Here I am, standing in front of a pile of products I don’t feel comfortable using anymore. I'm conflicted using them, not because they've expired or because I don’t like them; some of these products I love. And, no, I don't have a shopping addiction bad enough to throw away perfectly good products. Believe me, the last thing I want to do is to throw away a perfectly good product. I am standing in front of these here products because I am "coming clean" and I want to invite you on my journey.
A little background
Most of my life growing up I ate locally farmed/organic produce. With healthy eating and cooking being one of my mom's passions, this was important to her. Although we had junk food like any other family, she also made healthy food available to us on a regular basis. My husband and I often joke with our moms that we must have met as toddlers at the local organic market where both our mother's shopped in the suburbs of Maryland. Healthy food was a priority growing up, but I never really thought much about household products. For my mother and grandmother, it was the norm to clean with Lysol and straight up bleach. The first time I started thinking about product changes was recently when we cleaned up our household products in a short amount of time. My mother-in-law, in advanced stage melanoma cancer, moved in with us towards the end of her life. We amped up our clean food (even more) and cleaned up household products used in our home. My mother-in-law's sensitivity to scents, led us to rid our home of scented products such as soaps and detergents. The more we started to clean up our home environment, the more I thought about cleaning up my personal care products.
One of the first things I intentionally eliminated from my personal care was the potentially harmful soap and toothpaste sudsing chemical SLS and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate). In place of sudsing products, I began using local handmade soaps and goats milk soaps, which I found extremely moisturizing for my skin, instead of regular body washes. I then changed my shampoos, conditioners, and toothpaste. The next change I made was to eliminate my aluminum filled deodorant. I started with baby steps. I have an “everyday deodorant” and a “work deodorant". The "everyday deodorant" was a natural deodorant, because no one cares about how you smell when you're four feet away from them at the grocery store. However, when you’re a makeup artist and in people’s personal space, stinky pits can leave a permanent impression. I recently moved to an all-natural deodorant full-time because another makeup artist I follow on-line recommended Pure pitz. I knew it had to work and it does! As I slowly made personal care product changes, I became more aware of the ingredients I was putting on my skin. Especially on my face and body after showering when the skin is most porous. Our skin is the largest organ and most research shows that the skin absorbs up to 60% of what we put on topically. Because I knew that skin-formation, it made perfect sense to start changing my skincare products. After I changed all my skincare to healthier/cleaner choices, mother ship makeup was next. I had some clean makeup products in my personal beauty kit and used them on a regular basis. But that didn’t stop me from buying any and all products under the Sephora sun. And, that brings me to why I am even writing this blog post. I’ve recently changed my entire personal beauty care regime to fit to my healthier lifestyle. Slowly but surely, I'm creating a professional clean beauty kit for my clients. I would like to invite you on my journey to "coming clean". I want to use my blog as a platform, for those who are interested, to share insight, products, and tips in making the switch to safer.
Words of Wisdom
I will sign off with simple insight received from a yoga instructor that I had as a client. Her words stuck with me. I met her last year when I first began changing my personal care products. We got on the topic of deodorant (perfectly normal.) I told her that I had made the switch to natural deodorant and she simply said, “Good, you will live longer!” I thought about that and the truth I pulled from her simple statement was that I may or may not live longer from changing my deodorant. The truth is no one knows how long we will live, but if changing a simple product such as deodorant can increase my percentage of living a longer healthier life, than why not? Why not make small changes that can make a possible difference? I hope that speaks to you, as much as, it spoke to me. I have had a lot of fun researching and testing and I am so happy to share with any ears that will listen. Below is The Never List from BEAUTYCOUNTER that I follow when reading product labels.
"After working with you, it seems like my skin is happier with the natural products. After all these years studying exercise science and understanding that what you put in your body effects your health, I never made the connection to what I was putting on my skin when it came to skin care and makeup. Makes sense though!" Kara (Digital Health Solutions)