In our lifetime we will take lots of showers and wash our hair quite a bit. We may use body wash, shampoo, conditioner, facial scrubs, lotions, etc. I know my shower and bathroom is fairly full of these products and I consider myself more of a minimalist than the average person. I seem to go back and forth between a “no poo” routine and using a natural shampoo and conditioner. It really depends on the status of my hair, my current lifestyle, and how my thyroid is performing.
Mostly though I do like to use shampoo but not the stuff sold in most regular stores. Their ingredients do not cut it with me. I am looking for:
- ease of rinsing (no residue)
- no irritation
- pleasant natural fragrance or no fragrance
- low/no toxicity (no SLS, for instance)
- good biodegradability
- no damage to my hair
- gluten free ingredients if possible
I want products that are safe for everyone in the family to use with no ingredients that give me the heebie jeebies. I like products that come from companies that are transparent with their marketing and their ingredients.
Just recently I was introduced to a company (through a friend) called Lifestyle in Green. Their products are great and they are committed to not using any synthetic fragrances. The oils used in their care products are derived from certified organic farms. They care about what they put in their products and how each ingredient impacts individual health and the environment.
- Sustainable and environment friendly: Raw materials are procured to support organic and sustainable permaculture farms
- No harmful junk or synthetic garbage: All personal care products are manufactured with organic, wild crafted ingredients. Non-toxic chemicals, no parabens, artificial fragrances, no formaldehyde or anything in any way unnatural finding its way into your body through your skin
- Local industry, farmers and artisans: Source raw materials to support fair trade and craft communities
I could not ask for more. Some of their products that I have tried are:
Tea Tree and Lavender Normalizing Shampoo
Lemon and Sage Refreshing Body Wash (love this combo!)
Lavender and Tea Tree Soothing Conditioner
Lavender and Coconut Face and Body Lotion
All the ingredients are listed on the bottle and I have no issues with any of them. I love that they indicate which ones are certified organic, such as rosehip, lavender, olive oil, marigold, burdock, etc. They do not try to deceive you into thinking everything is organic just because most ingredients are. I also love the fact that they use essential oils in their formulations. Not only are they beneficial for a variety of reasons, they are a lovely way to create a non-toxic scent. The lemon and sage combo really is heavenly and very refreshing and I am not usually a body wash kind of girl.
The plastic bottles are a drawback and because certain essential oils can cause leaching in plastic I plan to use up my supply immediately. But I will totally reuse the bottles for homemade dish soap and hand soap! I can understand why products such as these are not sold in glass bottles (safety) so I just have to get creative with recycling.
I love the products so far and I love the commitment the company makes to personal health and planetary health. Add in the way they source their ingredients and the way they support fair trade and craft communities and you have a winning recipe for an ethical, green, safe product line. Enjoy!
This post was written in partnership with Lifestyle in Green and I received product to review. All opinions are 100% mine and I stand behind this product as a supporter or I wouldn’t blog about it!
Everyone wants gorgeous, healthy skin that looks and feels youthful right? Well, mother nature has already provided everything that you need to accomplish this task. Before there was an expensive beauty product to address every woe from rough cuticles to dry skin, women took a more natural approach. Below are some natural recipes and methods for attaining healthy and youthful looking skin.
Avocado Oil – The fatty acids in avocados help balance your skin moisture levels and give you a dose of anti-oxidant vitamins A, C, and E to protect your skin from damage.
* Combine equal amounts of avocado oil and evening-primrose oil in a sealable bottle and shake. Optionally a couple drops of rose or frankincense essential oils. Massage 5 or 6 drops into your skin and then cover with a warm washcloth for a few minutes.
Almond Meal – This simple ingredient makes the easiest every exfoliating cream for you skin and is gentle enough to use on your face.
Egg Facials – Yes, eggs are more then just edible. They can be a key ingredient to fabulous skin! Their high protein levels also help restore luster to your hair.
* Beat an egg white until stiff. Add one teaspoon of honey. Stir together and fluff onto your face. After 30 minutes, splash off with cold water.
* Using a cotton puff, apply egg white to your face and let it dry for up to 30 minutes. Splash off with lukewarm and then cold water.
Milk – The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant and the fat acts as a moisturizer.
* Add a gallon of whole milk to your bathwater and soak.
Oatmeal – It is more than just breakfast food. Oatmeal is soothing and anti-inflammatory.
* Put a handful of oats in a washcloth and secure with a rubber band. Dip the oats into a sinkful of warm water, squeezing every time you lift it out. Do this until the water is cloudy and then splash the water on your face and allow to air dry.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Beside having amazing healing properties, apple cider vinegar keeps skin supple. It’s heavy concentration of enzymes helps peel off dead skin cells.
* Instead of using cleanser, moisturizer and/or toner, mix about 2-3 cups of distilled water with a 1/2 cup of raw organic, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar.
* Mix apple cider vinegar in your bath water along with Rosemary and Lavender essential oils for an invigorating bath.
Sugar Scrub –
* Oat and Brown Sugar Scrub – Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water.
Carrots – Carrots are very high in vitamin A and a source of vitamin C, folacin and potassium.
* Cook 2-3 carrots, then mash. Mix with 4 teaspoons honey. Apply gently to the skin, wait 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.
Don’t need to visit the beauty counter, visit your own fridge and pantry!
Are you looking for a facial toner or facial spray that is soothing, hydrating, refreshing, and ever so gentle? Well, this may be the the recipe for you. It is all of the above and oh so good for your skin. The witch hazel and floral water cleanse the skin, the glycerin helps lock in moisture, and the aloe, lavender, and chamomile soothe and balance.
Rose essential oil is amazing for the skin but it is also very expensive. A hydrosol is a floral water leftover from the steam distillation of plant materials. It is like an essential oil but far less concentrated and in the case of rose hydrosol, it gives us affordable access to this lovely plant essence.
Make it according to your own needs and skin type. If it feels a tad sticky then use less glycerin. If your skin feels dry and not supple then add more glycerin and perhaps a touch of almond or avocado oil. It’s an easy to make facial cleanser and it is a snap to use. No muss, no fuss beauty!
Rose & Lavender Facial Cleanser & Toner Spray
2 ounces rose water or rose hydrosol
1 ounce witch hazel
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
6 drops lavender essential oil
4 drops chamomile essential oil
Add all ingredients to a small glass bottle with a fingertip mister, shake, and voila! Shake before each use and keep it in a cool, dark place for up to six months. After spritzing allow your skin to air dry.
Over the years we have had it drilled into our brains that too much sun exposure is bad for us. Sun bathing? Bad, gives you cancer. Tanning? Way bad, gives you cancer and makes you look like a saddle bag by the time you are 30. We have also heard throughout our lives that that the best way to protect our skin and health is to lather ourselves in sunscreen every day, frequently. The American Cancer Society has stated that 80% of our total lifetime sun exposure occurs within the first 18 years of life. This means that children in particular are at risk and that by the time an individual become cognizant of the damage they may be doing due to sun exposure, it is too late. Perhaps this is why children are probably the most likely to be to be smothered in sunscreens by well meaning parents. All that slathering though may be of concern as well. What exactly is in sunscreen? Is it helpful or harmful?
Let’s be real. Protection from the sun is very important but the chemicals we put on our skin can be harmful, especially to our children and that means we need to be concerned about what is in these sunscreens we are putting on ourselves and our children throughout our lives. Typical sunscreens have LOTS of chemicals. Many of those chemical ingredients are pretty nasty. The skin care industry has had to increase the level of chemical compounds in sunscreen in order to raise the sun protection factor (SPF). These compounds soak into the skin.
Upon absorption into the skin, sunscreen can actually form the very dangerous compounds it was meant to block. Researchers found that some commonly used ultraviolet (UV) filters actually soak into the skin’s layers and from there can generate harmful components called reactive oxygen species (ROS) which are substances that can cause skin cancer. Cancer from the product meant to protect from cancer? Yikes.
In addition to the cancer risk, many sunscreen chemicals also have estrogen-like effects. Estrogen is a hormone that affects many aspects of the female body development and functions. Too much exposure to toxic estrogenic chemical sunscreens can increase cancers and cause birth defects in children. Children’s organs are more sensitive to estrogen exposure and can develop abnormalities at their early stages (including embryo, fetus and toddler stages) if exposed. Estrogen mimicking chemicals can also cause other conditions such as fibroids, miscarriage, breast cancer, man-boobs in boys and men, thyroid problems, diabetes, etc. Here are some of the common sunscreen ingredients and their associated “issues”.
So what do we NEED to know before we buy sunscreen so that we can stay safe from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure AND the harmful effects of conventional toxic laden sunscreen products? Here are three tips…
Sun Smarts Come Before Sunscreen
Before we reach for a bottle of sunscreen we need to use our noggin and think about ways we can minimize harmful exposure. Sunscreen will always have a place but we can use less of it if we also utilize sun hats, coverups, wraps, scarves, shade umbrellas, and shades areas outdoors. We can’t forget that sun exposure is a GOOD thing. We need sunlight exposure for good health so I will rarely apply sunblock to myself or my kids unless we are going to be in the sun for a prolonged length of time. Otherwise I just let them get some sun and/or use protective clothing to diminish risk. So for a few hours at the zoo…not likely to use it but I will have hats and sunglasses for them and we will be mindful to seek out some shade when we need it. But for an all day trip to the beach…yes I will bring some sunscreen.
Sun Protection Can Be Enhanced By Diet
Good health comes from eating healthy foods. A diet rich in processed foods, grains and sugar will not provide our bodies with the building blocks needed to regenerate healthy tissues, organs, and skin. Sun exposure on a junk food diet is surely going to result in burns and skin damage because the skin just isn’t healthy and resilient the way it is meant to be. We need to be eating foods that give us all the best building materials for healthy cells and skin. This includes lots of saturated fats (yay for coconut oil!), foods rich in omega 3s (fish!), nutrient dense foods like eggs and organ meats, and lots of leafy greens. Summer is also a great time to supplement with cod liver oil, fermented butter oil, vitamin D3, and Vitamin C.
Choose Safer Sunscreens
Avoid the sunscreen isles at drug stores, it’s pretty much all crap. I highly recommend checking out the EWG Skin Deep database for suncreen ratings. All the ones you grew up with are likely on the naughty list but there are several companies make good sunscreen products nowadays. One company that rates very well is Goddess Garden Organics sunscreens. A quick search of the database reveals that most of their sunscreens rate as a one. The lower the number the better and there is no zero, so an excellent rating. Compare the unsavory ingredients list pictured above to the one below with the ingredients found in Goddess Garden sunscreens. It is very refreshing!
I have been using three of their products in my own home for awhile now. I have the Lavender Mint Daily Lotion (SPF 15), the Sunny Face natural sunscreen (SPF 30), and the Sunny Kids Sport Spray (SPF 30). The continuous spray is the only mineral sunscreen in a spray on the market. Additionally, the facial sunscreen is one of two sunscreens on the market with Immortelle Essential Oil, and anti-aging element that evens out skin complexion and makes your skin look more radiant. Both of these aspects make the products pretty special.
Lots of people love to use continuous spray sunscreens because they are so much easier to apply than lotions, especially where wiggly kids are concerned and when multiple applications will be needed throughout the day. Facial sunscreens are often used to protect our facial skin from the signs of aging and skin damage so one that actually helps improve your complexion while it protects it is awesome. Goddess Garden Organics has a full line-up of sunscreen products for every need. I love the Lavender Mint daily lotion. It is perfect for applying when you will be out for shorter periods of time… a 5K, a hike on your favorite trail, a trip to the zoo, etc.
They are high quality, they work, and they are safe. I feel good using these products on myself and my kids. A safer sunscreen is just one part of a three part plan to stay safe in the sun but it is an essential part and these sunscreens have us covered…literally.
Goddess Garden Organics provided products for this review. All opinions are my own.
Deodorant is a hot topic among crunchy, natural, health-minded folks. Conventional deodorant has lots of nasty ingredients and more than one report coming from the scientific community has hinted at a possible link between the nasties in deodorant and beast cancer. Just a quick gander at breast cancer rates and you may soon find yourself freaking out about what kind of deodorant you are using. Think about this tidbit. It is said that it only takes 26 seconds for a body care product to be absorbed into our bloodstream. That should make us very aware of what we use on our skin, no?
Putting toxic chemicals under your arms stinks! That’s why MightyNest, an internet retailer of extraordinarily high quality and safe products for your home and family, asked me to put non-toxic Pit Paste to the test. Find out why you should choose a natural deodorant, then take the pledge below. Your pits will thank you, and you could win a Happy Pit Pack from MightyNest!
But I digress…
No one wants to smell bad, especially a woman. Yet we are are the ones getting breast cancer for the most part so we have to take special care that we are not slathering our pits with carcinogenic products or ones that will mess with our hormones (think parabens). We want to smell nice and we want a safe way to achieve that goal. The answer quite clearly is to use a more natural product right?
Well, yes. The problem for me though is that I have tried oodles and oodles of deodorant products that make the claim to be healthier and safer. Some of them actually did fit this bill. The problem though is that they didn’t work . After a couple hours their odor fighting ability cancelled out and left me thinking that I must go back to the toxic stuff. I won’t name brands but I have literally tried several dozen natural deodorants and never ever found one I liked until Primal Pit Paste.
I have been using it for about a week now and I am one happy camper. The ingredients are all natural: organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic arrowroot powder, aluminum free baking soda, and essential oils. The Lavender scented stick is my favorite but the orange creamsicle is also really, really nice. You put it up against your skin (and body heat) for just a few seconds and then it glides on easy and provides pit protection all day long. Work, gym, life…it has you covered.