Hello again! I hope you all had another great week. This week’s post is coming a little late today because I was driving/sitting in a car all day, coming home from a wonderful little adventure. I had a few days between exams ending and me starting my new co-op job, so my boyfriend and I took advantage of it and decided to embark on a power road-trip. Ever since I visited the gorgeous city of Banff, nestled in the Canadian Rockies, last year, it’s been one of my favourite places, so that’s where we headed!
I quickly packed up, made a double batch of my Healthy Cookies, and then set off for adventure. It took us all day Friday to drive there, then we spent Saturday walking around and enjoying the village, and today was the drive home. It was a bit of a whirlwind but the most wonderful experience; I am absolutely in love with the Rocky Mountains.
Anyway, the reason I mention all this (beyond the fact that I wanted to share my experience with you!) is that on the drive up I was reading the May 2013 edition of Women’s Health magazine and came across one of the articles, “Natural Evolution.” It was all about ground-breaking natural beauty products that are safer alternatives to the chemically-laden products we put onto our bodies daily. I plan on purchasing many of the products featured in the article and will report back to you as soon as possible, but until then I have a simple message: Ditch the chemicals!
I don’t think many people are actually aware of the horrible toxins that are in our favourite beauty products, mostly because the industry has done a good job in keeping awareness at bay through marketing and corporate influence, but it is a serious issue. Most of these synthetic chemicals are also used as industrial cleaners(!!) and many are linked to causing cancer; why would you willingly expose yourself to that??!
The good news, however, is that there is much you can do to educate yourself and make informed consumer decisions when you shop for beauty goods.
First: Get Informed!
Know what to look for in the ingredients list of products and know which ingredients are dangerous and the risk they pose to your health. The David Suzuki Foundation has compiled a list of the “Dirty Dozen” chemicals to avoid when buying cosmetics. They even provide a very convenient pocket guide that you can print and carry with you (I always have mine in my wallet and on-hand when I’m shopping).
The Breast Cancer Fund provides another list of dangerous and common chemicals. Many are the same as the Suzuki Foundation’s list, but some are new, so of course its best to pool your resources to be as knowledgeable as possible.
Second: Make Informed Consumer Decisions.
Don’t sacrifice your health for a hot product; use the information you have available to you and only buy what’s safe for your body and the environment!
I’ll admit that this proved to be a bit of a challenge as I tried to find safe, natural products amidst a see of chemicals in pretty packaging, and I had to ditch some of my favourite products because they were full of the ‘dirty dozen’; however, after persistent searching I have now found great new products that are natural, that work, and that I can feel good about using.
For example, I use Down Under’s “Nude” shampoo and conditioner. It was really difficult to find natural shampoos that didn’t leave your hair feeling stripped and natural conditioners that didn’t just rinse out in the shower, which is why I was so excited when I discovered Nude. The only downside is that I only know of one place where I can purchase it, so I hope it doesn’t go out of stock!
And I have fallen in love with Nivea’s “Pure and Natural” face wash and toner. I have very acne-prone skin, so I was worried that using a regular face wash wouldn’t clear my skin, but it did! I will never stop using this product.
One disclaimer: Unfortunately, while all of these products are clear of the cancer-causing chemicals, the one ‘dirty dozen’ item I couldn’t shake was parfum (a.k.a. perfume). I simply could not find products that were free of everything, and I consider this a small sacrifice in order to buy cosmetics that are natural but still work for me.
So what was the message of this post again? oh yeah, DITCH THE CHEMICALS.
Now that you know that it’s a dangerous beauty world out there, you can’t keep purchasing the same (probably unsafe) products and blame it on ignorance or a lack of knowledge. You are now empowered; so use it! Be kind to your body, and make this an important step towards leading a clean and healthy lifestyle.
There will be more to come on this topic as I test out some of the products listed in Women’s Health, but until then feel free to ask me any questions you may have! I will do my absolute best to answer them or even just engage in conversation. =)
Cheers fellow dilettantes!