I'm not aiming for a lifestyle akin to living inside a plastic bubble. But turn on your faucet and tell me if your water smells clean and free of chemicals- because some days mine smells like it was drawn straight from the public swimming pool! Skin is the largest organ of our bodies. It breathes, it filters, it absorbs. And we assault it (and other organs) every day with products, polluted air and even the water we use to bathe. Sure you can put your faith in companies that produce these products, or in officials who regulate them. Or you can rely on your instincts and make a few small changes to upgrade your health and minimize exposure to irritating and concerning substances.
I reviewed my bathroom and medicine cabinet, using GoodGuide.com to evaluate my products. The verdict is in.
The Naturals: these ingredients are economical and may be in your pantry already
Honey + Sugar = hydrating and exfoliating facial scrub
Sea Salt = exfoliating body scrub
Coconut Oil = super hydrating body lotion, smells delicious!
The Upgrades: these products are environmental & skin friendly alternatives
Soap = I already use (and love) Master's Miracle biodegradable soap that comes in a moisturizing formula and can double as shampoo or laundry detergent in a pinch; product is pricey but a little goes a long way
Shaving Cream = turns out my old brand wasn't harmful to my body but it ranked poorly on ethics and environmental practices; next time I'll test out a better option by Dr. Bronner's or Tom's
Facial Moisturizer = I use a light oil by Suki Face because I can pronounce every ingredient and it's organic
Deodorant = upon inspection, my brand of choice was chock full of "concerning" chemicals; upgrading to Mitchum next time
Toothpaste = I have sensitive teeth (read: limited options) but discovered Tom's and Colgate both make products with fewer harmful chemicals
Lip Balm = there are enough disgusting facts about how much lipstick women ingest in their lifetimes to make you seriously reevaluate what product you use; I already use an olive oil balm by Nature's Sunshine and keep Burt's Bees in my yoga bag
Things I'm Not Ready to Give Up: because every yogini has her vices
Shampoo & Conditioner = my favorites each contained a chemical from the "controversial" list...I'm fanatical about my shampoo, and since I don't use it daily it will remain in my shower line-up; however I did experiment with a sulfate-free option by Kiss My Face and happily report that it gets the job done
Aside from these small changes, there's a selection of reasonably priced water filters for the shower and air filters for your home (but these aren't in This Yogini's budget yet). It's not perfection, but upgrading your lifestyle that's important. Immediate results may not be felt (though my skin is noticeably less irritated since I removed a few products). Treating your body well does not need to be a sacrifice- and it will repay you by functioning optimally for years to come! Plus you get the added benefits of supporting businesses that prioritize the environment while preventing those nasty chems from washing down the drain. Happy body, happy environment...just one more way to live your yoga off the mat.
UPDATE: Watch The Story of Cosmetics