Today I want to talk about something a little bit different.
I once read a book called Cradle to Cradle, it was about how we could improve our future by basically finding a way to recycle everything we use. Its a great book and has some wonderful ideas, but what struck me most was some of the facts about the chemicals and toxins that are in our environment. I've read similar books since which support their ideas and honestly it got me a little concerned at what we are exposing ourselves to.
It's not really something we are often made aware of, not like the media treat food anyway. Everyday we seem to hear some new piece of information about a type of food that is bad for us, but we aren't being given any information about what is bad for us to put on our skin or in our hair. Probably because the majority of it isn't very good for us I would imagine!
After I read the book I looked into the ingredients in some of my own beauty products, and found that a lot of them were just plain nasty. One that stuck out in particular was Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS). In layman's terms its basically the ingredient used to make most products foam up, and it is used in nearly everything. Its also found in a number of industrial cleaning agents such as engine degreaser!
There have been links of use of Sodium Laureth Sulphate to Cancer, although nothing has been proved yet. But it is certainly an irritant, and will not help you at all if you have sensitive skin or eczema. It has been linked to hormone imbalance and poor eye development in children. I'd really recommend doing some research yourself into this as there is a lot of information out there on the subject, and it is definitely worth being aware.
Now I'm no expert, and I can't say for sure if there are any negative effects of using these products, but I have read a fair amount about the subject and personally, I'd definitely prefer to err on the side of caution! So I've decided to have a bit of an overhaul and try and remove as many chemicals from our house as possible. I've started with shower products, deodorant and toothpaste since I use these everyday. I did a little bit of research and found online that Green People were getting good reviews, so I thought I would give them a try. Their products are made without SLS/SLES, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, phthalates, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), colourants and artificial fragrance, and the majority of their ingredients are organic!
I've been pleasantly surprised with the result, have a look at my reviews on each product below;
Moisturising Shower Gel - This is great, there are no down sides to using this as opposed to any normal shower gel, it works just as well.
Intensive Repair Shampoo - I knew that the shampoo would be the hardest to find a replacement for. I had tried a natural shampoo a few years ago and my hair did not like it, it all ended up in one big greasy knot! However, I think Green people may have cracked it! Their shampoo is a little more difficult to distribute throughout the hair than a normal shampoo, and it does take a little more time, but I find that applying the shampoo to 4 sections of my head does the trick. My hair feels clean and I definitely think it is worth the little bit extra time it takes.
Conditioner - I've had no problems with the conditioner. It seems to work well!
Natural Deodorant - I'm pretty happy with this. It is perhaps not quite as effective as an antiperspirant, but still does the job. I will probably continue to use this as an everyday product and maybe occasionally use a normal antiperspirant for special occasions!
Natural Toothpaste - Again this is totally useable, but rather more watery than a normal toothpaste, I squeezed out far too much on the first go! This toothpaste doesn't use fluoride, which I know is bad for you to ingest, but is good for your teeth. Since I don't really know enough about fluoride and how lack of it would effect my teeth, I've decided to use this fluoride free toothpaste for my nighttime brush, and stick with my normal toothpaste in the mornings.
One thing that I have noticed, is that the eczema that was developing on my arms has definitely cleared up a lot! It is now just dry skin, and no itching yay!
The only downside of these products really is that they are rather expensive compared to normal products. However, I definitely think it is worth it and will keep using them!
I'd love to hear if there are any natural products that you like. It does seem pretty tricky to find them! What are your opinions on SLS?