If you've been an avid blog reader of mine, you know how important my health is to me. I spent so many years of early adulthood not truly understanding what it meant to be healthy. What foods (and how much of those foods) I should be consuming. I seriously thought that carbs were evil. Not allowed. That cardio was the most effective form of exercise and that I should be doing it every single day. I didn't know. I read all of these articles from countless magazines searching for that "magic cure" to get my thighs not to touch, to get that six pack that I'd always thought was the definition of being "fit". You can read more about My Story but, ultimately, when it came down to it, it took me really listening to my body and trying out various programs before I really knew what my body needed.
And because of programs like the 21 Day Fix, I now can truly say that for the first time in my adult life, my relationship to food is healthy. That I am properly fueling my body with the right kinds of foods. That my cravings have completely disappeared. That I don't feel the need to step on the scale every single day and see if it's moved. That I am never, ever hungry (which, for those of you who know me intimately know how much of a WIN that is for me). And I am the most fit I have ever been in my life, and hell noooo do I have a six pack. Can I do a shit ton of burpees and swing some heavy ass kettle bells? You bet your ass I can. So in terms of internal health, I am finally starting to figure this shit out. And I am happier and more full of energy than I have ever been.
But what I was realizing was that I wasn't giving the same amount of love to myself on the outside. What do I mean by that? I mean my skin. The skin is the body's largest organ and absorbs what you put into it. Why did I never realize how important it is to know what's inside the products I use? Being aware of what of what ingredients were in my creams, my shampoos, my deodorant, my face wash...everything! I had no stinking' clue. Nobody had ever said, 'hey, you probably don't want to be using that cream. It has a buuuunch of ingredients in there that are super toxic.' -- I'd been using Herbal Essences shampoos and dove deodorant my entire life and it didn't kill me, right? What's the big deal?
Well, here's the thing. It is a big deal. And as it turns out, I have been putting awful toxins in my body without even being aware of it for my entire life.
I found out a few years back that I could have the cancer gene. The only reason I don't know the answer to that? Well, I'm scared shitless to find out. I mean, if you could take a blood test that would tell you if you had a 75% greater likelihood of developing cancer by the time you're 60, wouldn't you be terrified to find out? Because once you know, you know. And I imagine that it would start to feel like a ticking time bomb, slowly eating away at you...your thoughts just waiting for the cancer to show it's nasty face. Am I going to get tested? Yes. Hopefully, this year actually. (Stay tuned for that) The way I see it, I'd rather know so that I can do everything in my power to prevent it than be constantly sitting in the dark. But, in the meantime, I decided to start actively using skin and beauty products that are toxin free. I'm not 100% perfect about the -- I still am working to find a shampoo that I like that doesn't leave my hair feeling perpetually greasy.
But these products are some of the BEST I've discovered and best of all? All natural, all safe ingredients.
** I am in no way affiliated with LUSH, I just happen to LOOOVE their products**
The Dream Cream from LUSH
This cream is seriously the best thing I have ever invested in. The entire pot is $27.95 and it usually lasts me anywhere from 4-6 months. I grew up with seriously awful eczema on my hands, and perpetually dry skin. I tried every cream you could possibly find at the drugstore, even prescription creams from my doctor and nothing worked. The Dream Cream made my skin completely clear, smooth and soft. And it has continued to do so for the past two years. Main ingredients are oat milk, lavender, chamomile and olive oil.
Do yourself a favor and buy this. It's a lifesaver.
Ultrabland from LUSH
I hate washing my face. I have really dry skin and I just have never been able to find a cleanser that makes my skin feel fresh & clean but also moisturized. Enter Ultrabland from LUSH. Now I will say that this is a more recent addition to my daily regiment, but holy wow do I love this stuff. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and my dry spots are gone. Main ingredients are almond oil, rose water, honey and beeswax.
All Natural Soap
So this should have been a no brainer for me but for some reason it really wasn't something I started doing until I came across this bar of soap in this little store in the middle of nowhere Michigan. I read the ingredients and I was like "ahhh I understand all of these!" And there are so many stores around nowadays that carry stuff like this. So find a scent you love and go to town!
Tom's is one of the few brands I've found that is all natural, aluminum free AND affordable. A stick is $4.99 and they now have a bunch of different scents -- my favorite is the lavender. It took a week or so for my body to adjust to not having all of the extra crap in my previous deodorant and I was a bit smellier for it, but after that, I apply it in the morning after my showers and I'm good to go.
Mask of Magnaminty from LUSH
I have lately been ALL about Face masks. Seriously, don't know how I lived without them. Never going back. And the Mask of Magnaminty is my all-time favourite. The small pot ($13.95) is really all you need if you're only doing it once a week or so. And it smells just like mint chocolate chip ice cream -- WIN. Just don't eat it. Trust me, I tried it. Not the best decision. Main ingredients: Kaolin, honey, peppermint.
All of this is to say, do your research & know what you're putting on your body. Read the ingredients of the things you use every day and make sure that you're being safe! You'd be surprised. Click here for an excellent article on the ingredients you should avoid. Your body will thank you, I promise!