My initial thought was to do a post on Smart Shampooing. My immediate response to myself was that the chemical issue runs so much deeper than just shampoo. I also held back as a part of me thinks this is all common knowledge. The more years I work with clients and students with cancers, auto-immune diseases, skin and respiratory ailments... disease after disease, I speak with them about the products they use. So many people really never thought that their personal care items were an issue: "I don't eat them."
Every day Americans and people all over the world slather lotions, potions, elixirs, cleansers, shampoos, deodorants, anti-perspirants, toothpastes, and on and on all over the outside and inside of their bodies. Few people scrutinize the labels; really scrutinize the labels for what exactly is in these products. They march up and down the grocery, drug, and department store aisles grabbing products off the shelf and tossing carelessly into the shopping cart or basket.
All of these products are loaded with synthetic ingredient that tax the work of your liver's detoxification pathways. Ultimately, these chemicals do not all get detoxed from the body. Over time these chemical ingredients contribute to all manner of ill health symptoms. Toxins in the body are not a positive thing. Think about an over taxed liver, immune system, lymph system, circulatory system, excretory systems... seriously, every cell of your body is affected and burdened with the toxic load. We expect our bodies to function at top notch health but we do not provide top notch food or body care. It is an equation that is not balanced. Eventual breakdown of health is the result.
Think about all of the products you perhaps buy and use:
- hair care: shampoos, conditioners, and various products to hold hair stiffly into place
- facial makeup of every variety for face, eyes, lips, etc.
- toothpaste, mouth wash, teeth whitening products
- menstrual care products: pads, tampons, etc.
- deodorants for feet, armpits, and genital areas
- various over the counter (OTC) medications to slather on fungal, bacterial, or some other microbial issue
- lotions meant to moisturize skin for the long haul
- facial wrinkle erasers, wrinkle prevention
- household cleaners you use on your clothes (fabric softeners and toxic bleaches), dishes, floors, tubs-sinks-toilets, etc. These all come in contact with your skin and respiratory passages and they are then a part of your whole being
- then there is chlorine and flouride in drinking water, bromine is flour products, toxins in OTC and prescription medications altering cellular function.
- hair coloring, hair bleaching, perming & straightening *****(Get ready for Five Elements Living's Organic Beauty Spa. Shelby Connelly, Licensed Acupuncturist, is opening Five Elements Living Retreat and Healing Arts Center in Colton, NY. There will be organic hair and beauty care treatments, coloring, perming, nail care, and products for purchase. Woo-Hoo!)
What IS in these products?
Just as I encourage clients, students, family and friends to not eat anything that is not 100% natural, well, the same goes for personal hygiene. If you are putting a product on or in your body (toothpaste, tampon, hemorrhoid cream, etc.) you are essentially eating it. The product's ingredients end up in your blood and lymph circulation and eventually a part of every body cell.
Read labels on everything you buy, every time you buy the same product. Small companies, with the right attitude about offering whole & natural products, start up companies. The company and its products become very successful (making tons of $$$). This entices major corporations to want this small company for their own bottom lines. The natural minded company gets sold out to a big corporation and the products are changed. Ingredients are swapped out for cheaper versions. The big corporations function in a "cheapest ingredients into the product for the largest profit margin for our wallets" mentality. So this product you have grown to trust suddenly is not the same high quality ingredients.
ADVICE: Read labels on everything you buy, every time you buy it. Accept nothing but high quality whole ingredients in both your food and your personal care products. Nature intended it this way... human corporate greed is the only thing that has changed it. Take care of you. Nature wants you to... you are nature.
Great resource is the Environmental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/consumer-guides
Even better resource: Your own common sense
Company's Products I trust, like, and use (yes, I read labels every time):
- Aubrey Organics If you live in St. Lawrence County, NY, these products are available through Nature's Storehouse, Canton, NY.
- Just Natural Skin Care
- Morrocco Method Hair Care
- Weleda Also available at Nature's Storehouse, Canton
This is just a few companies I have used and continue to use their products. No, I do not receive kick backs for suggesting these products.
Natural care products, much like real / whole / and organic food, are more expensive. When we feed our bodies real food, we eat less. Our bodies do not cry out for just calories, hunger is about nutrition. When we feed our cells with whole foods, our bodies require less. Real food may cost more but we eat less than when we stuff ourselves over and over with nutritionally depleted factory made foods and our cells continue to cry for nutrition.
When we care for our bodies with natural ingredients, we are not loading our cells with toxic chemicals. The pay-offs are huge and worth the extra expense. Many body care products are easily made, at home by you, with natural ingredients.
How I save money:
- I always order when the company has a promotion: % off or free shipping (or both!)
For example, I use and love Morrocco Method 5 shampoos. The 5 bottle package is $129, which seems pricey as an all at once purchase. The 5 bottles last at least 7 months which would be $18.42 a month BUT I buy when there is a 20% discount and free shipping over $100. My last purchase, under these special terms, was a total of $103.20 costing about $14.74 a month. I can live with this cost. The shampoos are very gentle on my hair requiring absolutely no conditioner. Figure your cost for commercial shampoo and conditioner (and whatever other products get slathered and sprayed onto your hair) every month and I bet the $14.74 is less $$$ out of your pocket.
Read labels. Know what you are putting in and on your beautiful body and into your body cells. Cellular health is the foundation for whole body health.