Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why I'm going all natural & minimalist with beauty products

Starting from the top and going clockwise: Dr. Organics Vitamin E Deodorant; Henné Color Paris Henna Powder (Acajou); Dr. Organics Pomegranate Lip Balm; Ancient Wisdom Peppermint Essential Oil; organic rosemary leaves from D.'s grandparents' yard; Próvida Natural Green Clay Powder (from a local herb shop).

"The average person slathers, lathers, rubs and sprays, 10 different skin care products on his or her body every day--and since our skin acts more like a sponge than a barrier, we absorb the nearly 130 chemicals we regularly expose ourselves to. Cosmetics companies and the FDA maintain that these chemicals are safe, and many of them are--in small doses at least. But consider that the average woman wears makeup every day, and you begin to understand how a little dab here a quick spray there begins to add up. The fact is, no one really knows how certain chemicals affect us over time, or how they react in our bodies in combination. Other chemicals have known dangers: Phthalates, for example, which are often found in artificial fragrances, are a class of hormone disruptor which can be linked to birth defects, sperm damage, infertility, and the feminization of baby boys, for instance."
- from TreeHugger.com
I love beauty products. Well, which woman doesn't? A couple of years ago, you'd find a clutter of all kinds of traditional, chemical-filled cosmetics in my beauty cabinet; creams, lotions and scrubs for all body parts - face, feet, hands, you name it. Make up and make up removers, hair mousse, firming and toning creams. As an Oriflame Cosmetics dealer (who now hasn't placed an order for over an year), I'd go through the monthly catalogs in my mailbox and, when I found something I could make use of at a lower price than usual, I'd buy it. Don't take me wrong- I would never buy more than what I actually needed but sometimes my orders would also bring a gift, so there would be two different hand creams or two different face masks in my cabinet at times.
All of this may sound like heaven for any beauty and wellcare passionate. But the fact is, over the last couple of years, I've come to explore the world of natural, minimalist beauty and now I don't want anything else. So, this year, I began making the switch.

Why, exactly?, you must be wondering. While indeed no person has dropped dead after putting some conventional mascara or body butter on (although there have been cases of severe allergic reactions, for example, to hair dyes), it's important to be aware that our skin absorbs pretty much every chemical present in our everyday products. While most of these chemicals have been shown not to be harmful in small doses, some of them do have known dangers in the long-term. There have been significant correlations between, for instance, aluminum in conventional antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer, or parabens and hormonal disruption. These studies may not be entirelly conclusive but, as I said, I believe it's of utter importance to be aware of your own body and listen to what it's trying to tell you in your everyday life.

For example, about a month ago, my mother offered me a bottle of 'rose water' as a cheap alternative for me to use as a face toner. Sweet, I thought. After all, rose water is a nice adstringent, smells nice, and it's natural. Or, not always. I have to say that I've been blessed with clear skin since my late teenage years. I really took good care of my skin when I was a teen and, nowadays, it's really, really rare for me to get a pimple on my face. But a week after I started using that rose water twice a day, I was surprised to look at myself in the mirror and notice this huge breakout. Blemishes everywhere, some of them painful pimples. I checked the ingredients list on the bottle and this is what I found:
Aqua, Aroma, PEG Hidrogenated Castor Oil, Methcloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Citronellol, Geraniol and CI 16255.
In other words, I found lots of stuff, but no actual roses.



I immediately stopped using that rose water and around 10 days after, my skin was back to normal. Then I wondered, was the breakout due to my moontime? Something I ate? So I gave the 'rose water' another try. Another week later, I had acne again. So nope. Not touching that thing again. Kill it with fire.

Lately, on the other hand, I've also been giving some natural products a try. Although I am aware that some of them may not be as 'natural' as they claim, they are at least free of chemicals that have been shown to be harmful, like parabens, triclosan and others. Overall, I've been loving it. I can already see that making the switch from conventional to natural is a very long, arduous process. It requires a lot of research and a lot of experimenting - because, after all, our bodies are not the same - not to mention that most natural alternatives are more expensive comparing to popular traditional products. It's important to take one step at a time and, again, listen to your body. I am still using most of my conventional products and slowly, as they finish, I'll purchase and try a more natural alternative- IF it's something I really need. My main goal is to have an all-natural and eco-friendly beauty cabinet, as well as simplify it all, adopting the concept of "less is more". Not only my body will thank me, but also both my wallet and D. will. :)


To give you an idea, the products featured in these pictures are things I have been putting together over the last 6 months. Yes, months. As I said, I still have a relatively well stuffed cabinet and my budget is pretty tight until I finally get a job (or Terra + Luna miraculously grows exponentially). Also, I believe that this change should be gradual, so I can allow my body to get used to the changes and adapt. Anyway, I am faithful that I'll have many more things to say about the world of natural beauty & wellcare by the end of the year.

What are your thoughts on natural beauty products? Do you love them, or do you prefer the conventional products for their accessibility? If you're an apologist of this kind of products as well, I would love to hear some advice from you!
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2 comments:

  1. Nice Inspirations

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    1. What a very nice blog, I love your style! Sad although that I can't speak german. :(
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