What Is In This?

As I am now well into my 30s
(I am 31 and a half!)
I am paying more and more attention 
to what I am bringing into my home
(see previous post on minimalism),
but also what goes into and onto my body.

Yikes. It is actually kinda scary.
Like everything, there are extremes.
While I would love to be able to
make all my own clothes, linens,
etc... well that's just not realistic.
I would also love to say that I am 
only going to buy anything that's made in 
Vancouver/British Columbia/Canada
without the use of dyes or bleaches...
 that's not really feasible either.

So I am not going to fully jump
onto this bandwagon, 
but I am gonna hitch a ride for part of it.
Taking a look at the ingredients on
our face creams, make up removers
and body wash is a great start for me.
I have slowly starting eliminating anything with the world
This is one word in a list of ingredients
that is actually potentially listing over 300 harmful chemicals.
Companies are allowed to use this one word
to describe a potion they have created for their distinct smell.
It is like how Coca Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken
have their secret recipes.
If these companies had to list every chemical in their fragrance,
they are at risk with other companies being able to potentially recreate 
and then rip-off their distinct smell.
So, they are protected by this word fragrance.
(ref. Stink the movie.)

The thing is...
this fragrance can contain some pretty harmful chemicals.
Some which have even been banned 
and are not allowed to be used anymore.
Um - what?! 
So we are brushing our teeth,
lathering our skin,
and washing our face with some nasty stuff.

Some of the ways I have cut out
some of these products is by 
reading labels.
Just like we do with our food.
If it says fragrance, it doesn't come home if at all possible.
I also cross reference it with Beautycounter's THE NEVER LIST.
It is pretty difficult to do!
It seems like so many things have fragrances in them.
One area I am having a hard time letting go is with my perfume.
Ever since I was a teenager I have loved perfume.
I don't own multiple bottles, 
but I do enjoy having one precious scent for special occasions.
I haven't decided if I will be able to give that one up yet.
The other one is candles. 
It is so hard to find a delicious smelling candle
that doesn't use fragrance oil.
These may end up being my two exceptions.

You may be wondering if I went
through my house like a tornado with a garbage bag
ridding everything containing fragrance;
similar to my minimalist rampage.
The answer is no.
I also don't like waste if it can be avoided.
As I am running out of certain products,
I am trying my best to replace them with
all natural ones.

Our little village recently 
is home to a new bath store called Hygge.
I am in love.
The owner is so warm and lovely
and she is on the hunt for as-local-as-possible
all-natural bath products.
She is doing an excellent job!
While some things in the shop do contain fragrance,
it is so amazing to be able to go somewhere that sells 
some of my favourite products and not worry that it is full of junk.
I also love shopping local.

A few weeks ago
I hosted a Beautycounter party
with the hopes of educating myself further,
and also sharing it with my friends.
There are some great local makers out there
that sell some amazing products.
But a few bigger name brands are 
selling quality goods as well.

Here are 11 of my favourite products so far:

1. Nelson Naturals toothpaste in Spearmint 
(I want to try charcoal next!)

2. Beautycounter sunscreen 
(currently only available on their US site)

3. Sapadilla hand soap (I am excited to try their laundry soap and dish soap too.)

4. Beautycounter charcoal cleansing bar

5. Beautycounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer 
(If you want SPF, again its only available in the US right now.)

6. K'Pure Natural Body Care Get Closer deodorant. 
(I made the switch last year after finding large lumps under my arms. 
Never going back. 1 large jar lasted me about 6 months. Love this stuff!)

Soothing and hydrating, energizing and calming.

8. K'Pure Natural Body Care Clean Up Dead Sea Mud Masque

9. Bebe DeLuxe Coconut Milk Bath
Like it stays on the label, no nasties. Great for babies, but mamas will enjoy it too.

10. Salt Spring Soap Works shampoo bar in Rosemary Mint
(I really love how this lathers my hair with such a small amount. I have also almost completely rid my eczema on my scalp! My head used to be so itchy and dry, and now it is almost cleared completely! It also makes my hair so smooth and soft. I want to try the conditioner next.)

11. Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap in Peppermint. 
(We have been using this as a body wash, although I know it serves many purposes, for a long time now. It is the soap that Spencer uses daily, and I love how it makes my skin tingle! It leaves me feeling really clean and fresh. Be careful not to get it in your eyes!)

There you have it.
 I hope this helps.
I want to leave this post by encouraging you to start looking at your labels.
On your food too, but also on your skin care.
If you can, head over to this site and watch the Stink movie.
Beautycounter (linked above) has some good resources on their website as well.
Be careful what you Google, it isn't all reliable, but ask questions
and start searching for your own answers.
The switch doesn't have to be drastic, or all at once,
just like minimalism.
Good luck!

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