If you're like a lot of women, you've used at least 10 personal care items on your body before you leave the house in the morning. Shampoo, anti-perspirant, face wash, lotion, foundation and mascara are just a few of the items us women slather ourselves with every day.
I'm also willing to guess that the items you're using are chock full of chemicals, are expensive and probably don't even do what you want them to do. Does your acne cream really get rid of your acne? Does your eye serum really banish under eye bags? I'm guessing the answer is not really.
Do you ever look at the products you buy? The ingredients lists are long and full of names that are barely pronounceable. Quite often the word "natural" is splashed across the front to make it seem like you're being really good to your body and the environment by using something that's "natural". When it comes to labelling the word "natural" means nothing. Most often "natural" labelled products have just as many chemicals as ones without the phoney advertising.
So why would you want to use products that DON'T have all those nasty chemicals? What does it even matter?
Most chemicals out there disrupt our hormones. When we disrupt our hormones, we disrupt the entire body, because our hormones are working throughout our body synergistically. Infertility, period pain, heavy bleeding, digestive disorders, energy fluctuations, mood fluctuations, neurological issues, thyroid issues, cancer, central nervous system depression and kidney issues are just some of the problems that can arise as a result of using chemicals on a day to day basis. Our hormones are disrupted and everything else in our body is disrupted too.
Let's take sulfates. Sulfates are used in most foaming/lathering products. They are hormone disruptors, skin irritants and are suspected to be carcinogenic and mutate our genes. Sodium benzoate is another chemical to watch out for. If you mix it with vitamin C or ascorbic acid, it forms a carcinogen. If you have vitamin C in your body (which you do) you will form a carcinogen from the sodium benzoate.
Alcohols are often used in skincare products. They are made from a petroleum derivative and not only dry out and irritate the skin, but also cause free radical damage, premature aging and brown spots. Fragrances are also used quite frequently and can cause nausea, dizziness, headaches, allergic reactions, central nervous system disruption and hormone disruption.
There are so many chemicals out there being put in our products that it is frightening. Is it any wonder why so many people have cancer? Infertility? Nervous system disorders? We need to really think about what we are putting on our body as much as we think about what we put in it.
We also need to stop thinking about just ourselves and start thinking about one another more. The products that we use are flushed down the drain and end up in our water supply. So inadvertently I am getting those chemicals that you are using, and so are the animals and the plants.
Something else to point out is the way women have been conditioned since childhood to believe that beauty looks like a face full of makeup and that your hair should smell like a tropical rainforest. Over and over we are told we need to use all these products to make us desirable, pretty and worthy of love and attention. So many women are terrified to leave the house without makeup. I look at it as a sort of disorder. I know I have absolutely been conditioned to this disordered way of thinking about myself and how I'm worth more if I use a ton of products to make me "better". Heck, I even had a short stint of time where I worked for a "natural" skincare company and was made to feel/made myself feel like I needed all these products to be the best version of me. When the best version of me is just ME. Without all the covering up.
Over the years I have changed my skin/hair/body care regime drastically. I've learned that most items you find on the shelves at the drugstore are full of chemicals that are doing scary things to our bodies. Parabens, sodium laurel sulphates, DHEA and Proplyene Glycol are all hormone disruptors that should be avoided at all cost (for a really good list and good information on chemicals in beauty products click here).
What I've learned from being a nutritionist is that most of our problems start and can be fixed with what what we put inside our body. Do you have dry skin? You probably need some Essential Fatty Acids and vitamin A in your diet. Dandruff? Try taking some vitamin B6, zinc and eat more protein.
I'm like any woman out there. I do like to wash my face in the morning and at night, I wash my hair, I brush my teeth, I use deodorant, I sometimes wear makeup. But I have really conditioned myself to be as minimalist in the beauty department as possible, use only the purest products and focus on loving who I am without all the extra stuff on top. The last part is key. To acknowledge that my purest self is the most beautiful.
I want you to also be more minimalistic about what you use, be smart about what you buy and be informed. Always read labels. Go for the least amount of ingredients, and only ingredients that truly are natural. Only buy what you really need and try to be eco-conscious about what your product is packaged in.
Because I do use some products and have done a lot of research and trial and error on what is good and what is not good, I want to share a few of my favourite beauty products with you. So below is a list of some of the things I use (and no, I am not endorsed by any of these companies. I just truly love what they do). Oh and by the way, they are also all cruelty-free and Canadian!
How To Green Up Your Beauty Regime:
Deodorant: K'pure Get Closer. This stuff works wonders. I've tried a lot of natural deodorants and this one seems to actually keep you from being smelly. If you are buying "anti-perspirant" from the store, know that it has aluminum in it which is a nervous system disruptor. Make sure you always buy a natural deodorant.
Face Cleanser: Have you heard of oil cleansing? It has changed my life. I swear by it. Basically you are using oil to clean your skin. For those of us with oily skin you might think this would create more issues but it doesn't! I love Nadine Artemis who is the creator of Living Libations. I use her
Best Skin Ever face cleanser and it cleanses my face but ALSO moisturizes! I no longer need moisturizer after washing because it doesn't dry my skin out, it nourishes it.
Face Scrub: This one is so simple. Oats! I make a shaggy oat flour (put oats in a food processor and pulse a little bit) to scrub my skin. It makes my skin really soft and clean, is super cheap and all natural. All I do is put some oat flour in my palm, get it a little wet and gently scrub my skin. Rinse and voila! Beautiful skin. I do this for my face but also as an all over body scrub.
Shampoo: I love Carina Organics. Love love love them. Their shampoo is the ONLY shampoo I have ever found that makes my hair clean! No buildup, no grease, clean ingredients and it smells really good. I use the Sweet Pea Extra Gentle Shampoo.
Body Wash: I love using the Carina Organics Baby Shampoo and Body Wash for my children but also for myself. My daughter has long, thick hair and it cleans it better than any shampoo could ever do. It is really gentle and I love using it for the whole family. Their baby lotion is really good too (for anyone, not just babies).
Makeup Remover: Coconut oil! Rub coconut oil on your makeup, wipe it off with a kleenex and watch the makeup come off.
Makeup: I have recently found Elate Cosmetics and so far I am loving their products. I am currently using the loose powder and concealer. I don't wear makeup very often but when I do feel like throwing some on this is what I use.
Perfume: Perfume is full of chemicals and gives me an almost instant headache. I only use essential oils when I want to smell a little different. I just dab a little lavender on my wrists but you can use any essential oil (some need to be mixed in a carrier oil first though so do some reading on this).
Toothpaste: I have always been someone who avoids using fluoridated toothpaste. Contrary to popular belief, fluoride deficiency is not what causes tooth decay. Flouride actually damages gums, disrupts collagen production and accumulates in the body which lowers IQ, causes early puberty and forms deposits in the brain which are related to Alzheimer's. Flouride is not the only issue with conventional toothpaste. There are a LOT of things you want to avoid, like triclosan (which is a registered pesticide) and propylene glycol (which is used to de-ice planes) among others. So naturally you would switch to a natural toothpaste right?
The problem with natural toothpaste is that there are unwanted things in it too such as carageenan (which can cause bowel cancer) and xylitol (hard to absorb and can cause gastrointestinal discomfort- it also has had no conclusive evidence that it actually is beneficial for the teeth and gums) among other things.
So what do you do then? I have recently discovered Nadine Artemis' book Holistic Dental Care which is really an incredible read. It changed my way of looking at oral care and now I try to follow her 8 step approach. I do use her clay toothpaste because I really enjoy it and I make a gum cleanser out of coconut oil and clove oil. You can find her oral care products here, but I highly suggest you read her book first to get a true understanding of how to use her products. If you don't want to buy any, you can use baking soda, salt and coconut oil mixed together to clean your teeth and a mix of essential oils to keep your gums healthy.
So there you have it! Those are my top used beauty products. I hope I was able to shed some light on your beauty regime and that you start to change your products over to clean, green and cruelty-free products (or go au-naturale!).
Love and light, xo