Next to the importance of what we put into our body, is what we put onto our body. And today, it appears that we are putting on A LOT, most of which is not conducive to our health. The personal care industry has grown in size over the past few decades incredibly! Although men, and even kids are targeted, their number one focus has been women. What is it about us that makes us reject our natural look, scent and feel…in many ways rejecting ourselves? From lotions to cosmetics and age-defying creams of every kind, as women we are made to feel we need this stuff, and lots of it!
We want to feel pretty, sexy, beautiful, alluring, wanted and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, too often to do this, we look toward external solutions, namely cosmetic and personal care products, rather than working with our inherent beauty.
We think if we only change our hair color, get a different lip stick shade, get the latest face cream, THEN we will feel better… get noticed…look younger…get that date, and so on and so forth.
None of this could be further from the truth.
The truth today is that our world has defined a very shallow view of beauty for us, but we will never be satisfied on the outside, until we are satisfied on the inside. However, we are not going to turn this into a personal development discussion, as there is another topic that needs to be discussed here, and that is the toxicity we are gaining from all these products, that is leading to various health problems in us and our families.
In discussing this, we will cover the problems, as well as the solutions, and I also have a super treat to share with you, a new video released on this topic that is a must see for everyone.
What Is Your Health Worth To You?
Let me start with a rather difficult question: How much do you value your health?
Most people will think this is easy, and answer “a lot” or that it means “everything” to them, but their actions show otherwise. Some people brush off topics like this, thinking that we can’t live in a bubble. These products that we use each day can’t be that bad – otherwise they wouldn’t be on the shelf. However, choosing to look the other way, does not make the problem go away or any smaller.
We have accepted that we want to “look good” according to society’s standards at almost any cost. We have come to believe that our skin is dry, our face has blemishes, our hair gets dull, our lips need color, without questioning the underlying factors that govern these parts of our bodies. And thus, we have come to believe that all this is a part of life, and can be fixed externally – when nothing could be further from the truth. The products we use most often intensify the problems we see, making us dependant on the products we use.
So ladies, when you wake up in the morning what are you putting on your face? on your skin? on your hair? Are you conscious of the ingredients you are using? And how about throughout the day? And how about again in the evening?
Research shows that the average women uses 12 personal care products daily. That is hundreds of chemicals each day, and thousands compounded over a lifetime!
For those who care a little and ask, we are told that the small amounts that the chemicals are in, in our products, cannot possibly harm us. But they are harming us because many products each day, over a lifetime, add up to larger amounts of chemicals. So how do we know?
Something is driving fertility levels in both men and women lower. Something is driving many cancers higher. Something is giving odd allergies and skin conditions not only to us, but to babies straight out of the womb. Something is not right. And while we cannot directly point our finger on cosmetic chemicals and prove the link to any or all of these conditions yet directly, the evidence is starting to add up. It is becoming obvious, that the more toxicity is in our systems from various sources, the more likely we and our children are to exhibit various diseases and/or conditions.
Still Using Toxic Stuff?
The good news today, is that we have choices. We need not hear this information and feel doomed or hopeless, like we have no choice.
In the past decade alone, the number of natural personal care product companies has been steadily increasing. Companies that truly care about our health and the environment today offer many, many choices for every personal care product out there. No longer do we need to be slaves to big corporations, who thanks to million dollar marketing campaigns make us feel like we need their chemical products, while giving little priority to our health, the environment, animal welfare, honesty, truth and integrity.
There are numerous reputable natural companies today to meet your every need.
However, the number one rule of thumb is REDUCE! Reduce the amount of products you use period, whether natural or chemical. So many of us are doing little more than wasting our money thinking and feeling that we “need” all these products. Clean out your drawers and cupboards today. Finish one product, before buying another. Watching your personal consumption not only makes sense to your health, but to the environment and your wallet too.
Concerned About Green Washing?
And if you are concerned about green-washing, the overuse of the words “natural” or “organic” and such, there are several things you can do.
- Look for organic certification on any product that claims to be organic. Don’t fall for words like “natural”, “herbal”, “plant-based”, etc., as these can be used indiscriminately.
- Some stores are taking their own action, like Whole Foods in carrying only personal care products with appropriate certification. Thus they can become a trusted source of where to get your products, and they have locations all throughout North America.
- Check out the list of the Cheater Organic Brands Exposed to avoid buying them.
- Read all the ingredients. Often products will have a few plant ingredients near the end, or one organic ingredient, amidst a whole slew of chemical ones.
- Visit the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database or the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to see how your products rate and educate yourself on this topic.
Concerned About Natural Being Too Costly?
While this may have been a valid argument years ago, today it is almost no longer the case. I recently walked into a typical drug store and walked through the shampoo, make-up and skin care section. Since I have been buying all natural products for over 2 years now, what I found was surprising to say the least.
I could not believe how much prices have gone up on so many of the typical chemical personal care products. The average make-up product costs $15. Shampoos that 5 years ago, I was able to get for $2 a bottle are now all $5. And the skin care section was perhaps most shocking. I always knew that anti-aging creams were pricey, but I couldn’t believe just how much. The average basic cream costs $20 a jar, and anything fancy, can be up to $50, or even $80 a jar! And we are not even talking fancy department store brands yet. All these prices are comparable or slightly less than natural brands, but if one is buying the fancy department store brands, natural products are actually cheaper.
So while some natural brands can seem to or cost a little more, if we first and foremost practice reduction of the products we use, we can easily still be spending the same amount annually, if not less, but get natural, quality products. Having used natural care products for as I mentioned 2 years now, for the most part, they are at par with the average chemical brand today.
In the end, this is about your health, so it comes down to personal priorities. If we really want to, we can make room for natural personal care in our lives. It is all a matter of choice.
The Story of Cosmetics
Finally, I leave you with one of my favorite personalities when it comes to initiating change, using common sense and caring for our health and environment – Annie Leonard.
In 2008, Annie made a short video called The Story of Stuff. If you have not yet seen this, I highly recommend it. She has just teamed up with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and come out with a new video called The Story of Cosmetics, where she brings to light several critical points when it comes to the personal care industry and our health.
In the video she covers all the topics that are near and dear to my heart like: toxic baby products, pink washing, beauty salon health risks, corrupt safety measures and lack of proper legislation.
It is a must-see in my opinion for everyone, but especially for women, for the simple reasons that they use the most chemical products, they are usually responsible for purchasing products for the whole family and they give birth to our future generations.
Enjoy and I look forward to your comments or questions below!