I’ve had a bad few days (so much for that “final week” push!) Again, not any sort of binge or entire-day-eating-junk-food bad but following a big omelette dinner with about a bowl of salted tortilla chips kinda bad. My stomach also isn’t all that impressed as I spent most of yesterday afternoon/evening feeling like something just wasn’t right. It definitely wasn’t a stomachache… it was lower. A kind of bloated, unhappy, “I’m digesting this but not easily” kind of feeling. I think it might have been from eating granola all afternoon instead of just as a snack when I didn’t have a chance to go out and grab lunch.
So instead of me moaning about my bad eating or unhappy gut or whatever, I’m going to write about something that makes me feel good and that I think you guys might be interested in. It’s not technically diet or exercise related, but it is health and beauty related, so I figure it fits with the overall idea of looking and feeling as good as possible. Plus it involves food products!
It’s amazing, to me, that so many people can be super conscious about what they are putting in their bodies – eating only organics, drinking purified water, etc – and yet continue to use commercial beauty products that are absolutely loaded with all sorts of crazy chemicals. Your skin absorbs these chemicals and they get into your body!
When I was trying to figure out why my hair was thinning, I started reading about SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and how bad it can be – including causing hair to thin. Eventually I read enough and decided to cut it out completely.
I started washing my hair with about a bit of baking soda dissolved in water followed by a rinse of diluted lemon juice to close the cuticles and balance the pH levels. (Most website you read will suggest apple cider vinegar as the rinse, but I just can’t get over the smell. Lemon juice is similar and, to me, smells much better!) It doesn’t get all soapy and bubbly like normal shampoo, but it gets my hair clean without drying out my scalp and I’m finding I don’t need to wash my hair every single day. In fact, I can go about 3-4 days before it starts looking a little greasy and I need to wash it. It’s been about 8 months since I’ve cut out traditional shampoo and I can’t see myself swapping back anytime soon.
It is amazing.
I have always used moisturizers. My skin is just too dry naturally to go without. It was always a balancing act to try to find a moisturizer that actually moisturized my skin and didn’t just sit on top of it. Trying to find something like that which also didn’t cause breakouts (and didn’t cost a fortune) was always a struggle. When I ran out of my beloved Vichy moisturizer – which I can’t get here in New Zealand – I started searching around for a replacement and read about extra virgin olive oil being used as a moisturizer. I was a little hesitant about slathering oil on my face, but after reading so many glowing reviews I decided to try it. (On a weekend when I didn’t have any plans, of course!)
I now won’t use anything else. Right out of the shower, while my skin is still damp, I’ll smooth about 1/2 a tsp on my face and neck and another tbsp or two onto my arms and legs. My skin absorbs it and stays soft and smooth until the next shower. Olive oil actually helps balance your skin’s oil production, so it’s good for both dry AND oily skin. It’s also a great makeup remover as well as an exfoliant when salt or sugar is added to it.
There are so many other mass produced, chemical-ladened products that have green, natural alternatives, but those two are the two I use regularly and have so for an extended period of time and that I would recommend everyone try for at least a few weeks to see the results.
Are you conscious about chemicals and toxins in your makeup and beauty products or do you focus more on what’s going in – not on – your body? Do you have any natural alternatives to traditional beauty products you use regularly? Would you be likely to try a natural alternative or are you happy sticking with traditional products?