Hey guys! I ran into a bout of bad luck near the end of January which included a near-fatal problem with my laptop. Thankfully I (think) I’ve resolved it. I’ve been working on this post for a short while and wanted to have it posted before January ended but that didn’t happen thanks to my sickly Dell. Obviously I’m not going to be posting any more resolutions after this. Enjoy!
This resolution feeds off my last one. I feel many people that want to live a healthy lifestyle, myself included, forget to revamp vital areas of their life. One such is the use of commercial cleaning products that contain some of the most toxic chemicals we’ve ever encountered and that pollute the air inside one’s own home.
The other area is the use of unnatural body products. Skin is the largest human organ and has an amazing capability to absorb things. To put it simply, the body basically eats whatever you put on it– including whatever is in that new scented glittery lotion you got for Christmas, the lead in most lipsticks, the aluminum in deodorant- the list goes on.
When I was in middle school and started wearing make up, I asked an older, college aged girl why she didn’t wear make up. Her response was that it makes people look older. I was stumped. How could make up make someone look older? I thought her response was just some dumb old folklore.
But then I was at a Mary-Kay try-to-sell-you-stuff-thon when I heard these fatal words, “If you don’t wash your make up off at the end of the day, your skin will age 3 days.” Eh? Again, I didn’t really pay attention at the time, but now it’s all coming together.
While wearing mainstream commercial products won’t kill you, I believe they can contribute to the chemical build up inside the body (which is usually passed off to your newborn) and give off free radicals and therefore contribute to aging and all its fun side effects (*cough* wrinkles). Whatever companies put in make up is so unknown that it’s best to play it safe. Think of it like plastic- we’ve only recently discovered BPA and its effects and we still don’t know what else plastic is capable of giving off, so we should stick to glass, especially when heating items in the microwave.
I’ve made a list (I love making lists) of some products you can use to replace what you’re currently using to make sure you are both beautiful and healthy, inside and out.
Hair and Skin
Dr. Hauschka– This comapany’s approach to skin care sounds very appealing. They endorse the idea that healthy skin care includes leading a healthy lifestyle and their products are mostly plant based and organic. Lately I’ve been looking for moisturizers without alcohol and Dr. Hauschka carries a few body and face ones (make sure to read the ingredients). I haven’t tried any products yet, but reviews online are generally positive. They also carry make-up but the reviews on those are scarcer and more bi-polar.
Coconut Oil– This is one of those magical things that has many uses. In the diet, it’s super tasty and surprisingly healthy. In skin care, it works great as a lip balm or moisturizer and people have been using it to help deal with skin diseases like psoriasis. It’s also perfect for deep conditioning your hair before a shower.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps– These soaps are amazing. They are made up of mostly plant oils and a little pleasant fragrance– I particularly like the almond one. They clean super well too, so may leave your hair a little too squeaky. These soaps are best used on the body but are also great around the house. People use these soaps for the dishwasher, on laundry, and for all around cleaners.
Rae Cosmetics– This is an Austin based company with make up for those who live in Austin’s hot, humid weather or live an active lifestyle. The products are based on minerals, so are better than most others out there, and most ingredients score low on the Skin Deep database. This local company is a great way to transition away from heavier make ups.
Tarte Cosmetics– I love this brand. Their products work and they work well. Their main selling point is being eco-friendly and cruelty free and they offer some organic products as well. They are also reasonably priced. Yay for making “green” mainstream.
Deodorant stones- These babies are nothing but little blocks of alum salt that you apply by moistening and then rubbing onto your armpit. The salt allows you to sweat like Mother Nature wanted you to, but prevents the odor-causing bacteria from forming. This is probably the single best product to start using as it replaces dozens of ingredients from common deodorants with just one. One deodorant stone will last years and is pretty cheap as well. Look for them online or at health food stores.
Toothpaste- While I believe that fluoride is effective in strengthening teeth and reducing cavities, I think we may be getting too much. While small amounts of fluoride will whiten teeth, too much will actually make them turn yellow. Fluoride in the water supply can contribute to bone defects such as fluorosis and permanent rickets when used in baby formula. In general, too much fluoride is bad for bones. Here in Austin, the water doesn’t even get pure fluoride– it gets a chemical waste called fluosilic acid. Phew, anyway, based on all this information I recommend a fluoride free toothpaste such as Tom’s of Maine. (I’m not a hippy I swear).
With some exceptions, there are not a lot of products without at least one controversial ingredient. On top of that, many companies are jumping on the green bandwagon, claiming that they are natural by taking out only one or two harmful ingredients. However, I feel that cutting out any of the them will make a huge difference in the long run. I hope you all live a healthy, wrinkle free life!
Also check out
-This list of natural beauty products on Crazy Sexy Life.
–The Story of Cosmetics a moving clip about the hazards of most body products.
–Skin Deep, a database of which cosmetic ingredients are hazardous or not.
Have you tried any of these products? Are there any brands you recommend?