GYM VLOG #8
Author: Julia Dulgerova
As humans living in a modern world, we use a ridiculous number of products.
Shampoos, conditioners, makeup, perfumes, lotions, moisturizers, creams, body sprays, deodorants, and the list goes on and on. I can argue that there is a product for every square inch of your body. And sadly, we often don’t question what’s in the product and what it can actually be doing to our bodies.
There are many brands that may seem great and mainstream but are actually doing more harm than good to our body and skin. So, I will talk about products and ingredients to avoid, and the switch that I made to a better company whose products are clean.
Chemical filled laundry detergents are full of phosphates which are meant to soften hard water, but these chemicals are very harmful to the environment. They get into our waterways and cause algae to grow which then sucks up all the oxygen and suffocates fish and aquatic life. Laundry detergent contains over 25 toxic chemicals with many more that don’t legally need to be listed.
Just one common detergent ingredient alone has been proven to cause brain toxicity, nervous system damage, liver and kidney disease, and respiratory problems. Laundry detergent is often full of chemicals, so it is very important to choose brands wisely or just make your own laundry detergent.
So, the switch that I made is to a company called Truly Free. They have a fragrance-free laundry detergent that cleans your clothes without filling them with chemicals and ruining the environment. Afterall, the chemicals leach into our skin when we wear our clothes. Well, they have a great laundry detergent and I stick to the fragrance free one and just add my own essential oils. I also do a homemade laundry detergent with just Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. I do around a third of a cup per load. If the load is bigger, you can do a half a cup.
Also, there are soap nuts which are a type of nut that when you soak them, they bubble up like soap. You can then use this soapy water to wash your clothes. I like to do this when I’m not in a rush and remember to soak the soap nuts overnight, but they are a great natural alternative to standard mainstream laundry detergents.
Often shampoos and conditioners are full of lots of harmful chemicals. You may have heard of sulfates in shampoo. Well sulfates are very strong detergents that work through a chemical reaction, they bind with sebum on our scalp along with water. And when you rinse out the shampoo, sulfates strip your hair and take all oils and residue with them. This may not seem that bad, but it damages your hair when it strips all beneficial oils as well, it makes your hair brittle and frizzy.
Then conditioner with dimethicone puts a waxy seal on your hair preventing any moisture from entering. And it makes your hair water insoluble so it’s very hard to wash out of your hair. This leads to buildup and hair loss. Dimethicone is a type of silicone, so you definitely don’t want that on your hair.
So, the switch that I recommend is shampoo bars as well as shampoo and conditioner from a company called Attitude. It consists of pure organic materials and botanical ingredients. It doesn’t have any of that gross stuff and it smells great.
Most moisturizer brands have ingredients that cause irritation, clogged pores, allergic reactions, or even hormone disruption.
Stay away from alcohols, fragrances, petroleum-based products, and parabens. Those drugstore companies and many other companies unfortunately contain at least one of those harmful chemicals.
Alcohol dries out your skin and if you have oily skin, you may think it’s a good thing to dry out the oils on your face but actually what happens is your skin starts to produce even more oil to make up for the dryness. This results in even oilier skin than you started with.
Fragrances are one of the most common irritants and when they are added to a moisturizer and we use it, our skin can begin to be irritated even if it doesn’t seem like it. Plus, the fragrance seeps into our skin and goes into our bloodstream which is terrible for the endocrine system, the system that controls hormone production.
Now, essential oils are different from fragrances. Essential oil scents are powerful stimuli that directly enter your brain triggering responses like changes of emotion. They can be calming, energizing, de stress, and much more. The oils can even be an inflammation relief. But most importantly, true essential oils are from plants and nature. Meaning they aren’t chemicals from a lab, and they are in tune with our bodies.
Petroleum based moisturizer blocks pores which then doesn’t allow your skin to absorb moisture and gets trapped in your pores and results in you having blackheads and blemishes.
So, here’s the moisturizer I recommend. It’s by a brand called Toups and Co. Organics. They have a moisturizer called Frankincense face balm. This is the ingredient list below.
- 100% grass fed tallow
- Organic virgin olive oil
- Organic frankincense essential oil
The company never uses any synthetic chemicals, GMO’s, toxins, fillers, artificial colors or artificial fragrances.
If you’ve never heard of tallow or tallow balm, it’s a natural animal fat that has a similar composition to our human sebum. So, it’s organically compatible with our skin and our body knows what to do with it. It locks in moisture and nutrients without clogging pores.
Yea it’s an animal fat and plant-based products are the new hype, but the plant-based products lack vitamins A,D,E,K and CLA. Tallow balm is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory so it’s perfect for acne prone skin.
And frankincense essential oil is added which heals and restores tone in our skin cells. It has astringent properties which reduces appearance of wrinkles and combats the loss of firmness in cells.
The aluminum in deodorant blocks your glands from producing sweat. But this comes with serious consequences because the aluminum blocking your sweat glands can be absorbed deeply into your skin and then into your body. This can make your estrogen receptors not work properly and can lead to terrible consequences and health issues.
Deodorants also contain parabens which are often also in other hygiene products like shampoos or moisturizers. Parabens are artificial preservatives that were originally designed to prevent bacteria growth on our products but are actually very harmful. Deodorants that contain parabens can cause things like skin irritations and allergic reactions which doesn’t seem very serious but in the long run you can have serious issues like problems with hormone function. Even food contains parabens, putting it directly inside of us. Parabens can be listed as different names like methyl, ethyl, propyl, benzyl, and butyl. So just avoid those terrible chemicals.
Those are only 2 additives in almost all unnatural deodorants that cause such harmful effects.
There are many new companies on the market today which create natural, organic, and clean deodorants. Purely Great is a great brand that has clean ingredients and uses essential oils for fragrances. I mentioned Attitude earlier for their shampoo and conditioner, but they also make a wonderful spray deodorant if you find that deodorant sticks may leave your clothing stained.
An amazing resource that has helped me so much with avoiding bad ingredients, getting rid of chemical filled products, and sticking to buying clean products is EWG Skin Deep. This is an amazing database that allows you to search up selfcare products of all sorts and it determines whether they are truly clean or not. It lists ingredients that are clean and ingredients that can pose a risk. At the same time, it provides many brands and products that are EWG certified which make shopping much easier.
Our skin is our biggest organ so it’s very important to use products that are clean. Everything we put on our skin absorbs right into our body so products with ingredients that we recognize are what’s best.
Here are some links to resources that can help you learn more about what’s in the products you use and switches you can make!
A Dictionary of Ingredients in Cosmetics
A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, 7th Edition: Complete Information About the Harmful and Desirable Ingredients Found in Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals: Winter, Ruth: 9780307451118: Amazon.com: Books
A Book About The Ingredients In Daily Products
EWG Skin Deep Database for Searching Products
Clean Laundry Detergent
Soap for Uses Ranging from Laundry, to Face Wash and Shampoo
Soap Nuts for Making Own Soaps
Clean Shampoo, Conditioner, and Deodorant
Tallow Balm Moisturizer
PurelyGreat Natural Deodorant