I remember the last time someone tried to tell me about an organic deodorant. I looked at them and simply laughed, shrugging off the very idea of spending 3 extra bucks on something that will not make the slightest difference in my life.
This self-tanner causes cancer, and this deodorant is not hypoallergenic, and that soap! Don't get me started…blah blah.
I was pretty much singing the same song as the ones around me, "Everything will kill you these days, so there's no point in trying".
I justified not eating so healthy, slacking off in the gym, and using any product on the shelf as a standard way of life… and well, everyone around me was on the same boat, so why not?
This lazy mentality pretty much remained until about a month ago when I was writing an article about harmful ingredients used in products. I was kind of forced into it as my client, a specialized dermatologist, suggested the topic.
Evidently, I started diving into the waters of the web, researching about the hazards of using products like normal shampoo (we're talking: Pantene, Garnier, L'Oreal,
Kerastase, you name it), body wash, face moisturizers, body creams and everything in between.
I was shocked to see the major dangers of such chemicals that have been hidden from me just around the corner of a Google search with the keywords: "dangerous skincare products."
I was one search away from saving myself from so many threats and I failed to do so because of my lazy mentality and because frankly, I just didn't want to hear it.
So with much research already done, I dedicated even more time in figuring out a better and healthier way to live every single day, and I feel obligated to share some of it with you.
Start by this list of ingredients that you should avoid buying (found on the back of every product):
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Triclosan & Triclocarban
Retinoic Acid & Retinol- These are used in anti-aging creams. They actually trigger the opposite effect and become carcinogenic in the sunlight. Beware.
Although I don't want to bore you (or scare you) with what each ingredient can do, generally they have been associated with various types of cancer, affect sperm production or fertility, trigger endocrine disruptions, and may even cause respiratory issues.
Think about that for a second. You might not be able to have kids because of a god-damn shampoo. Trust me, changing your daily regime can change your life.
I know that you're probably thinking you're going to get old and wrinkly anyway, so what's the big deal?
The big deal is that you can change your habits now, so that you when you age, you'll stand out and look better than you think.
You'll be preventing potential damage to your skin and your health.
You'll also see a great difference in your skin and look your best right now, which is perhaps the most important.
This means not too much sun exposure (come on, just use a bronzer or a self-tanner), and using the right products.
Eucalyptus Body Bar: I currently use an organic and all-natural body soap to wash my skin in the shower. It has no hazardous chemicals like fragrance (Parfum) to make the soap smell good (even though it already smells like a dream).
Lavender Oil: To moisturize my body, I use this amazing oil that contains all-natural lavender oil and flower extract. It is best to use this right after the shower and to use a cotton dress that you don't mind getting dirty as the oil may be absorbed into the material. It can also be used as a great hair serum for anti-frizz purposes.
Monoi Tiare Age-Defying Cream: For my face, I use a moisturizer derived from the Monoi Flower. It is made with Pure Monoi Flower, Jojoba, and Borage Oil Damascus Rose. It's slightly on the expensive side, but it's your face. Seriously.
Matcha Lavender & Jasmine Facial Mask: In order to really feel a difference in my skin, I use this preservative-free product every week or so to detoxify and exfoliate. There is an option to purchase another mask like this one specifically targeted for oily or congested skin.
Citrus+ Vanilla Sugar Scrub: This sweet and warm blend literally speaks for itself. This is a must for extremely soft skin.
I also want to give a huge shout out to Just the Goods, a company that goes above and beyond to create amazing natural products (completely harm-free) at very affordable prices. You can read more about their mission here.
Just the Goods, Fig + Yarrow and Me and a Tree, are one of the only companies I found that sell completely natural products that are completely safe.
I'm not going to highlight too many things here since I'm still experimenting, but Dr. Bronner's is popular for its wonderful abilities to strengthen and ensure healthy hair. It has no synthetic components nor foaming agents used in standard shampoos that trigger wax buildup.
I have been using Dr.Bronner's Pure Castille Lavender Liquid Soap to wash my hair. It is important that if you plan on using this, to ensure that the soap is diluted before using.
This means taking one tablespoon of the soap (it's super powerful), mixing it into a small bottle of water, and only then applying it to your hair. If not, you'll feel your hair is super tangled and straw-like- don't freak out, that's part of the process (before conditioning).
Once you have done so, it is important to follow up with the Dr.Bronner's Citrus Organic Hair Rinse (aka conditioner), or the Free & Clear conditioner that I have been using. Both of these are all-natural and harm-free.
I just want to say one or two things about physical and mental health, since I don't want to make this article super long.
Here are a few things to remember:
Hydration is key to literally everything if you think about it. It helps your skin, muscles, cardiovascular health, it cleanses your body, and so forth. I can't stress enough the importance of forcing yourself (literally) to drink at least 45 oz of water a day. This is equivalent to around 2 Zephyrhills water bottles.
To motivate myself I purchased (a pink) BPA-Free 58oz sports bottle that I take with me to work. I'm in love with it. Every 20 minutes I remind myself to take a few sips and magically, after a 9–5 the bottle is empty.
I know. You've heard it about a million times and this is the million and one time. I'm not saying go on a sprint for three hours, but take even just 20 minutes a day to take a walk outside and breathe.
It will help keep your heart healthy, reduce your stress and even make you happier. If you don't want to, do it anyways.
Find a way to convince yourself and think about the after-effects. You'll feel more energized and ready to take on any challenge.
If you're not a book-worm like me, but you're a medium reader then rumor has it, you read! Find a genre that you truly enjoy and fire up those neurons. Reading at least one article a day, or a chapter of a book can go a long way.
Instead of going to sleep while scrolling through an Instagram story of someone in Ibiza and thinking your life sucks, read a book and enjoy it.
It can feed your curiosity, strengthen your brain, help you gain knowledge and stimulate your growth.
If you're enslaved to the 9–5 like me, and you're mostly doing computer work, make sure you're taking care of your eyes. Download f.lux to reduce eye strain on your screen, and use a Chrome extension to set 20-min reminders for your eyes to move away from the screen.
This can make a huge difference for the health of your eyes and takes 5 minutes at most to download.
Do What You Love
Way too many people find that they're exchanging doing what they need to do with doing what they love. But why the sacrifice?
Find a balance between the two. When there's a will there's a way. Think about coming home super tired. It's the world cup and you're a die-hard fan. Trust me, you'll find time to watch that game.
The same goes for everything else. There's no such thing as "I don't have time", it simply means it's not your priority.
Whether it's blogging, painting, reading, crafting, sewing, and the likes, make time for it.
Phew. I hope I have enlightened you with some new and helpful changes you can make to transform your life.