmetics. Which chemical will be next to get the boot? Phthalates? Or maybe parabens?