It's time to talk about feeding our skin and lungs and not just our stomachs. This is probably something I will write about more than once as it is a topic that is ever evolving and new research about products and ingredients is increasingly being brought to consumer's attention. As you may remember from your days in science class, our skin is our largest organ. Just because we are eating well does not mean that we are necessarily "healthy" and we should focus just as much attention as to what we put in our mouths as we do on our skin.
Yes, certain foods can help remove toxins from our body that aren't suppose to be in there but our body would run much more efficiently if we didn't have such a high toxic load. And, it doesn't just end with the shampoo we put in our hair or the lotion on our skin, but there are many other toxins within the home that can be adding to this toxin load.
It also doesn't help that, while consumers are becoming more informed about the products they are using, there are companies that are still health washing and green washing. What do I mean by that? Well, simply, companies will use certain phrases and images on their packaging that don't actually stand any ground. There are many "natural" beauty care products on the market, and some are certainly better than what we have been traditionally using, but even then these companies use phrases like "natural", "pure", "eco-friendly", etc., to entice consumers to purchase their not so clean products.
So, how do you know what is worth buying and what is, well, a lie? Essentially, it comes down to doing your research. There are great resources out there such as nutritionists and bloggers that have posted blogs themselves (which I will share below!), but if you really aren't sure, I suggest looking up the ingredients. It can be tricky as some natural ingredients have scary long names which might make them seem like they are chemicals whereas on the other hand there are harmful chemicals that have multiple names and companies will purposefully choose the one that will sell them the most product.
You may be thinking what I mean by harmful chemicals and how harmful are they really to our health?! There are common reactions such as skin and eye irritations but its much worse than that. Certain colourings have been linked to asthma and ADHD, and other ingredients often linked to various forms of cancer, thyroid related illnesses, and many more!
This is not meant to scare you and have you run to your bathrooms and cleaning cabinets to throw everything away. Although it would be great if everyone had the ability to do that but truthfully, you probably have cupboards full of this product which would be costly to replace all at once. I suggest starting with either cleaning products or personal care products. Then, break it down even further. Once something finally runs out replace it with a natural product. In the meantime do your research and make sure there is a local grocer or online store that you can purchase it from.
Or, you can take it one step further and try making your own cleaning products and personal care products. Lotions, face wash, all purpose cleaners can generally be made very easily, with few ingredients (that you may already have!), and at a low cost. So, not only will you be living a more natural life, you will be saving money.
If you are wondering about whether or not your armpits will smell, your teeth will go yellow, or your your skin will dry out with natural products, don't fret. Natural care products work extremely well but you just have to do your research. You may actually find an improvement as chemicals will no longer be irritating your gums, hair and skin.
To make things a little less overwhelming I have collected some of my favourite resources to help you start to make small changes in your home!
Looking at a list of chemicals can be very overwhelming so I suggest starting with this simple list of 12 from the David Suzuki website. Take a look at this "Dirty Dozen" list and pick a random product in your home to see what is hiding in there. Then once you become more familiarized start branching out. website:
For recipes to make your own products I suggest taking a look at the following blog posts by other great nutritionists:
20 Best Natural Beauty Care Recipes by Meghan Telpner:
Meghan, and her husband Josh Gitalis, are also launching a Healthy at Home online course which starts in April but registration is March 15th. Check out this link to find our more:
Back on the topic of health and green washing, Meghan also wrote this very popular and information blog about Arbonne that really shook things up. I definitely suggest giving it a read!
I also suggest taking a look at the Beauty section of the Joyous Health website that has great resources and recipes: https://www.joyoushealth.com/2-blogcat-beauty
Dr. Bronner's: https://www.drbronner.com
Living libations: https://www.livinglibations.com
Detox Market: https://www.thedetoxmarket.com
and depending on what you need sometimes Well.ca is a great place to look!
Purdy Natural: http://purdynatural.ca
I have tried their deodorant and mascara and they are both fantastic products! They have a retail location in London, Ontario and also some products from the following two companies:
They have a great selection of natural bath and personal care products. Their products also make the perfect gift!
The New New Age: https://thenewnewage.com
The New New Age has a retail store in Port Stanley, Ontario but also sell products online. Their turmeric and honey face mask and Skin Food lotion are great products. They also have other fun and high quality natural food products.
High quality shampoos and conditioners.
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