How To Have Healthy Body Care Products
The skin is the largest organ of the body, and it readily absorbs any products or patches you put on it. Therefore, the quality of the ingredients is very important. Always buy organic if you have a choice.
Be aware that body products are usually tested on animals, and also have ingredients in them that are toxic. This article contains some products that I have found to be toxic and that you should avoid. I have also listed some products that are healthier, and some that you can make yourself at home.
You have many foods in your kitchen that are healthy, less expensive, and really easy to use in making your own beauty and bath products. Making them yourself also ensures that you know exactly what is in your products. This is a fun activity as well as a learning experience to do with your children.
Always use organic ingredients, because non-organic food ingredients are almost always drenched with the glyphosate weed killer. Glyphosate has been listed by the World Health Organization and the State of California as a probable carcinogen. “Glyphosate exposure has also been linked with kidney and liver issues. While more pressing danger has been associated with Round-Up Weed Killer, the use of the pesticide in farming has resulted in finds of trace amounts on popular foods, like Quaker Oats and Cheerios.”
Findings: Current litigation against Monsanto’s Round-Up product is ongoing, with dozens of plaintiffs claiming their cancer was caused by Round-Up usage. However, Monsanto recently lost a battle with the State of California to keep the ingredient off a list of known carcinogens. Monsanto is now required to label their product with warnings accordingly. Regulatory Status: After being called out last year for not including glyphosate in annual testing practices, the FDA began testing the herbicide; however, the testing was shut down soon after. A new testing period has begun recently, likely as a result of increased pressure stemming from these lawsuits. The EPA previously published reports saying that glyphosate was not a likely carcinogen, but with new studies to the contrary, and with California’s recent decision to list glyphosate as a carcinogen, perhaps it is time to take a deeper look into the issue. The EPA sets “tolerances” for residue from pesticides like glyphosate that remain on food products; American standards allow in some cases double the amount of residue than what the European Union considers safe. “(1)
Some Natural Face Cleansers and Moisturizers
Honey is a natural moisturizer and has antibacterial properties. I use raw organic honey as my daily face cleanser. I love it because it makes my skin feel so smooth. Honey can also be used as a moisturizing mask. Put it on and leave it for 10 or 15 minutes, and then remove it with a warm, wet washcloth. Your skin will feel moist and clean.
Extra virgin, pure organic coconut oil is extremely good for almost any skin, but it is especially good for dry skin. I use it on my face and whole body.
Sesame seed oil pulls toxins from the skin. You can use it on your face or whole body. It has a little bit of a scent compared to coconut oil.
These are fun to make and do when you have daughters and slumber parties. My sisters and I used to make these when our friends came over. My daughter and I still do these together.
Avocado and cucumber mashed and blended together make a wonderfully refreshing, nutrient-dense mask. Cucumber slices can also be placed over the eyes to reduce swelling and redness.
Honey makes a very soothing and hydrating mask. Note: You can mix it with oatmeal and eggs for a nutrient-dense mask. Scrub it off with a warm, wet washcloth to exfoliate as well.
Yogurt is very calming and will help reduce redness of the skin. It makes a wonderful, cooling facial mask. Note: You can mix honey and/or eggs into yogurt, too. I like to experiment with ingredients. Strawberries and/or other fruits can be very nice to mash up and add. Experiment and find one that you love with the food you have on hand!
Warm, wet tea bags are great for reducing swollen, puffy eyes. The tannins in the tea work on the swelling. I use English breakfast or chamomile tea for this. I put a tea bag in a cup of warm water and let it sit for a moment.
I put an old, dark towel under my head (so my good towels don’t get stained), and then I gently place a warm tea bag over each eye for about 15 minutes. It feels great and is so relaxing.
Combine almonds (ground into a meal) mixed with an equal amount of oatmeal, a little purified water or cucumber juice (enough liquid to make a nice paste), and some honey. Spread the mixture evenly on the skin and let dry. When it is dry, take a dry washcloth and rub the face to remove the mixture. This will exfoliate the dry, dead skin cells and clean out the pores. Then take a warm, wet washcloth, wash it off, and rinse well. Note: I use the almond meal I have left over from making my almond milk for this!
Body Scrubs, Moisturizers, Baths, and Foot Baths
Sea salt, along with a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing, like eucalyptus or peppermint, and a little olive oil make a wonderful body scrub to remove dead skin and improve circulation. You can use sugar instead of sea salt, but since it goes right into your blood stream, I would use sea salt.
For a nice bath or foot soak, put mineral salts or sea salts in the bath with a little organic apple cider vinegar (to help adjust the pH balance of your body), and fill the tub with warm water. Right before you get in, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil and/or peppermint oil (to invigorate) or oil like lavender (to relax) to the bath or footbath. Put the oil in at the last minute or it will dissipate, and you won’t get to really enjoy the aromatic effect.
You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to add a scent. (Note: I don’t use the scented oil on my face, only on my body. I love using coconut oil.) I also like to put coconut oil mixed with peppermint or lavender oil on my feet and then put socks on for the night. These oils are refreshing. The socks help soften and nourish the dry skin on the feet.
Castor oil pulls toxins from the body. It is thick and gooey, but I have gotten used to it and use it fairly regularly on my face and body after showering. After I put it on my skin, I just put on my nice, thick robe and socks for a little while before I get dressed.
I have been using oils for my skin for many years. I had a beautician put purifying oils on me a few times, and I was hooked. I found that my skin felt so much better when I used natural oils instead of traditional lotions. Olive oil, pure coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, and apricot oil all make wonderful body moisturizers/oils. Olive oil has a little fragrance.
Hand Sanitizer/Hand Soap
Since antibiotic hand sanitizers have been on the market, many doctors believe they may be contributing to the development of super strains of viruses and bacteria. Also, they absorb right through our skin into our bloodstream, so using an antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer is basically like taking an antibiotic. The antibiotic kills all bacteria, including the good bacteria in our body that keep the bad bacteria in check. These good bacteria are a main part of our immune system. Before antibiotics were invented, natural oils and foods were used to help protect the body from pathogens.
In a New York Times article about Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, (a New Jersey pediatrician who makes and sells natural health advice and remedies), Rosen recommended his recipe for a homemade hand sanitizer called thieves oil.(2) His mixture of oils came from a legend about a group of 15th-century European perfumers/spice traders who stole anything of value off dead bodies during the Bubonic Plague. They made a mixture of essential oils that had antibacterial and antiviral properties, and covered their bodies with the mixture. They also used this oil on their bodies to protect themselves from the germs—hence the name “thieves oil.” They contributed never getting the plague to their use of these oils.(3) Note: Weber State University tested the oils and found it had a 99.96 kill rate with airborne bacteria. (4) Dr. Rosen’s recipe includes equal amounts of therapeutic-grade essential oils: cinnamon bark, lemon, eucalyptus, clove, and rosemary. Mix the oils with coconut oil or jojoba oil as a carrier, and use it on hands as a sanitizer. For soap, you can mix it with a pure castile soap or soap from.
One day when my children were small, I read about how the innocent Minnie Mouse Bubble Bath I’d just bathed my children in could cause blindness. I was so alarmed. So I started researching and reading ingredients on everything. How could the U.S. government allow toxin and carcinogenic ingredients in our toothpaste, bubble bath, shampoos, and more?
After going through my bathroom cabinets and reading all the ingredients, I threw out almost everything! Since then, I’ve been extremely careful about what I put on our bodies. Remember, what we put on our skin, our largest organ, is absorbed into the blood stream. Be sure to use safe, toxin-free products.
Olive oil, coconut oil, or argan oil can be used to moisturize and condition hair. Put it on the hair and place a plastic cap on it overnight (or even just for an hour or so), and then wash it out in the morning.
Letting your hair dry naturally as often as you can, helps your hair and scalp. Using a hair dryer is very drying and can cause brittle hair ends.
For hair color, almost all hair dye is one of the most toxic things people use. There is a new one called: Hair Print.
It is Hair Color Restoration, that is 100% non-toxic, made of eight food-grade ingredients.
Hairprint restores gray hair to its natural color. It is formulated specifically for brown and black hair. Hair Print is perfect for the person who is avoiding toxic hair dye. It also looks great on men!
Teeth, Gums, and Mouth Care
The mouth is highly absorbable. If you read the box of some name-brand toothpastes or mouthwashes, you may see a warning that if they are swallowed you should call poison control immediately. The warnings are usually only on the toothpaste box and not on the toothpaste tube itself. In my opinion, we shouldn’t be putting any kind of poison in our mouths at all. I buy brands that are free of poison and not harmful to my body. I use an essential oil toothpaste and mouthwash.
Do not share your toothpaste. It can spread germs with others’ toothbrushes brushing against the toothpaste opening.
Get a new toothbrush after any illness, or at least every two months. This will prevent the toothbrush from becoming too built up with germs. Use a tongue scraper to keep the tongue clean and fresh. Floss at least once daily to keep gums healthy and to remove bacteria from between teeth.
Look Out for These Ingredients:
When purchasing products, take your reading glasses with you and look out for these ingredients. I recommend avoiding them.
Something to keep in mind is that the USDA product is only regulated for the small amount of essential oil that is organically grown; the rest of the product can be any chemical sludge. It is left up to the consumer to sort out who to trust.
Companies know this and take full marketing advantage of uninformed buyers.
The European Union, is highly regulated.
Over 80,000 chemicals have been created since the 1940’s. Less than 2,000 have been tested for safety, and less than 200 have effectively been deemed ‘safe for human consumption.
Over 1,400 chemicals are banned from skincare products in the European Union.
Only 11 chemicals are banned in the USA.
In the European Union, one cannot hide ingredients behind a ‘proprietary blend’ label, nor can they use chemicals in a skincare/cosmetic unless and until it has been proven SAFE.
The US allows any chemical in a product even AFTER it has been proven DIRTY, OR UNSAFE, and then does NOT force the removal of harmful ingredients.
DEA or Diethanolamine. This ingredient is used in many household and personal products such as shampoo, bubble bath, lotions, and detergents for laundry or dishwashing. DEA is a known toxin in industrial applications, now proven to cause cancer when applied to the skin of rats. Dr. Samuel Epstein, author of The Safe Shopper’s Bible and founder of The American Coalition to Prevent Cancer, is a leading authority on toxicology. He issued a strong warning about the use of cocamide DEA or lauramide DEA. Many products contain these ingredients and simply don’t have warnings on them.(5)
Propylene Glycol. This main ingredient in antifreeze and hydraulic fluids is used as a solvent. It’s also found in pet food, lotions, shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants, processed foods, and more. A colorless, hygroscopic liquid, it has been tested by the American Academy of Dermatologists and found to cause skin irritation at low levels. It can be harmful if inhaled, ingested, or absorbed into the skin. It can also cause nausea, headaches, central nervous system depression, eye irritation, skin irritation, and gastrointestinal disturbances. (6)
SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. This is found in detergents, concrete cleaners, engine degreasers, and more. It’s used in clinical studies to irritate skin tissue. It corrodes hair follicles and impairs the ability to grow hair. When combined with other nitrogen-bearing ingredients, carcinogenic nitrates can form. SLS enters (and maintains residual levels) in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain from skin contact.(7)
Talc. Talcum powder is a mineral made up mainly of the elements silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. Talc is similar to asbestos and “may result in fallopian tube fibrosis with resultant infertility,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). “Talc’s harmful effect on human tissue has been known for quite some time. Long ago, its dry lubricating properties were used as a glove-donning powder (easy to glide on) for surgical gloves. As early as the 1930s, talc. was linked to post-operative granulomatous peritonitis and fibrous adhesions.”(8)
“Dangers : Talcum powder has been linked to a higher risk of ovarian cancer & lung disease. Additionally, it can contain asbestos fibers, which have been linked with mesothelioma lung cancer. Findings: Industry leader Johnson & Johnson has been at the center of the talc issue. Already, four juries have found in favor of plaintiffs who claimed their ovarian cancer was caused by prolonged use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower Powder. Reparations of up to $110 million have been ordered on behalf of the victims. Johnson & Johnson continues to deny any danger, and their talc-containing products are still available across the nation.
Regulatory Status: While the FDA does regulate talc in food products, cosmetic products are not currently required to be reviewed by the FDA. There is no federal ban on the use of talcum powder in cosmetic products, despite bans on the use of the ingredient by the European Union. “(9)
Alcohol. This is used in many mouthwashes. “Mouthwashes with a content of 25 percent or higher have been implicated in mouth, tongue, and throat cancers.”(10)
In conclusion, read ingredient labels and be savvy about protecting you and your family from toxic chemicals in your daily life. I have found it is not that difficult to switch out what I have been using for a healthier version, since there are many new non-toxic brands available on the market today. You can click here to see the essential oils, baby care products, etc. I use. You can click this link to see the toothpaste, mouthwash, laundry/soaps I use. (If you use this link, it will give you a $10 discount on your first order.)
We are all a work in progress!
I learn something new every day, and I try to adjust my purchases or lifestyle regimen, in order to improve on all of the things I have learned. Having healthy hygiene habits and using non-toxic body care products will be extremely beneficial to our long-term health and well-being.
By Nancy Addison CHC, AADP
https://www.consumersafety.org/, “Roundup Weed Killer,” Consumer Safety.org provides consumers with information that can help them lead healthier, happier lives. ConsumerSafety.org strives to make information about recalls and safety-related news about drugs, medical devices, food, and consumer products accessible to everyone in a transparent, easily understandable way.
Anahad O’Connor. “The Claim: Cinnamon Oil Kills Bacteria.” New York Times. September 7, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/health/08real.html?_r=0
& 4. Sue Chao, Gary Young, Craig Oberg, and Karen Nakaoka. “Inhibition of MRSA by essential oils.” Young Living Essential Oils. Weber State University. January 2008.
technical report on the toxicology and carcinogenesis studies
of diethanolamine.” (case no. 111-42-2) U.S. Department of
& 7. “Rub A Dub Dub…Is Cancer In Your Tub.” Network News and
Publications 1999. Young Living Oils brochure.
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) 3/15/95
Nutrition Health Review, Summer, 1995. n73, p.8 and U.S.
News and World Report, March 17, 1997. v122 n10, p. 77.
https://www.consumersafety.org/products/talcum-powder/, “Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer. ” Consumer Safety.org provides consumers with information that can help them lead healthier, happier lives. ConsumerSafety.org strives to make information about recalls and safety-related news about drugs, medical devices, food, and consumer products accessible to everyone in a transparent, easily understandable way.
“High-Alcohol Mouthwashes Are Under Scrutiny.” Oxford Journals Medicine & Health, JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst. Volume 83, Issue 11. pp. 751.
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