December 7

Toxic Beauty

Radiantly healthy, glowing skin….it’s the ultimate outward sign of good health. Believe it or not, there have actually been studies done showing that across cultures, both men and women are naturally “programmed” to be more attracted to people who look healthy.  In other words, I think subconsciously we know beautiful skin is a key indicator of good health and we all want good health for ourselves…and for our mates.

Genetics DO play a key role, but I can tell you that after about the age of only twenty or so, the health and appearance of your skin has much more to do with your lifestyle than genetics. Having radiant skin at thirty, forty or seventy years old IS possible, but it doesn’t happen by accident…


What if you have less-than-luminous skin and you are fifty years old, is it hopeless to even try to improve your skin? No! Regardless of your age, there is still hope for your skin. That’s because your skin, just like every other part of your body, does rejuvenate.  Flooding your body on both the inside and outside with key nutrients—including antioxidants and phytonutrients—can help your skin rejuvenate by providing your body with the raw materials it needs to repair and turnover damaged cells. Once you switch up what you put on the inside and outside of your body, your new cells will then come in healthier (and more beautiful!)


It is important to understand first and foremost that beautiful skin stems from healthy skin cells, which in turn come from a healthy body, so the absolute very best natural beauty tip on the planet boils down simply to this: beautiful skin starts with what you choose to nourish your body with. For starters, drinking lots of filtered water and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet will undoubtedly go the absolute longest way to improving the health and appearance of your skin.


Would you drink your perfume/cologne? Or swallow your sunscreen? Or smear your moisturiser on your toast? No! So why do you put these chemicals on your skin? Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It is incredibly strong and resilient. And it is porous. This means that just like a sponge, your skin absorbs whatever you choose to put on it. This can be either good or bad—depending of course on what it is you decide to slather on!

Sadly, just like the packaged and processed food world, so many of the ingredients in skincare products are low quality. Chosen for profit over their benefits. When you use low quality chemical products your body has to metabolize all of those chemicals. It puts unnecessary stress on your system, and you’re wasting your bodies precious resources.

For the healthiest (and most beautiful) skin you absolutely must choose the beneficial skin-healers and powerful skin-cell rejuvenators in natural products. The ingredients which have been used for hundreds of years, before modern science got involved.

Once I made the shift towards natural beauty products, I have never looked back. My skin has never been better, and my hair and nails are stronger and shinier than they’ve ever been. And now that I am aware of this issue, I know I have a choice — I can choose to waste my money on products that do nothing but over-promise and pollute my body; or I can vote with my money and use products that are going to nourish and support my body. You have the power to choose too.

Start with the products which you apply to be absorbed by your skin such as body/facial moisturiser, fake tanner, sunscreen and deodorant. You may also swallow small amounts of toothpaste so this is another to consider. Cleansers are usually used for a short amount of time and rinsed down the drain so switch these last.


Organic Unrefined Coconut oil is an absolute must for so many reasons! Not only can it be ingested for health, but also used as an all-over body moisturiser, hair treatment, makeup remover and more! Focusing on skin nourishment, it has amazing deep moisturising properties due to the similarity of molecular structure to the skin's own bio-support network. It rapidly hydrates, conditions and shields your skin to prevent moisture loss and even protects against UV rays!

Organic Rosehip Oil — I use this nightly as a facial moisturiser. Rich in fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, it's like a multivitamin for your skin. It helps combat wrinkles, scars and fine lines and helps to heal skin conditions. Plus, it's only €20 per bottle and lasts for several months!

To exfoliate my skin I use a muslin face cloth when washing my face and a natural bristle brush for the rest of me in the shower. This also makes your shower gel go further.

Taking a bath with Epsom salts is the easiest way to get a beautiful relaxing boost of the mineral magnesium. Magnesium plays a role in regulating over 325 enzymes in the body. It is extremely relaxing to the nervous system, soothes tired and achy muscles and relieves constipation. It is a particularly soothing remedy for those experiencing stress, as it helps restore adrenaline levels which become depleted when you get wound up. For some people, more magnesium can be absorbed through the skin than the digestive tract.

Unravel Me Bath:

  • ¼ cup dried lemon balm - This relaxing herb brings a sense of bliss to the nervous system. It is also used as an anti-depressive and traditionally taken to lift the spirits. A great remedy for anxiousness, stress, restlessness and irritability.
  • ¼ cup dried lavender - Lavender is also awesome at calming the nerves and combines particularly beautifully with lemon balm.
  • ¼ cup dried elder flower - Elder Flower works beautifully at bringing a sense of calm and assisting in peaceful sleep. Also, traditionally used to support the immune system and fighting colds. Great to include if you’re feeling run down.
  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • A few drops of lavender essential oil
  • Beeswax Candles

If you have the dried flowers, make an infusion. Steep the dried herbs in 1 litre of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain then pour water into a hot bath. Otherwise proceed with the following:

Dissolve the Epsom Salts and baking soda into the bath as it is running. Add a few drops lavender essential oil. Light candles, sink in, relax.

Feminine Products:

Modern sanitary napkins or “pads” and tampons have definitely made feminine hygiene easier and more convenient, but everything comes with a price. Most of these products contain plastics and special chemicals and ingredients that allow them to absorb 10x their weight in liquid and also contain a myriad of other ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances.

The labia and vaginal area is highly vascular, meaning that a lot of small blood vessels run to this area. The skin is also especially thin, making it easier for chemicals to enter the body that way.

Natural Solutions:

If you want to stick with the convenience of traditional tampons and pads, at least opt for organic 100% cotton ones. Brands such as Cottons and Natracare are now becoming more widespread. Cottons are purchasable on

Another option is Menstrual Cups. A menstrual cup is exactly what it sounds like- a reusable soft sided cup that fits inside the vagina to collect menstrual flow.

If you experience any hormonal or reproductive issues I highly recommend making this switch.
eg. intense cramps, heavy periods, migraines and exhaustion.



My go to moisturiser is the Glowing Body Butter by Pixy Natural Skincare. This is made with cocoa and shea butter, enriched with apricot oil, coconut oil and vitamin E. It's also Jasmine scented which I love! It is handmade in Mallow, Co. Cork. My dry winter skin really can't go without this. This also helps to extend the life of my fake tan.

I am very fair, so for a healthy glow I use TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil. I use this all over, even on my face. I love it, it's moisturising, gives me a light tan and wears off nicely. I buy this locally and they almost always have €8 off and other special offers.


I always use a daytime moisturiser with SPF. I have since I was a teenager. At the moment I am using Caudalie Broad Spectrum SPF15 Radiance Day Fluid. I have my eye out for a tinted moisturiser with a high SPF.

Pixy Natural Skincare Lip Balms They contain cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax and almond oil. So creamy, smooth and nourishing for dry lips. I have the coconut scented version, it is gorgeous! I am prone to dry lips, these are intensely moisturising!

Hair care

I really look after my hair. I use coconut oil as an overnight treatment in the ends of my hair and wash it out in the morning. I have used many different natural shampoos and conditioners. I have yet to find one which I will settle on to use forever. I look for silicon free and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), no SLES (sodium laureth sulfate) free. Silicon coats the hair giving it an artificial softness and smoothness and SLS is a harsh cleanser.

At the moment my shampoo and conditioner is from a French company called Phyto. My hair is left feeling clean rather than stripped and the conditioner moisturises my hair without leaving residue.

Rahua Finishing Treatment. A good hair treatment actually repairs your hair, rather than pretending to and coating it with silicon! This mask has Ungurahua Oil, which is rich in omega-9 and is made up of tiny molecules that penetrate into the core of each strand to heal and fortify the hair. I had looked for a long time for a quality silicon free product to smooth my hair post blow dry to create a smooth look but one which wouldn't make my hair greasy! It is expensive however I have had my little tub for more than a year now, and it is still half full. I also bought it on sale, with a €15 worth of points I had built up.


I use mineral makeup for two reasons. I have oily skin and mineral foundation mattifies my T-zone. It has natural SPF for my pale skin. My preferred brand is LilyLoLo. I use the Foundation, blusher and the eyeshadow.

There you have it, remember to always read the ingredients list on everything you pick up. Make sure you know what you are putting on your body.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates and feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

Emma x

Meet Emma

Hi, I am Emma McAtasney, a NCEHS Personal Trainer since 2009. I earned my Pilates credentials through BASI Pilates, a highly respected college-level Pilates teacher training programme which aim is to create and maintain professional standards for the teaching of the Pilates Method to the highest calibre.

In addition, I am a prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist, nutritionist and founder of a boutique Pilates studio in Dundalk, Ireland.

I help my clients eat healthier, ditch fad diets and lose weight for good by guiding them to make small manageable changes that long term have a huge impact on their quality of life!

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