If an extra-terrestrial were to appear in the United States right now, it would mostly likely think we must be some disgusting, filthy, “damn, dirty apes” based on what’s stocked on our stores’ shelves. Think about what you can find in a typical drugstore or cosmetic aisle. Here’s a sampling of products for making your:
-underarms smell like “Ambition” (No lie. I once had an anti-perspirant named that.)
–teeth whiter (Because, apparently, Jim Carrey’s The Mask is the ideal.)
-eyelashes longer (Seriously, when will the mascara madness stop? And the new product that helps you “grow longer lashes?” It’s as if no one will be happy until I can brush food off your face by blinking my eyes.)
-body smell like “Fresh” (whatever that means).
-hair shinier/smoother/curlier/straighter/drier/softer (like spun gold, Rumpelstiltskin!!!!)
-face smooth/wrinkle free/less oily/more moist (This is the equivalent of putting margarine on old bread; it’s still old bread–just with a layer of oil on it.)
-lips shiny/soft/smooth/pink/red/purple/brown (Yeah–it was popular at one point for white girls to have “toffee” lips.)
-cheeks rosier (“Awwww…I’m blushing!” All.day.long.)
-neck smell like “White Musk” (Does anyone buy that any more?)
-vagina scented as “Morning Paradise” or “Delicate Blossom”(No.comment.)
Beyond cosmetics, there are anti-bacterial hand soaps, gels, and lotions. There are cleansers for every surface of your home with chemicals guaranteed to “kill 99% of germs.” There are even paper towels made specifically for the bathroom because, god forbid, you actually REUSE A TOWEL one of your family members touched.
Why do we hate the human body in America?* When did it become so unfathomable to be anything other than “FRESH?”
You may have heard that some cosmetics are “bad,” but if you don’t know the backstory, it may not register. Watch The Story of Cosmetics below (brought to you by the people behind The Story of Stuff) to get the scoop:
Pretty infuriating, huh? When I started learning what was in my cosmetics, I went full-throttle and tossed everything in the trash or gave it away to charity if it was usable. (I now can’t bring myself to even “donate” toxic cosmetics.) It was a bit of a process, I’ll admit, finding products that suited my needs but were also non-toxic. My very first job was as a cashier at a drugstore where I’d end up spending my paycheck on makeup or the latest bodywashes, so needless to say, I LOVE a good product. I experimented with “natural” and “organic” brands I found in stores or online, liking some until I learned that their version of organic was too far from my ideal. At some point, I finally found my products, but it wasn’t without a realization:
Want to get rid of acne? Eat well. Get rid of dairy.
Want healthy hair? Eat well. Drink water.
Want stronger nails? Eat well. Get your vitamins.
Want a vagina that smells like Morning Paradise? –insert joke here–
I mentioned in an earlier post that if we avoid putting artificial substances into our bodies, we will be less concerned with the artificial that is outside our bodies. I’ll tell you what has happened to me. I no longer buy fashion magazines, which are ripe with cosmetic ads, because they don’t apply to me. I no longer shop at drugstores because there is literally nothing there that I need. I don’t worry about cosmetic ads on television, because I know they’re hallucinations of a perfect woman. In short, I have been freed from society’s and the media’s hold on my confidence. I decide how I want to feel and how I want to look. I control it because I control what goes into my body.
All that being said, this girl still likes a good product so here’s what we use in our house:
Shampoo: Dr. Wood’s Shea Butter Black Soap (This stuff lasts forever.)
Conditioner: Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner
Soap/bodywash: Dr. Wood’s Shea Butter Black Soap
Deodorant: See my post about natural deos that WORK
Makeup: Everyday Minerals
Toothpaste: J/a/s/o/n PowerSmile
Styling products: If I use anything, I use Aveda, which is not the best choice, but I rarely use hair products.
Lotion: Rose of Sharon Acres, or olive oil or coconut oil
Fragrance: wiggle perfume
Baby shampoo and diaper cream: Earth Mama Angel Baby®
Coupled with a diet that is full of whole grains, organic proteins, and with minimal dairy and sugar intake and maximum water intake, I find that my teeth stay white, my hair shines, and I don’t get zits. (And when I’ve had too much sugar or dairy, I get a pimple or two and my scalp gets flaky.) I think it is also telling that I am very sensitive to the scent of artificial fragrances now, to the point where I won’t walk down the cleanser or laundry aisle of any store.
The Bottom Line: what you put into (or onto) your body has to go somewhere. If your body can’t recognize or process it, it will eventually affect your organs. (The skin is your biggest organ!) Less products=less problems.
What are some of your favorite products? Are there any toxic products you can’t live without?
*Worse yet, why do we hate the FEMALE body in America? There is a clear feminist spin I could take here, but I really just want to note that the issue of cosmetic toxins is not only an issue of health, but of WOMEN’S health, and consequently, CHILDREN’S health.)
Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, I might get a small portion of your purchase–at no cost to you, of course. I like to think of it as a win-win situation. I’m grateful if you click my affiliate links, but that is completely up to you.