In our very toxin-filled world today, it is important to get to know the products you use. Perhaps in the “good old days” we were able to trust the companies that made products for us, as actually looking out for us. But did those days ever really exist? Or were we always just pawns to the product manufacturers? Maybe the only difference today is that we just know more and hence are tackling the ingredients of products which up to now only chemists were able to decipher.
It seems that almost on a monthly (if not weekly) basis we hear news of this or that being harmful to our health or our environment. On an ongoing basis we hear scientists publish data finding out that something that we all thought was safe to use and have been using regularly is now linked to this or that health problem.
So what is happening here? Is it just another controversy to get our attention as consumers? Is it meant to shake us up and scare us to reach for new products, many times which are more expensive? Or is it just one group’s retaliation on another in an ever so popular marketing frenzy?
Well the truth is no, these are not just scare tactics for you to buy new products and no you are not overreacting when you research and replace products you trusted and used for many years with something new. Let me first take you back a bit through history…
Brief History of Personal Care Products
Let us go back about 200 years to the 1800′s. With the world population being just under a billion people, this was a very simple time on our planet and yet a very exciting time. New inventions that improved the quality of life were abundant. People at this time still largely lived off the land, using raw and natural materials for their homes, clothes, food and personal care just to name a few. People were excited just to have things like electricity and ballpoint pens!
The inventions continued into the 1900′s where we saw the greatest amount of advancements of human kind thus far. And then around the 1950′s, after the tragic world wars, our developed countries began to enter the age of consumerism. New products were being developed in almost exponential numbers. And we were fed through advertising that “we needed this product” for this or that. After all we were “developed” and these were “luxuries” that we were lucky to have make their way into our homes. People were excited to have microwaves, and washing machines and detergents and lotions that would make our whites whiter and our skin brighter. People also began to compete heavily with each other as to who had what and what was “in”. This consumerism craze continued through the 60′s, 70′s, 80′s and 90′s being fuelled by amazingly advancing technology.
As these decades continued however, reports started to emerge first slowly and then with alarming speed about the damage all these “goodies” were causing to our planet and our overall wellbeing. By the 1990′s people started to become aware that their “miracle products” often carried with them price tags for their health and the environment and so they wanted more “natural” stuff. So the industries and producers gave us “natural”.
It was then that we saw new aisles in stores dedicated to candles of every color and fragrance to give your home a “natural forest” smell. Shampoos and body washes made of vibrant green, orange and other colored liquids meant to entice us with their nature-like vibrancy. Creams promised to take years off, through revolutionary plant extracts. We were sold by the beautiful labels showing fruits and plants and promising to have amazing properties to fix our hair, fix our skin and fix our self-esteem.
Unfortunately most of us did not realize then (and maybe still don’t), that companies can call their product “natural this” or “herbal that” and plaster it with every plant based picture possible without it actually being good for you. Simply by adding a drop of a plant based extract and all the other 99 chemical ingredients, they can claim their product to be natural, herbal or organic.
And then came the turn of the century and we started with the first decade of the 2000′s. With a population of almost 7 billion, all of a sudden we got very serious about things like waste management, obesity, global warming, and serious illnesses like cancer stemming from the products we use. People wanted to come back to nature, people needed this greatly. The last decade of the 1900′s invited us to a computer screen instead of a park through the World Wide Web revolution.
In this decade, most of us are no longer falling for the “so called natural” products out there that are nothing more short of scams. People today are starting to wake up quickly to the fact that most of their food is contaminated by numerous chemicals, most of the cleaning products are giving them nasty health symptoms and most of their personal care products are slowly killing them. More and more of us today read our labels, educate ourselves on our products and demand answers when it comes to many things including the personal products we use.
Hence today due to all of our efforts and all the negative reports, we are fortunate enough to have a very select few individuals or companies that stand for more than just profit. Naturally they want to make money as any other business but, they also seriously believe in preserving our Earth, educating their customers and most importantly not destroying their customer’s health. These companies and their products are still a minority but they are out there, it just takes the average consumer a little more effort to get to know them and their products. They are not wholesale giants and hence do not throw misleading commercials in our faces. They do however have to compete with these wholesale giants that have successfully weeded themselves onto the market and hence their products usually do cost more. Remember also, they are not mass producing their products with factories all over the world. They are more careful and selective with their ingredients and packaging and so we have to understand this translates usually to an increase in their product’s price. Ultimately though, it is us who can also drive those prices down, by making their product the choice product instead of the competitor’s chemical filled stuff.
The Harsh Truth
It is therefore for all the above mentioned reasons that I decided to personally engage in researching the products I am going to use. There are so many chemicals out there and so many of them with obvious negative health impacts that I cannot and do not want to sit back while the companies have my health in their hands. The even worse part is that we cannot even rely on the FDA to assure us of what is safe and what isn’t. Their main requirement for approving a chemical or a product is that the company proves their own product’s safety. Well hmmm, I wonder what the companies results will be when they are asked to prove that their own product is safe…
Remember, whether it is what you put into your body or on it, you have to be accountable to yourself. What good is it for you to get a cancer in the future and then say “it’s all their fault”? Is it really? Did they make you use their product? I think the answer is obvious. Yes, I understand many of us may become bitter due to these statements and outraged that “we are paying for their products, we shouldn’t have to worry, we should be able to trust them”. And yes I agree, but there are many “shoulds” in life that just never become materialized. And so the onus goes back on you. Yes it makes your life harder, and yes you have to devote more time to getting to know what out there is better and what is worse. But in the end, is it not worth it to know that by investing some time and effort today you may be saving yourself from potential future suffering and tragic consequences?
Natural Product Reviews
Subsequently, aside from flat-out articles on various chemicals and products, I have decided to put some product reviews on this site to help others out there who are passionate and conscious about their health like me. Health is my passion, because life is wonderful, truly amazing in fact and I want to be part of it for as long as I can, in the best state I possibly can be. We have all been put on this planet to experience it anyway we like, some in negative ways and some in positive ways. So if you believe that what diseases you get are not some predetermined stroke of fate, but that your health is in your hands, you will find these reviews particularly helpful.
The product reviews will focus on personal care products, but I will try to include things also like household cleaners and maybe even some food items. Only products that truly qualify or have been certified with a “natural, herbal or organic label” will be reviewed. So don’t expect to find your popular brands here. If you still wonder why just pick up one of your popular personal care product bottles and try to read the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce most of the stuff that means it is full of synthetic chemicals and so you won’t find it here. Some exceptions will apply if there are no “healthy” alternatives; the least toxic out of the unhealthy may be reviewed.
Finally, even though there are alternate companies who strive to make a real difference out there, remember that due to various factors beyond any of our controls these products may change throughout time, and so information will be updated as regularly as possible. I hate to say this but we do have to be realistic that a company may start off great and then follow the other masses of chemical mass production. So we simply just have to stay on top of things. The way I see it, is that with the healthier, alternate products they are “innocent until proven guilty”. This is opposite to the popular products which are “guilty until proven innocent”. Remember nothing out there is truly “natural” unless it comes straight from the ground and even then don’t count on it always being good for you. Some of the world’s deadliest poisons come from plants. We just have to educate ourselves on which products are “healthier choices” and which are “unhealthy choices” to be using to get the most out of our life and our health.