Do you read food labels?
Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and had to avoid gluten containing products. Since then I don’t eat anything unless I’ve read the label, no exceptions. When in doubt I don’t eat it. I know lots of people don’t read food labels, for a variety of reasons. I don’t like that I have to read labels and so when possible I prefer to eat foods that don’t have labels like fruits and veg. While reading labels looking for gluten, my eyes were opened to the crap that is added to processed food. Inevitably I started to avoid these products and look for better options. For whatever reason I started to read the ingredient list on my lotions, shampoos and conditioners. I was shocked to not only find gluten containing ingredients, but also a chemical shit-storm. I stopped using the ones with gluten and started to wonder wither I should be using the other products as well. Like seriously, what the heck am I applying to my skin? Our skin is not only our largest organ, but it also absorbs whatever we put on it. Why am I applying chemicals at all? Where in my body are these chemicals going?
Overtime I started switching to more natural alternatives for toothpaste, shampoo, body lotion deodorant and sunblock. I didn’t really know if the products were good for me or not. I figured that if they had a short pronounceable ingredient lists and was sold in my local health food store it was probably ok. A few months ago Eco Vegan Girl Whitney Lauretsen shared a website that she uses to check if a product is “good” or not. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a searchable database of products and assesses their level of risk to health. I found it helpful to see which ingredients should be avoided and for what reason.
EWG recommends using products that they rate as 2 or lower. Overall the products I bought as natural alternatives were rated 2 or below, so I feel good about that. There are some bad product that I’m still holding on to… cosmetics. I really must invest in more eco-friendly make-up.
I encourage you to go the EWG website and search your products to see how safe they are.