I have recently gotten into the process of making my own body and hair products. I have been looking for brands that are the most natural for many years now, and while there are some good ones out there, none can match the ingredients that go into your own, homemade products.
This is because all store-bought products must be able to last on store shelves for a long time so they can still be viable when we purchase them and so the companies can make more money from them. The longer they can stay on the shelf, the more money a company can make.
Commercial products are made to last a long time. To make them lather, thick, a certain colour and/or smell… tonnes of chemicals are used. To make the products act the way we think they should act, companies add in all sorts of chemicals.
In this post, I talk about why we should avoid as many of these products as possible, the top names to watch out for on labels, and recipes for making your own products.
Why Are Commercial Products So Bad?
- Hormone/endocrine disruptors (estrogen mimicking) – resulting in harm to the reproductive systems of both males and females
- Asthmagen – any substance that is causally-related to the development of asthma
- Neurotoxicant – poisonous to nerve tissue (spinal cord and brain)
- Developmental toxicant – causes adverse effects in the developing child
- Allergens, skin irritants
Ingredients To Avoid
- BHA and BHT – (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene)
- Endocrine disrupters and carcinogens
- Found in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives and in food and food packaging
- Used as an antioxidant in products. You may also see this ingredient in foods used as a preservative
- Hormone disrupters and inappropriate for infant as well as damaged skin
- Used in creams, bath, hair, and skin products. Watch out for this ingredient on diaper rash creams
- Used to prevent or stop bacterial growth, alter the thickness of a product, and to keep a product from separating into its oil and liquid parts
- Known human carcinogen
- Byproduct of coal processing; may be contaminated with heavy metals
- Used in some hair dye and dandruff and psoriasis shampoos as well as some regular shampoos
- Can react to form nitrosamines which may cause cancer
- Used to make cosmetics and soaps creamy or sudsy
- Found in moisturizers, sunscreen, soap, shampoo, cleansers
- Known human carcinogen, as well as asthmagen, neurotoxicant, and developmental toxicant
- Used as a preservative in a variety of cosmetics
- Contains hormone disrupters and allergens
- This is an unregulated term and many chemicals can be hidden under this name on labels
- Found in everything
- Used in some hair dyes and lipstick
- Used for colour
- Endocrine disruptors
- Used as preservatives in many cosmetics
- Propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl- parabens
- Could damage the male reproductive system
- Used in nail polish, hair spray, fragrances (this is one of the chemicals that falls under the header of fragrance)
- Neurotoxicant and can impair fetal development if used during pregnancy
- Used as a solvent in nail polish
- May cause cancer
- Used as a foaming agent in bubble bath, cleansers, shampoo
- Disrupts thyroid function and reproductive hormones and overuse may promote bacterial resistance
- Used in antibacterial cosmetics like toothpaste, cleansers, and antiperspirants and as a preservative in bath products, aftershave lotion, shampoos and many more products
- This is an environmental choice. So many of our food and body products contain palm oil, and the land used to grow the plant threatens the rainforest in the countries it is grown and all the species that call it home.
- Used as a skin conditioning agent and used as a thickener in cosmetic products
- You can cut this out or check individual products for use of sustainable palm oil
- Create a list of ingredients and keep it in your wallet so you have it with you at all times. Check the list each time you want to purchase a new product. As you find good products, you will spend less time on this step.
- Significantly reduce the amount of products you use. Question the necessity of all of your current products and cut down where you can. This is a long process where trial and error are your best friends. This is also great on a mental level because as you decrease the amount of products you use, you will see that you are beautiful just the way you are! It can take time, but I guarantee this is true!
- Look into purchasing from a smaller, more natural company that makes quality products. It will be easier to ask them questions and connect with them.
- Consider making your own products. I have just begun this process, and I am really enjoying it. Look for recipes on Pinterest and natural living sites online.
Recipes For Natural Products
- When oil pulling or using as a toothpaste, make sure to spit it out into a garbage can as opposed to down the drain. When coconut oil hardens in the drains, they get clogged and you’ll need professional help. It’s an expensive mistake that I want you to avoid,
- Some people’s skin reacts to coconut oil. If you have been using it for a while as a moisturizer and you are breaking out, you will want to find something less irritating to your skin.