Saturday, February 7, 2015

Going Green

I have been struggling with making a decision for a long time now.  For the last few years I've been making great strides in eliminating processed foods from my diet, and switching over to mostly organic foods.  I understand the need to be careful about what goes into my body.  But there was one area I seemed blissfully ignorant about- my personal care products.  I'm not sure why I never thought about the zillions of chemicals that get absorbed through my skin.

So I started educating myself about it.  And what I learned scared me to death.  I started with the book No More Dirty Looks.  After I finished that, I read The Green Beauty Guide.  Then I checked out the Environmental Working Group website.  I use their cosmetic ingredient database, as well as their new FoodScores app, which identifies safe, organic food options.

Now I'm slowly but surely replacing my chemically dirty personal care products with clean, natural options.  I am finding that this is a daunting, sometimes expensive process.  And it is a trial and error journey.

Because I have committed to making almost everything we eat from scratch, I really don't have time to concoct all my beauty products as well.  So I also made the financial commitment to buy the things I don't have time to make.  So just know- if you have the time, this doesn't have to be hugely expensive.  Most of the products you buy, can be made much more cheaply, and safely, at home.  I just don't have that kinda time.  But there are a few things I make myself.

The simplest of those things is face wash.  I simply take a handful of oatmeal and run it through my small coffee bean grinder.  I have one I use only for grinding spices.  I cleaned it out with some white rice, then blitzed the oatmeal in it.  I grind it to a fine powder.  Most nights I just put about a tablespoon of it in the palm of my hand, then add a few drops of warm water to make a paste.  I smear the paste all over my face, let it set a minute, then wash it off with warm water.  Once a week I treat my skin to the deluxe treatment.  For this, I use the tablespoon of ground oatmeal, add a little greek yogurt, and a little warm water.  I use it the same way I do the plain oatmeal.  I let it sit on my face a little longer- maybe 5 minutes- then I rinse it off.

So don't automatically assume you have to buy a ton of stuff.  As a matter of fact, I've learned to use one product for several different applications.

I use coconut oil for tons of things.  I cook with it.  I use it as a night time facial moisturizer.  I also use it to condition my hair.  I also use it speed up the healing of small cuts and bruises.  The best thing about this is that it's relatively cheap, compared to buying a separate cooking oil, moisturizer and deep hair conditioner.

You owe it to yourself to do a little homework.  Educate yourself about what you're putting in your body.  The government is not looking out for you on this.  There is little, if any, real regulation of the cosmetic industry.  Companies are out to make money- not look after your health.

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