While many women are very very conscious about what they put IN their body - eating organic, local, and whole foods when possible, trying to limit artificial or processed foods - much fewer are focused on what they put ON their body. I'd like to make an argument for why that might be worth rethinking!
Did you know that we absorb up to 60% of whatever we apply to our bodies?
...That our underarms and genitals absorb up to 100%(Kasting, 2005)
...That our face is anywhere from 2-6 times more permeable than the torso
...That fragrance ingredients show a 100% absorption rate (Robinson et al, 2000)
...That the average woman wears over 500 (!!) chemicals on her body in a given day??
And I think really and honestly, we KNOW this, we KNOW we shouldn't be putting things with all sorts of crazy chemicals that we can't pronounce all over our bodies, but let's face it (pun), sometimes finding natural products that actually work well feels impossible (raise your hand if you've tried that crystal deodorant... wait, on second thought Don't raise your hand - pew!!) Dare I say, natural mascara? Ugh.
Well, here's a good starting off point. I've used these products, I know they actually work and I invite LOTS and LOTS of comments if you have products you can personally endorse!
SOAPWALLA Deodorant cream
I'm a hot hot girl from a TCM perspective which means I am blessed with the TCM pattern of imbalance that equates to the stinkiest sweat. This is the only natural deodorant I've ever been able to use with success, I trust it so much I don't even have to break out the chemical stuff when I'm doing a big presentation! It's by FAR the best natural deodorant I've ever tried (and I've tried LOTS that do between absolutely nothing and minimal). I'm even a vendor I love this stuff so much!
The mascara and cover-up in particular are FABULOUS! Flower pigment, organic, animal friendly and they look and wear great!
Intelligent Nutrients Hair Care Products
This is the new line from the original creator of Aveda products. Everything in these hair care products could be eaten (But you may want to take my word for it, that just because you could eat it, doesn't mean it tastes good - gah!) The harmonic shampoo is by far the BEST shampoo I've ever tried (and my sister is a hair stylist, so I've tried lots of the fancy schmancy salon stuff) My hair is very fine and with this shampoo I don't even use conditioner. It smells minty and wonderful and I use it to cleanse both my hair and whole body. It isn't tear free, but I use it on my kids too, I'd rather use things that are edible and natural on them then worry about things being tear free! (If you try the hairspray and dare to spritz it in your mouth let me know-I've heard stories!)
Earth Mama Angel Baby Products
They have products for pregnancy, postpartum and babes (and honestly they'd be great all the time for anyone!) They are ZERO toxin (the only line for babies like this to the best of my knowledge-which is sad to me!) They have some very lovely products to help support grieving mamas who have lost babies too which I love about them!
Okay, this one is not fancy at all, but I LOVE IT!! I use cold pressed, organic coconut oil instead of body lotion. It is light, doesn't take forever to dry, smells good (if you like coconut), and is practically a science experiment because it is solid at or below 70 degrees but as soon as you start rubbing it between your hands or on your body it melts to a liquid... super cool for a geeky girl such as myself!
I think there are a lot of nice natural ones out there, but I use mostly Jason and Alba Botanica because they don't break the bank!
All Terrain Bug Spray
I'm already risking sounding overly dramatic with my ALL CAPS and exclamatory remarks, but PEOPLE, LET ME TELL YOU!! THIS IS A NATURAL BUG SPRAY THAT ACTUALLY WORKS!!! Mosquitos love my blood, it's like Thanksgiving dinner to them, put me in a group of people with each person averaging 3 bug bites and I'll come out with 15... I only wish I were exaggerating! This stuff is AMAZING. I think I'm going to try their sunscreen next time I need more too!
Those are the things I use regularly!
And if you are feeling a) in the mood to try some things on your own or b) scared into rethinking your current products (sorry, but hey!) Here is just one of what I'm sure are many other nice websites that sell natural/organic skin and beauty products that you might like to check out! Have fun trying some new things!
And a little update...
Thanks to a lovely reader who emailed me with this AMAZING LINK http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ where you can actually look up your skin/beauty products and see them rated and broken down by categories including:
Health concerns of ingredients
Developmental & reproductive toxicity
Allergies & immunotoxicity
And if all this weren't enough... check out this scary (and huge) info graphic...