How safe are the products we use each day and are there safer alternatives? Just focusing on the beginning of the day, how many products do we use and what are the chemicals in these items? We get up and take a shower using shampoo, conditioner, soap and maybe shaving cream. We then get out and put on some lotion to keep our skin feeling fresh and hydrated, some may break out the make-up bag to make ourselves even more beautiful with the use of foundation, blush and mascara. After that, we get dressed, put on some deodorant and maybe spray ourselves with some perfume or cologne, brush our teeth and head out the door. Sound like a typical morning? If so, then how many chemicals did you just expose yourself to just by preparing for the day?
The products we use regularly contain chemicals such as phthalates, triclosan, 1,4-dioxane, parabens, ethylene oxide, 1,3-butadiene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), placental extract, lead and aluminum. Although these terms may sound like gibberish to most, the important takeaway is that each of these in large amounts have either been found to cause cancer, tumors, birth defects or infertility.
One way to keep yourself healthy and chemical free is by purchasing all-natural items or by making them yourself.
Some good shampoo alternatives include items like lemon juice, tea, egg and henna. There are also eco-friendly companies that make all-natural products including Acure, which makes shampoo, conditioner, lotions, body wash and moisturizers, and Herban Lifestyle, which makes shampoo from organic vegetable oil. They also offer other products, including lip balm and perfumes using essential oils.
A natural alternative for conditioner is coconut oil, which may also be used to soften skin, or other oils such as jojoba, olive or castor oil. Try making your own homemade apple cider vinegar conditioner, very simply to make and of course eco-friendly.
Soaps and deodorants are easier to make than you may think. Look around for different recipes to try at home or purchase soaps from eco-friendly companies like Pure & Gentle. In order to make natural deodorant, you can use baking soda and water or search around for some fancier recipes that add fragrance with essential oils. Tom’s of Maine makes natural deodorant that can be found in many stores.
Homemade natural body sprays can be made easily using essential oils. Just find a scent you like and wear it to smell fresh all day.
Make-up products are little more difficult to make. However, some great companies make all-natural, eco-friendly make-up products including Alima Pure, Crush Groove Cosmetics and Pink Quartz Minerals.
There are multiple, all-natural toothpaste recipes based on various combinations of baking soda, peroxide and other natural ingredients. However, Tom’s of Maine also makes natural toothpaste products.
The bathroom we prep ourselves in also has to be fully cleaned. Products from Seventh Generation and Clorox Green Works are more natural and eco-friendly than other cleaners purchased from the store..
If you are not someone who really trusts putting eggs in your hair or baking soda under your armpits, then just try going with companies that make earth-friendly, healthy products, such as those already mentioned or others, including Max Green Alchemy or Burt’s Bees.
Don’t allow companies to just sell you a product that may be detrimental to your health. Look at labels, be aware of what you are exposing yourself to and buy products good for your body and the earth.
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Stephanie Siemek is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.