Once upon a time….
There was a girl who fell in love with perfumes and all scented cosmetics and household products. She also loved expensive face creams and body lotions, strongly believing in their advertised “magic”, and always having dozens of them in her bathroom.
Then one day very ugly and itchy patches appeared on her body and she ran to the doctor. The good news was that it had nothing to do with bacteria, the bad news was that she had to find out what she used she became allergic to.
That girl was myself, and that was when my journey in the cosmetics and toiletries research started.
Well, it wasn’t easy at the beginning. I started with changing my washing powder to another one having a baby on the bottle, thinking that it was more gentle (now I know it actually wasn’t), and I changed my perfumed body lotion to a baby lotion, which I thought was very gentle, designed for babies (actually they contain even more harsh chemicals…).
These changes didn’t make a big difference, so I had to go further. I started my research. And what I found was mind-blowing.
Did you know for example that the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) did a study in 1988, analising the 3000 most common active substances used in cosmetics (yes, I was surprised myself too by the high number of ingredients used…). What they found was that 1/3 of the substances analised were severely toxic, could lead to infertility, could cause biological mutation, cancer and could cause skin and eye irritation.
Scary, is it?
Do you think there were any changes since then? No, unfortunately no changes.
Here is a link which takes you to the breastcancerfund.org website, where you’ll find a list of some of the most harmful chemicals:
You might ask now: Why? How? How is it possible that these products are on shelves and we can buy them? Well, the industry is not really regulated, and don’t ask me why. Profit mainly and other reasons. I have my own theory, you can find yours.
My goal now is to give you few tips to easily switch to more gentle versions of products we put on our skin. Did you know by the way that harmful chemicals get absorbed twice as fast through the skin as through our gastrointestinal tract?
So back to my story, after first finding a list of harmful chemicals to look for on labels, I ran to the bathroom to check them. Well, all of the things I used were rubbish. Actually worse than rubbish. And going back to the shop with the list in my hand what to avoid, didn’t get me anywhere. There were no products I could buy…
To be honest, a regular pharmacy or cosmetics/toiletries shop can call themselves ‘cancer-shop’ or ‘infertility-shop’, or ‘eczema-shop’.
So let’s see what you can do:
1. Hand wash
At home, I have a very gentle, fully natural soap, more like the one my grandmother used to make. It never dries my skin. If you use natural products for cleansing, you will never need hand cream. I always carried a hand cream in my bag, no need for it in the last few years.
And this might sound weird at first: when not at home, I only wash my hands with plain water. And what about all the bacteria?- you might ask. Well, bacteria are not that bad guys as they were advertised.
There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. We all have bacteria in and on our bodies. Their job is to protect us. They are the good guys. They fight the bad bacteria when they want to attack us. Now once you wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap, you kill all the good bacteria too on your hand, and there will be no protection.
Am I getting sick or ill because not washing my hands with soap? Do I get a cold easily? Do I get any infection? No. Never. Literally never. Although I used to be sick very often before. Now I protect my own good bacteria and then they can protect me. Very simple, isn’t it?
All bacteria and viruses attacking us should always be fight by our protective system, our immune system. When you get a cold, it is not because there is a flu-season. It is because you did something to your own system and it became weak, not being able to protect you.
There are few natural products out there in health shops, not having all the bad stuff in them. You have to be prepared for an experiment-period. At the beginning you might find that the product you choose is not doing what you expected. Be patient. Once you find the right one, you’ll never look back.
To wash my body, I use the same natural, sometimes hand-made soap as for my hands. They are fantastic! And again, my skin won’t get dry!
Sometimes I still want to nurture it a bit, so here are few tips what to use instead of body-lotion:
And many other available in health shops. My skin is softer and younger than ever!
This is my favorite part to talk about.
I always had a mixed skin, oily, with big pores, but dry at the same time. It was always a nightmare to find the right cream, tonic, lotion etc. That’s why I never minded to pay more if that was for the right product.
Well, first of all, there is no need for that many products. I only use three products now:
a./ Eye make up removing: yoyoba oil
b./ Cleansing: soap – yes, the same soap what I mentioned twice before 🙂
c./ Cream – No cream! Oil instead! At the moment I’m using argan oil, but coconut oil is also amazing. Oil on oily skin? Well, I was surprised myself too when first heard about it, and was afraid to try it, but actually they do a miracle. They are able to make your skin find the right balance. I have friends using avocado oil or olive oil on their face, but those were too heavy for me.
And voila! My face looks much younger, I pay much less for products and spend much less time in the bathroom!
5. Make up
There are some very good natural brands out there, however they might not provide the same coverage. But you won’t even need it, as your face will have a healthy beautiful glow!
6. Household, cleaning products
Again, if you visit a health shop, you will find brands offering skin-friendly, environment-friendly, but very effective products.
I have to confess here something: there are two products I still haven’t changed: the mascara and the hair dye… Yes, that’s the truth. But I’m getting there!
So don’t get scared now that you have to change all the products you use on your body and in your house. You can do it on a gradient. However, the best would be to change everything as soon as possible.
And one more thing, which is very important: we use all those products on our body because we want healthier looking skin, we want to be more beautiful. Don’t forget, that beauty starts from the inside. Firstly, the food you eat will be shown on your body and on your face, secondly, exercising has highly beneficial effects on your skin tone and texture, and thirdly, the way you feel about yourself and about others will also show on your face.
Be beautiful, inside and out!