The cure for anything is salt water, sweat, tears, or the sea.
This past year I have been in the process of weeding out the dirty chemicals in my life. The kind of unnecessary chemicals that are found in cleaning products, skin and hair care, non-organic foods, the list goes on and on. I have chosen to do this partially to lessen my carbon footprint, and mostly for my own personal health – not to mention its cheaper !
Along the way, I have phased out many conventional personal care products including deodorant, moisturizer, hairspray and face cleanser. This may sound weird or even “gross” to some, but I swear to you that it isn’t. I’m excited enough about it that I want to write a post to explain why you might want to give it a try too! There are so many cleaner, safer, natural alternatives available to us, most of which being common household ingredients. My particular favorites? Sea salt and coconuts =)
Deodorant / Antiperspirant I’ll be frank with you, the fact that I had been using deodorant since I was a pre-teen scares me. Most types of deodorant require the use of parabens to retain their effectiveness over time. These parabens are then absorbed through the skin and mimic estrogen in our bodies, which can disrupt proper hormone function, potentially leading to cancer. And the connection between parabens and breast cancer is hard to deny.
Antiperspirants (found in most deodorants) rely on aluminum chlorohydrate, a hazardous chemical used to block pores from producing sweat which the odor-causing bacteria feed on. Studies show that aluminum exposure is not only related to increased chances of developing breast cancer, but also other diseases such as Alzheimer’s. And while research has only proven these to be “potential connections,” the risk — combined with the danger of parabens — is one that many people aren’t willing to take. I certainly am not! If you aren’t either, here is an effective, much safer alternative to try:
This mineral salt stone is hypoallergenic, non-scented, chemical-free, residue-free and most importantly, aluminum chlorohydrate free. I paid $3 dollars for it at my local main street co-op, and they are said to last up to one year! This product is effective because it prevents body odor at the source by killing the odor-causing bacteria. Simply moisten the stone and apply generously to clean skin. Rather than a band-aid to cover up odor, I love that the mineral salt stone offers a proactive solution that targets the actual root of the problem. It took a week or two to adjust to my new regimen, but I swear by it now and will never look back!
*If you miss having a pleasantly scented underarm, try adding a drop or two of essential oil after applying the salt stone.
Moisturizer Due to the oily nature of my Italian skin, I have never been an avid moisturizer or lotion user. However in the dead of winter, with the brutally cold temperatures we have been plagued with here in Wisconsin this season, my skin has become exceptionally brittle and dry. So the other day I dug out my minimal stock of drug store aloe vera lotion, and flipped to the back to check out the label.
In gaining more awareness of the increasing amount of hazardous chemicals contained in our everyday products, reading labels has now become an absolute ritual for me before I use or purchase anything.
Here is the ingredient label on the back of my drug store lotion–a lengthy list of all the crap I had been opting to rub deep into the pores of my skin:
The truth is, I cannot pronounce half of these items, nor do I have any idea what they really are or how my body might react to them over time.This is where we make a choice. Do we passively accept that chemical additives like sodium acrylate/acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer are “probably nothing, otherwise why would they put it in there?” Or do we decide for ourselves that the very bodies in which we rely on to exist simply are not worth the risk?
I choose the latter.
Thankfully, I have discovered an alternative that I am head-over-heels love with! Truly. If I could, I would shout it from the mountain tops. For our purposes here today, may this blog page be my mountain top . . .
C O C O N U T O I L, W I L L Y O U M A R R Y M E ?
I think this stuff may have been extracted from heavenly clouds. Although many of us are just learning about it, coconut oil has been a beauty and dietary staple for millennia. I now use it for everything. Literally, from eye makeup remover to the butter on my toast. It has become an absolute necessity in my life — particularly in my daily hair and skin care.
Commercial moisturizers contain lots of water (take note of the very first ingredient listed on the label of my drug store lotion), which makes you feel like your skin is being moisturized. But as soon as that water begins to dry up, so then, does your skin. And while these commercial moisturizers use petroleum-based ingredients that can suffocate skin, coconut oil provides true, deep moisture, nourishing from the inside. It helps strengthen underlying tissues and remove the excess dead cells that make your skin feel rough and flaky. Coconut oil also acts as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent.
To apply, simply rub a dime-sized amount of coconut oil to dry areas – just keep in mind, a little goes a long way. While it tends to have a greasier consistency at first, coconut oil is fantastic at absorbing quickly into skin. Swap it in for your current lotion to maintain healthy, youthful skin. One spoonful is enough to hydrate your entire body !
*When purchasing your first jar, look for organic extra virgin coconut oil that has not been hydrogenated, bleached, refined or deodorized.
My personal favorite go-to moisturizer is my new coconut oil and sea salt body scrub. It leaves skin feeling soft, smooth and hydrated all day long. Check out my simple do-it-yourself recipe here:
Hairspray In efforts to break my dirty Paul Mitchell hairspray addiction, I have been searching for an alternative to give my hair some body, as well as a similar textured feel. Lately, I have been experimenting with a coconut oil / sea salt spray — sea salt for texture, coconut oil for moisture and shine, and a bit of hair gel for hold. To apply, I simply wash my hair as usual, ring it out, spray the solution generously to ends, and let air or blow dry. So far I have been very pleased with the added texture and feel. It smells amazing too!
Try out my new favorite coconut oil & sea salt hair spray formula for natural, beach wavy goodness~
Face Cleanser Daily face cleansers aim to “clean” your skin by stripping away its natural oils. And while none of us want a yucky, greasy face, stripping the oils away completely is actually counter-productive. When your skin recognizes that all the oils are gone (you know that dry, tight feeling?) its starts pumping out extra to compensate. This is why those of you who shower and wash your face every day actually need to — because your skin legitimately gets greasy faster than the skin of those who don’t wash every day. You have trained it to do this.
Recently, I have been experimenting with some natural alternatives that I am pretty excited about. Once a day I have been applying raw, apple cider vinegar (ACV) to my face, followed by a very light application of coconut oil, and I have already begun to see improvements in my skin. The apple cider vinegar does wonders for removing dirt and oil and clearing up acne without drying out your skin. ACV also helps to balance pH levels while tightening and toning your skin’s overall complexion. Coconut oil also works as a gentle makeup remover, fights acne with its antibacterial agents and leaves skin feeling smooth, supple and moisturized–just remember, a little of this stuff goes a long way !
In addition to preventing breakouts, I am finding this treatment evens out my skin tone, tightens and softens my overall complexion… happy skin =)
To learn more on the ACV / Coconut Oil facial treatment as well as other great natural health and beauty tips, check out my sister Ella’s health and wellness Facebook page ✼ Personalize your Health and Wellness !
Share your thoughts with us! Do you have questions, comments or concerns about transitioning to a new personal care regimen? Have you been experimenting with natural alternatives? Feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.
“BrittRic – Lifestyle & Awareness Blog” width=”86″ height=”86″>BrittRic is a lifestyle blogger, landscape photographer and environmental conservationist. ::Feel free:: to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Contact: email@example.com