Friday, April 8, 2011

Magnificent Obsession - Toxins Be Gone

I've suddenly got this bee in my bonnet here on My it a get all the toxic products out of my life.

I've been a user of safer Household Cleaning Products for many years - from dishwashing detergent to toilet bowel cleaners and everything in between, I committed a long time ago to paying a little more so I could clean my house with products that didn't make me feel sick when I smelled them. And thankfully I've seen the choices of products grow and I am no longer forced to buy everything at Whole Foods because I can find a lot of good products in many other stores. Making that change was a simple choice for me. Why would I choose those nasty cleaning products with all of those chemicals and harsh smells when I can choose products that use simple ingredients, smell like lavender or nothing at all, and work? I wouldn't say that I have an absolute chemical free home, but I think I am doing a pretty good job in this area. So...check the box for removing toxins from my home.

Food. I am definitely obsessed with the whole food business. For about as long as I've been pursuing purer cleaning products, I've also been pursuing purer food. For more than 10 years I have been diligently reading labels and eliminating items that are processed. I don't care what you say about fructose corn syrup and I don't care if there are studies that say it is not a big deal. I know there are studies that also say it is a big deal. Whatever the evidence - I do not need it in my food and I do not want it. I want plain, simple, straightforward food. Give me the ice cream with the 5 ingredients, not 20. If I have the choice, I am going to go with the 5. Sure, sometimes things get into our kitchen that aren't my first choice, and sometimes I break down and eat crap when I am out or even sometimes at home. There is always room for improvement, but overall I think I do a pretty good job in this area. So...check the box for removing toxins from my food.

So now we come to ground zero. The Body. One's own temple. You know what? I've not been doing so great in what one would think should be the most important realm. Oh, I typically buy nice products - Bumble and Bumble hair care products, fancy soaps and lotions, etc., and while I buy all my make-up at the drugstore these days instead of a department store, it is still decent stuff. I felt that surely B&B hair products are really great. And if I buy fancy lotions from Whole Foods, aren't they better? Shouldn't facial care products from a fancy place like Kiehl's be good? And aren't Neutrogena and Almay considered to be good cosmetic lines? Dermatologist tested and all? No, no, no, no.

It started with reading the labels on my products and wondering. Just like with my food - what is all of this stuff and do I really need to have it? I noticed that even what I thought were "better" brands from Whole Foods still had many of these same ingredients. Then I kept reading information about these chemicals and ingredients. I found Bubble & Bee's Chemical of the Day site (Bubble & Bee by the way is a FANTASTIC company out of Utah that makes organic products and is becoming one of my new sources). I found the Cosmetics Database. I checked out products I was using on that site and was really freaked out to discover that many of my products fell into the moderate hazard range as well as the high hazard range (!!). It started bothering me. I couldn't stop looking at labels. Enter my latest mini-obession.

I am done with commercial products. I am jumping off the beauty industry merry go round. I am removing all of the standard "off the shelf in every store" product from my life. I am throwing them all away. Soaps, shampoos, make-up, lotions, deodorant, perfume, nail polish.  I am replacing all of them with natural, organic - better - products. It is a commitment - of time, money and trial and error. But why wouldn't I do this? Our range and choice of natural and organic products is so good these days. We have options. Not all products are outrageously expensive. Many products perform the same as the more commercial products. And with the internet, you can easily find these products, no matter where you are.

I think what pushed me over the edge is my skin. I have sensitive skin and I have always struggled to find facial care products that my skin can handle. Everything gives me a rash. The wrong cleanser, the wrong lotion, the wrong make up. Rash. I hate it. And as my skin ages, it becomes more complicated. Growing old kind of sucks sometimes. I was using some Burt's Bees facial products that were doing ok, but not great, and my husband couldn't stand the smell of the products. I had to find another option. I bought a bunch of Kiehl's products expecting them to be this really great product, and was shocked to read the labels and see that they weren't natural at all. They had the same junk as everything else. Plus my skin did not like them.

My husband suggested I check out a friend of his who started an online organic beauty products business  Future Natural. I did. Reviewing that site and those products is what really got me motivated. I went in to find facial care products, and thought, why stop there? I ended up trying facial care products, plus body wash and lotion, make up and nail polish. Seriously I am tossing all of my old nail polish and never using that stuff again - the chemicals in that have always freaked me out. We now have great alternatives to your standard chemical laden nail polish.

I then found this incredible blog/website The Glamorganic Goddess. A young cancer surviver and beauty product user who went on a mission to eliminate toxins from her life and shares her beauty product discoveries with the world. She reviews products and I have found her reviews to be very helpful. I highly recommend her website. She helped me discover Vapour Beauty for make-up, Acure Organics for Argan Oil, and Natural Joy Beauty (in my own backyard - Sandy, UT) where I am going to try some shampoo and conditioner and natural deodorant. She also reconfirmed my love for Bubble & Bee which I discovered some months ago in my local Whole Foods because their company is local. Some of these sites offer sample sizes of products, which is really great for a first time user trying to figure out what they like. Oh, and I still like Burt's Bees and I will continue to use some of their products due to their good prices and the ease of finding their products on local grocery and drug store shelves, but I was unhappy to learn that not all of their products rank well on the cosmetics database.

One problem we face when we go out to buy beauty products is information. Lack of information. Misinformation. Natural ingredients. Organic. There are so many labels being used. Just because you see a product in Whole Foods, don't assume that it won't have all of those extra chemical ingredients you may not want. You have to read packaging and you have to read ingredients. And it helps to find websites that can inform you about the ingredients and the products, only a few of which I have noted above. The more information you have, the better choices you can make for yourself. Many people feel that a lot of these chemical ingredients aren't that harmful. There is a lot of debate going on and it will continue. So you have to decide what is right for you and how far you want to go.

I am just starting on this adventure. I am trying a few products, but am still waiting to receive many of the ones I ordered. But I am replacing EVERYTHING. Head to toe. And I am excited about it. So...check the box for removing toxins from my beauty care.

If you are interested to know more about what I am doing and to learn more about the sites and products I have found and continue to find, please feel free to write me about it. I love learning about this stuff and sharing information with others. You could be doing this too! Join my magnificent obsession. What do you have to lose?

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