For 2016, I decided to make simple yet mindful changes to continue taking care of my health. I believe in the body and mind connection (hence why I teach yoga) so mindfulness doesn't stop at food. Skin care and hair care is huge. Our skin essentially "eats" what we put on it, because what we put on our skin absorbs directly into the bloodstream. I don't only read the labels on the foods I buy, but also on the soaps/lotions/shampoos etc. I decided to share the changes I'm making in my own home because they aren't difficult and require minimal effort which means anyone can do it.
1) Ayurveda (ancient Indian Medicine) says if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin. I've decided to start changing my soaps and face cleansers. I have psoriasis, which means my skin and scalp are very dry. Since switching my skin care products and using organic oils rather than lotions, my skin has been so much better! Plus, my psoriasis is under control. Switch out the Dove soap and your fancy, fragrance filled shower gels and opt for something with a lot less harsh chemicals that won't dry out your skin or worse, feed your body with carcinogenic chemicals and chemicals that mess with the balance of hormones.
Just like I read the ingredients of my food, I read them on my soaps, shower gels, face washes, face wipes and deodorants. I look for paraben free, sulfate free, and fragrance free. Some other key ingredients to stay away from are:
Diazolidinyl urea: Found in soaps, releases formaldehyde, which is toxic to immune system and can cause respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue, frequent headaches, and an irregular heartbeat.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS): Found in soaps, linked to hormone imbalance, organ toxicity, and increases your susceptibility to mood disorders.
Triclosan: A pesticide in anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners that is an endocrine disruptor.
PEG-6: Found in many soaps, linked to breast cancer
Diethanolamine (or DEA)/triethanolamine (or TEA): Found in soaps, a preservative linked to kidney and liver cancer. Also dangerous for pregnant women as it disrupts the development of the baby's brain.
Palm Oil: This is just about found in everything, not even just soaps, but in foods and other products. It's a vegetable based oil and the production of it is killing our rain forests, the orangutan species, and many other endangered species.
Thanks to Whole Foods and the world wide web, I have been able to buy the following skin care products that I have had a good experience with so far. No one's paying me to promote these because I am not popular enough (haha) so this is all 100% honest from my own trial and error.
Body Soap: Good Soap by Alaffia which also gives back to Togo (thanks to Jenny H. for the recommendation). Found at Whole Foods.
Other soap: Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castille Soaps
2) Dry skin? Get rid of your body lotions containing fragrance!!! They're actually drying out your skin rather than moisturizing it. The word fragrance=chemical shit storm. It is completely LEGAL for companies to keep their fragrance ingredients a secret. Opt for organic coconut oil (cold pressed) or organic sesame oil. Want something with a nice scent? Grab an organic lavendar essential oil, add a drop to either the coconut oil or sesame oil container. Lavender not only smells nice, but helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
Body moisturizers: Aura Cacia organic sesame skin care oil (also found at Whole Foods and other health food stores) and/or organic coconut oil (you can find in any food store/supermarket).
Face moisturizer: Avalon Organics (I like the Intense Defense Vitamin C gel cleanser)
3) Tea Tree Oil is the bees knees. I use it to treat my hair. Currently, I'm using Avalon Organic's Tea Tree Shampoo and conditioner, and while I don't LOVE the smell, I love what it's doing for my scalp and hair. It is a natural anti-septic, it helps promote hair growth, it treats the scalp to fight dandruff and prevent dandruff and dry scalp, and it nourishes the hair and scalp. Tea tree oil is also used to treat fungus, bacteria and viruses. What I also like to do to treat my hair is put organic coconut oil on the ends of my wet hair after a shower.
4) Scented candles and air fresheners are no good! They are releasing carcinogenic chemical and fragrance, linked to development disorders and more. Instead, look for soy candles with natural ingredients or diffuse essential oils. A diffuser be pricey, ranging for $20 to $80+, but once you have a good quality diffuser, it also acts as an air purifier and a humidifier. There are many different essential oils with different healing properties, which means releasing the oils into the air benefit different things, depending on which oil you use. My go to oil? Lavendar. I put 2 drops of the essential oil in my bath water, I sniff it before going to bed, etc. It promotes calming and reduces stress. It also smells freakin' delicious.
5) Toothpaste. Most of the common brands have a lot of the same toxic ingredients that soaps do, such as Triclosan and SLS. Sodium flouride, found in rat poison, is also in most of our toothpastes. I like using Tom's of Maine. It tastes like peppermint, but I will admit my fiance was not a huge fan of it at first. The problem is, we were used to the harsh, intensely minty toothpastes, so all it takes is a little getting used to.
I know that eating organic can get expensive, which means that switching to organic skin care and hair care may cost more than what you may be used to spending. I use the same argument for eating organic that I do for choosing organic skin care: it's worth it. We are what we eat. All we have is this soul and while it resides in our body, it is our duty to keep our bodies healthy. It is our temple. No price tag can be put on our health, and if we can make a few changes to take preventative measures, then why not?
All suggestions for other "clean" products are welcomed as I am open to trying out new things! I still haven't made the transition to using alternative make up, however, I don't wear it every day (it's all about balance). I am getting a shipment from Beauty Counter to try out their safe makeup and face lotions/serums, so I will update when I get to try out the products!
Hope this inspired some of you. If you have any suggestions of the kinds of posts you'd like to see more of, drop me message! I'd love to keep posting to serve you!
Love and Light,