“What are the most important products to switch to chemical free alternatives". This is a question that I get asked on an almost daily basis! I have compiled a list of where to start for people who want to make the move to natural products, as I know it can be very overwhelming for people to change all of their products at once! That being said, as I have said many times before, it is very important to use natural products on babies, and this list applies to them as well.
The List of What to Change….Starting with the Worst Offenders!
1) Body Lotion/Body Butter- This is the first thing I suggest that everyone changes. This is so important because most people put the lotion on every day, it goes on a large surface area of the skin (the whole body) so it has an even greater opportunity to be absorbed into the blood stream, and it is a leave on product, also increasing the chances of toxin absorption
2) Facial Moisturizer- Typically applied twice a day, and is a leave on product. The face on the skin is delicate and thinner than other areas of the body, meaning increased absorption of toxins
3) Foundation- Similar to facial moisturizer, and conventional make ups contain many harmful ingredients including but not limited to: lead, 1,3-butadiene (known carcinogen), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, parabens and phthalates.
4) Lipstick/Lip balm- Lead is commonly found in many conventional lipsticks. Lip products are concerning because some of what you put on your lips inevitably ends up getting ingested.
5) Shampoo/Body Wash- although they are not leave on products, the combination of shampoo and body wash are in contact with a large surface area of your skin and are used frequently. Shampoo often contains ethylene oxide which is a known carcinogen, and is identified as a mammary carcinogen
6) Perfumes- usually worn frequently, and are full of parabens and ethylene oxide
7) Nail Polish- this one depends on the frequency of use. If you are someone who paints your nails, or gets them painted weekly, I would seek out a natural alternative (Sparitual is one of my personal favs http://www.sparitual.com/) . If you are someone who paints your nails once every 4 months, then it is not as concerning.
8) Mascara- Although worn frequently by most people, it is not in direct contact with the skin. If it is removed properly daily, it is less concerning than other products. Mascara does typically contain parabens, aluminum and propylene glycol, so it should be phased out once you get your natural beauty regime rolling.
9) Eye Shadow- the skin on the eyelids is quite thin and has a fairly large blood supply to it, but the overall amount of make-up actually applied to the eye lids is small, limiting the exposure to toxins. Eye shadow does contain talc, which is a well established respiratory irritant.
10) Eye Liner- similar to eye shadow, although applied directly to skin, applied in small amounts. Eye liner can contain arsenic and cadmium so it is best to phase this out eventually to avoid exposure to these heavy metals.
I hope you found this list to be helpful, and to help reduce some of the anxiety over making the switch to natural skin care products. With Christmas right around the corner, this is a great time to start making these changes. Ask your friends and family to pick you up a quality natural body butter/lotion instead of the chemical and toxin laden alternatives from Bath and Body Works and the Body Shop.
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