I am so excited about the Change Challenge for February – Personal Care Products.
Over the past 5-6 months, I have been changing out the personal care products that I use for more natural options. While green cleaning is pretty foundational to being frugally green, taking the step to changing what you use on your hair, and face, and skin might be a bit more of a leap for some of you, but I can’t wait to share some of the things I have tried with you.
Throughout this month we’ll be looking at our beauty and personal care products and talking about alternatives to conventional shampoo, conditioner, face soap, toothpaste, lotion, even deodorant, and maybe a few more if I have time.
The reason I am so excited about this topic is that I really feel like this is probably the MOST frugally green thing that I do. I can’t even begin to calculate how much money these changes have saved me over the past 6 months, and the savings will only increase as I continue to use these methods. It has also simplified my life in so many ways, and simplicity is definitely foundational to being frugally green.
To begin this challenge, I want you to go and take a look at the ingredient lists on the products that you use every day. Look at your shampoo and conditioner, your other hair care products, your shower gel, your face soap and lotion, your deodorant, your toothpaste, your makeup, your kid’s bath soap, bubble bath and lotion. Read the labels. Do you know what those ingredients are? Here’s a few things to be on the lookout for: sodium laurel sulfate, parabans, propylene glycol, aluminum, fragrance, and triclosan. We’ll go into more detail later about why these ingredients should be avoided.
Why is this challenge important? Our skin is our largest organ and anything that we put onto our skin gets absorbed into our bodies and blood streams. You may think of your skin as a kind of barrier, I know I used to, keeping what’s outside out, and what’s inside in. But it’s actually pretty much the complete opposite. Don’t believe me? Rub a clove of garlic on your foot you will taste it in your mouth within several minutes. The skin is meant to absorb things into our bodies. Unfortunately, most personal care products are made up of all kinds of chemicals, most of which have not been evaluated for their effects on the human body. We would be wise to choose carefully the products that we use on our bodies.
Photo by Toban Black