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I remember how it felt. Seeing those "crunchy" people and their natural products. What a beautiful life they lived. I thought it was all too expensive, and out of my reach, which just wasn't the truth. I also had no idea where to begin after I started looking into the harmful ingredients in our personal care products. I was so overwhelmed. Undereducated. Drowning in blog posts. Consumed by the desire to do better, but not knowing what to do first.
Thankfully, I've come a long way since then.
Slowly but surely, after a lot of research, I ditched and switched everything that I used for a better alternative. My entire bathroom is full of natural, and plant based products, and I couldn't be happier about that. I know now that I am doing everything in my power to reduce my exposure to toxins (the average woman absorbs 5lbs of toxic chemicals a year between her body care products and make up). We can't get away from all of the toxins, but we can get away from the ones that we are slathering on our bodies 24/7. Your skin is your largest organ, and the only defense between toxins and the delicate inner workings of your organs/ systems. Just say no to the junk, one product at a time, you'll feel a lot better after you do it. Your body will thank you.
I see you, wanting to start but feeling overwhelmed and deciding to put it off, again. This is for you. Here are 5 easy places to start, that won't break the bank!
1. Coconut oil. oh how I love this stuff! This jar of goodness is so versatile. It is a budget friendly moisturizer, has anti fungal properties, smells like a vacation, and is so good for our skin and bodies! I always have this on hand. The DIYs with this are endless, (think lip balms, and sugar scrubs) making it your budget friendly bff.
2. Deodorant. Not glamorous at all but SO important. I remember learning about our lymph nodes in nursing school, how vital they are, playing a major defense role in our bodies. We love our lymph nodes right? They are fighting for us so let's not fight them ;) Guess where there are loads of lymph nodes? Yep, near your armpits. Please stop and think before putting aluminum and other toxins there. I don't think that's even up for discussion?! It's just a common sense "no" for me. I have tried several natural brands and my favorite so far has been native. They change their scents often, (all of them are amazing), and they offer free shipping. SO awesome. Be warned, when you switch to natural deodorant there can be a detox period where you do not smell very good. Let this happen, you have been clogging your pores with toxins for years...it has to come out somehow. My advice, just get it over with!
3. Lavender oil. Who doesn't love lavender?? This lovely bottle is known as the "swiss army knife" of the oils. I put four drops in my diffuser at night, I put two drops in my mascara, I put 10 drops in a small amber glass spray bottle, topped off with water for leave in hair spray. If my skin is irritated, lavender. If my skin needs pampering, mix it with the coconut oil for a hydrating and relaxing mask. If I am stressed or worn out, I mix a few drops of lavender with a cup of Epsom salts and pour that into a bath. Gentle enough for babies skin. Must I go on?
4. Indian healing clay. This is a new one for me but I absolutely love it! You know what I really appreciate? This mask is cheap, easy to use (just mix the powder with some apple cider vinegar or water) has only one ingredient, and is effective. I noticed my pores looking better after just one use! If you have sensitive skin like me, try the shorter timeframe suggested on the container.
5. Witch Hazel. Another staple under my bathroom sink. I use this in a lot of DIY recipes with my essential oils, I use it as a cheap toner on a cotton ball, it has astringent and antioxidant properties. You can also use it to clean minor cuts, and to reduce inflammation.
These are my 5 must haves. Look up all of the ways these can be used and you have thousands of personal care products that you can create out of just these 5. They are an affordable way to get the job done while you are transitioning to better products for you and your family. I will always pay for quality, health and wellness are an important investment. I use many products now that I trust and love but I understand what it is like to be starting out, to feel overwhelmed, and like you aren't able to afford everything all at once.
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better" - Maya Angelou