Alison Estill believes that what we put on our body goes into our body. As a beauty educator for Tallgrass, a wholesale distributor that carries 20 different natural personal care lines, Estill knows more about the potential side-effects of some of the chemical ingredients lurking in conventional beauty products than the average consumer.
“Most chemicals in products are in such a low percentage that they’re not considered toxic, but when you take product A and mix it with product B, all of these secondary interactive effects of the chemicals start happening in the body. You’re absorbing chemicals that your body has no way of metabolizing,” she says.
“The average North American woman uses 12 to 15 personal care products daily.” She adds. “When you consider the chemical bath that most of us are taking daily, it’s quite disconcerting.”
Don’t get scared, get informed! In honour of Earth Day, Estill shares some easy ways to get natural.
Image courtesy of Kaitlyn Kalon
What does ‘natural’ really mean?
The word ‘natural’ is unregulated. But, being natural is like being pregnant, you either are or you’re not. Read the label. For something to be actually ‘natural’ all of its ingredients are 100 per cent based in nature.
Check the certification
Generally speaking, natural ingredients are as close to source as possible, so look for things you can eat. When we use products that have ingredients that can be digested like food, the body naturally integrates those vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants into the skin.
Swap out your chemical products for natural products
Your personal care is the highest exposure to chemicals that you can control, even greater then the food you eat. Look at the products you use everyday. Start there and swap those out right away for a more natural version.
Shop at smart retailers
One great thing is to find a retailer that’s done the work for you, like Community Natural Foods. They only carry products that are hyper-clean.
To the internet!
Google the company. What’s their mandate? A really ethical manufacturer will make it abundantly clear that they refrain from using chemicals and animal testing.
It’s OK to use some chemical products, really
If you want to eat at MacDonalds from time to time, that doesn’t make you a bad person, or unhealthy. It’s the same with conventional products. If it works for you fantastic. It’s just about the awareness about what we’re putting on our bodies and how that might be affecting our health.