Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I was just thinking this morning as I performed my morning "getting ready for the day" rituals how different they are now than in the past.
Like many things I thought could never change, my bathing rituals are certainly different from when I was in my teens and early 20's.
Here's an example of my past grooming practices:
Wash hair with chemical shampoo and condition (if necessary) with matching chemical conditioner. Use perfume-y (and probably toxic) yummy smelling bath gel. Shave legs with disposable razor and more perfume-y shaving gel. Apply scented lotion and/or powder/perfume after shower to seal in scent. (I read somewhere about "layering" scents in high school and did this for a long time). Don't forget to apply a lot of chemical anti-perspirant! Apply 2-3 products into hair while blow drying. Put on arsenal of conventional makeup with scary ingredients that I can't pronounce onto my face, after rubbing in a moisturizer full of still more ingredients I can't pronounce. Spray hair liberally with hairspray. Done!
Now my routine is a little different. I'm certainly not a full on crunchy yet. I still wear makeup. I still use some chemical products on my hair and face. But my routine has been cleaned up significantly since the ole' days.
Now my grooming routine looks something like this:
Wash hair (I still use non-natural shampoos as they all seem to make my hair as flat as a pancake--anyone have good suggestions?). Sometimes clarify hair by adding a little baking soda to shampoo to remove any residue. Soap up with natural soap fragranced with essential oils. Shave using shampoo or soap with razor that has replaceable cartridges. Apply almond oil to face and body after shower. This oil is GREAT, absorbs quickly and never leaves me feeling greasy. Or alternately, apply a natural body butter or add a drop or two of essential oil to almond oil for fragrance. Dust baking soda under arms in place of deodorant. Dry hair and add a little mousse or spray (again, I haven't been able to find good natural alternatives but am open to ideas!). Apply mineral makeup and traditional liner/mascara (suggestions for the best natural one you've used?). Done!
There has been so much in the media in recent years about what we are putting on our faces and bodies. What was eye opening to me was a time when my grandmother, we called her Memere, was in the nursing home. She got pain patches to help her and my mother described how the patches worked. Basically, like the nicotine or birth control patches they are placed directly onto the patient's skin and are then absorbed into their blood stream!
If medication can be applied onto the skin and absorbed, then where are all these lotions and oils and soaps and deodorants going?
If you have any interest in this at all, or even if you are a skeptic, you really should check out Skin Deep. This organization has a database of all all the ingredients in popular cosmetics and what their potential dangers are. It also gives the product a score of lowest to highest danger. Thank goodness I just found out that my chemical mascara is only a 1 (lowest danger) but I'm still going to keep searching for a good, natural alternative.
Tell me about you~have you made any changes to the products that you use over the years for health reasons? What do you think of all the research around toxic ingredients being found in cosmetics? Leave a comment and let me know what you think about all of this.

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