Fueled from a post by my friend, Heather Crosby, on YumUniverse about making your own eyeliner from activated charcoal, I perused the article and then read her suggestions for picking up the book NO MORE DIRTY LOOKS, which is a smart guide exposing all the toxins and crap that “hide” in our everyday beauty/house products.
It dawned on me that I am beyond diligent about what I put in my body (well, as much as any of us can be). I look at labels. I read ingredients. I ask questions. I don’t trust advertisers.
I also preach about what you put on your body: If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. Or, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it. But, reading this book (which exposes all those hard to pronounce words in our beauty products and what they really mean) I went around our condo and gathered all my standard “go-to” products in terms of cosmetics, soaps, detergents, etc. and was horrified – and I mean horrified by what I read.
I trust certain brands: I use Method hand soap and laundry detergent. I use a flouride-free natural toothpaste, a natural deodorant, face wash, and contact solution. Upon closer inspection of some of these products, I was shocked to find that what I thought was natural really wasn’t. While most of these products tote some natural ingredients, the rest is just covered up in fancier language for harsh chemicals.
From what I put on my body in the shower (my shaving cream has parabens in it!!!! Aveeno moisturizing body wash has so much more than just oatmeal in it! Dove beauty bar has so many ingredients, my head is spinning!) to my hair (don’t get me started on shampoo and conditioner – I thought Moroccan Oil was slightly better – wrong! Alex’s pomade has castor oil in it!) to my lotions and makeup (which thankfully I don’t wear a lot of, but still… the mascara, the “mineral” blush, the Nars lip gloss – all of it: awful!) I am one giant walking toxin.
On a mission, I wrote down all the recommendations from the book and went to the only place nearby that sold some of these more natural products: Whole Foods. While you can get many of these items online, I wanted to look at them. I wanted to compare them against other brands. I wanted to smell them and ask questions if I needed to. I wanted to spend some time reading the labels and really get to know what I was putting in/on my body on a daily basis.
I’ve been down this road before with certain products. I get so excited, only to come home and have “said” natural product break me out or not work (I’ve gone through fifteen natural deodorants and countless toothpastes). But, this should take some time and research, and I know it’s not going to be easy. It’s much easier to trust the brands I’ve been trusting. To get them because stores sell them and they are convenient. Just as I wouldn’t load my shopping cart with items off the “inner” shelves of the grocery stores (as these are items laden with preservatives to last for the long-haul), why am I doing the same thing with beauty products?
Shouldn’t I want “food-grade” quality items in everything I put on my body? The answer is inexplicably yes.
When I think of what I’ve exposed Sophie to – already – at a little over 7 months, I’m furious. But, I’m also thankful that I can bring her into a world that is hopefully just slightly cleaner than my world, and one that she will continue to perpetuate (if she wants to).
So, loading up on some natural purchases (which, yes, are SO much more expensive than their cheaper counterparts), I began to make some comparisons. While I haven’t used any of these long enough to know if they will be winners, here’s a start.
Do your homework. Ransack your home and read the labels on everything. And know that even those brands that are promoting “natural” claims most likely aren’t. Just like food, the less ingredients the better.
It’s time to drown out the noise and start getting smart about what we put on our bodies.
Here are some of my swaps:
Bottom line? Do your research! And check out this site where you can enter in numerous products and it will tell you their toxicity level!