Natural From Head to Toe, Part 1

January 18, 2011

Before I began learning about natural alternatives to beauty supplies my attitude towards the world of natural products was, “What’s the big deal?” “I’m sure what I’m using isn’t really that bad for me.” and “I really don’t have enough time to figure out what to use if I ever decided to go natural.”  Well.  It’s my hope that this series will help you in those areas and more if you’re skeptical about this whole natural thing, or if you’re on board with being natural, maybe this series can give you new ideas to implement into your current routine.

So. What’s the Big Deal?

In the last 75 years or so our country’s obsession with making a buck over everything else has gotten out of control.  Everyone and their brother has his own beauty line–you can buy a billion different cleansers, a million different eye shadows, and thousands upon thousands of different lotions.  Not only are there tons of different brands, but each brand has hundreds of different products that all basically do the same thing.  It’s overwhelming.  Then came the television and the internet and advertising shot through the roof.  Every time you watch the TV you are exposed to several beauty product ads–“sIf you buy our shampoo you’ll have long, shiny, lovely hair that men will (for a reason unknown to every man on the planet) want to tie into a knot to show how it doesn’t break.”  What? 

So there’s that.  But what happened was that as more and more manufactures and companies came into being and competition revved up, beauty suppliers had to come up with ways to make their products cheaper and work faster and better.  Enter the world of chemicals.  Man-made solutions that keep prices down and customers happy.  I don’t think anyone would argue with me that they’re aren’t really chemicals in beauty products–everyone knows that there are.

The big deal, though, is that they are dangerous!  They cause things like cancer.  No, I’m serious.  Check out this article if you don’t believe me. And so, since learning that I was propelled into this world of trying to be as natural as possible.

Are the Products you’re using Really THAT Bad for You?

That was the second question I had.  I was sure that my products weren’t that bad.  Boy, was I wrong.  Here’s a short list of the beauty products I used to use and their rating on a scale from 1-10 of how hazardous they are (1 being the least hazardous and 10 the most):

  • Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash: 6
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash (for face): 8
  • Herbal Essence Shampoos & Conditioners: 5
  • Bed Head Hair Gel: 6
  • Colgate Toothpaste: 6
  • Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion: 7
  • Maybelline Foundation: 7
  • Dove Deodorant: 5

Ok, I could list more, but there’s an idea of the number of hazardous chemicals I was putting all over my body.  Alright, that’s all good and fine, but where did I get these random numbers from!?  Well, the fabulous web-site is called Skin Deep.  Check it out and find out how hazardous your products are.  You can search by product type or by entering the product into the search bar.  I suggest using the search bar, but you have to spell the product’s name exactly right!  Then click on the name of the product you’re curious about and learn all sorts of information about what you’re putting on your body!

Ok, so now what???

So now you believe me that you’re putting harmful chemicals on your body (and your kids’ bodies as well!!) but what do you do now!?  Well, you can use the Skin Deep website to find alternatives (those products rated “0”), but unfortunately natural, good-for-you beauty products are super expensive.

So you could do what I’ve done–I’ve began making my own products or buying really cheap, simple, natural products in bulk.  So far I make my own:

  • Face Wash & Moisturizer (one in the same)
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo

The cheap, simple, natural products we buy that last a long time are:

  • Body Wash
  • Hand Soap
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Gel
  • Lotion
  • Make-up

Next Monday I’ll share with you what I do for everything I use in the showerThen the following Monday I’ll let you know what I use for everything I use at the sink. I hope this series opens your eyes to the dangers of the harsh chemicals found in most beauty supplies and inspires you to take a closer look at what you use, and maybe even take the plunge and start using natural, healthy items for yourself.

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4 Responses to “Natural From Head to Toe, Part 1”

  1. Cassandra Lasher said

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series! I try to use natural products, but even if something says it’s “natural,” it doesn’t mean it’s not hazardous. So that website is a great tool, thanks! Plus it’s good to hear tips on how to keep costs down!

    Something you might also look into, and you may have already, is health foods. I’ve been trying to figure out what’s good and not for a while, and whether to go organic, because again there’s the cost issue. There are two lists called the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 that are put out by the same organization (EWG) as that website, Skin Deep. The lists tell you which fruits and veggies have the highest and lowest levels of pesticides, so you don’t have to buy everything organic, just the worst offenders. Anyway, just some food for thought. :)

  2. That is so true about “natural” things not being good for you! I mean . . . Mercury is natural, but you don’t see me gulping down big bottles of it!

    I have started thinking about food, too–as of right now we eat fairly healthy, but I KNOW we could be eating even better (and cheaper, too). I’m hoping to start learning more about food and blog about healthy food choices! Those lists are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing–they’re so helpful! HAHA, “food for thought!” ;)

  3. Cassandra Lasher said

    How often do you have to make your homemade products? I want to switch over, but I’m lazy, so I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time making this stuff. If you want an alternative to making your own deodorant, I have a suggestion for you. I use Crystal body deodorant (the roll-on kind, because the solid one got sharp and scratched me!) and I looked it up on the Skin Deep website and it scored a 0 on the hazardous scale. If I remember correctly, it’s not super-cheap, but it has lasted me forever!

    • I’m not sure how often I make each thing–not too often for it not to be worth it . . . yay for Crystal Body! That’s awesome! On Monday I’m going to post about out-of-the-shower products, and I’ll be sure to mention it, although I do have a recipe for deodorant. Sometimes, though, it’s just nice to be able to buy things at the store! Thanks!

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