What’s In Your Products?

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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?

 

Looks like shampoo, but really it's just cancer in a bottle

Looks like shampoo, but really it’s just cancer in a bottle

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

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.

No Poo

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Last year I decided to try going without shampoo and conditioner.  I don’t even remember how I came across the idea, but I did a lot of research and went for it.  I was more interested in no poo to reduce the chemical filled products I use.  I don’t have oily hair, but many people switch to no poo because they are trying to get out of the cycle of excessing oil production.

Baking Soda and Vinegar is all you need, super cheap!

Before no poo I used Pantene shampoo and Dove conditioner and washed my hair pretty much every day. The no poo method I followed was a mix of baking soda and water and diluted vinegar as a rinse.  I was so used to the feel of my hair with conditioner that I found my hair felt strange, not slippery but after a while I got used to it.  My hair did kind of feel like straw at the beginning but it did get better.  I thought my hair would be so tangled when I got out of the shower, but it wasn’t at all, it was easy to comb through.  I did not like the lingering vinegar smell left in my hair.  Although it would dissipate through the day, I swear the smell came back if I got rained on.  I rinsed several times, and even tried adding essential oils, but vinegar is a strong scent that is not easily covered up.

 

I stuck with it for 6-8 months but I never seemed to get beyond the too much oil stage.  It would have been fine if I didn’t have bangs, at one point I did think about growing my bangs out.  Bangs are quick to get greasy, add in a sweaty summer, and I was done.  I didn’t want to look so icky, I missed having fluffy hair.  It seems the people that are the happiest with no poo have curly hair which does tend to be more course and drier.  I have finer hair with a little bit of wave to it.  Maybe no poo just doesn’t work for my hair type.  I went back to shampoo, but not conditioner and I found a really great shampoo that has hardly any ingredients and no harmful chemicals.

 

No poo resources:

http://www.nopoomethod.com/

http://www.crunchybetty.com/no-poo-to-you-too

http://www.love-yourself-naturally.com/2013/04/welcome-to-no-poo-hair-care/