What to swap first? Here are the most important products when going natural.
Where to start can seem overwhelming when you think of all the products you use on your body every day. But, stop and think about the products you use most often and cover a large majority of your body. Body care products, like body washes and lotions usually contain an undesirable amount of synthetic fragrance, harsh chemicals that can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading us to actually use more of the product because we think it isn’t working. Well, what if it was designed that way?
Body washes and soaps contain ingredients like, triclosan, sodium laurel sulfate, and fragrance. All of which have been recognized as potentially harmful, but more importantly, just aren’t great when you are trying to cleanse and nourish your skin.
Swap out your drugstore gallon size body wash for something oil based! Your skin will feel hydrated and soft as opposed to dry and tight. Whether it is a beautiful bar of soap sitting in your shower, or a gel body wash, your skin will be much happier.
Body lotion is another product that you slather over your entire body. Again, usually filled with less than desirable ingredients to support the skin’s barrier function. Large amounts of fragrance can also irritate the skin if you have any sort of skin sensitivities. Switching to a body oil can also be very effective because you don’t need any chemicals for emulsification and preservation. Body oils lie on top of the skin and prevent dehydration by trapping water and decreasing transepidermal water loss. Not to mention body oils tend to last longer because you can essentially create your own emulsification (which is what a water-based body lotion is) by applying oil when your skin is still wet or damp from the shower.
The last product that we feel is important when initially making the switch to more natural, plant-powered products is, deodorant. Your skin was designed to sweat! Sudoriferous glands help to regulate body temperature and eliminate small amounts of waste by excreting sweat. Odors associated with these glands are due to the interaction of sweat and bacteria on the surface of the skin. Antiperspirants are designed to block sweat glands by being formulated with aluminum and other harsh ingredients. Because underarm antiperspirants are applied near the breast and contain potentially harmful ingredients, several scientists and others have suggested a possible connection between their use and breast cancer. But, because studies of antiperspirants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research would be needed to determine whether a relationship exists. We recommend an all-natural deodorant that includes plant-based powders to help absorb moisture and wick away sweat.