In today's marketplace, many body products that claim to be "natural" contain unhealthy or cancer causing ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate and cocamide DEA. A great number of ordinary people are developing allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities (mcs) due to the constant bombardment of un-natural and unhealthy chemical substances in our water, food and air in the home, workplace or general environment.
Certain external factors are hard to control. However, accurate and reliable information is important to give the consumer the ability to choose. It all comes down to the choices we make as to how we maintain our health and take care of our unique ecosystem, the Earth.
Here are some suggestions to help you choose healthy, hypo-allergenic 100% all-natural body products and avoid developing or aggravating allergies and chemical sensitivity:
As a matter of common sense, if a substance is known for its toxicity it is not a good idea to put it on your body, especially in your mouth.. Our modern obsession with toothpastes that are full of sweeteners and foaming agents (sodium lauryl sulfate, cancer agent), have very little to do with oral hygiene. People in the third world have beautiful teeth from using natural substances to clean their teeth. In the days of our pioneer ancestors, natural sea salt and baking soda were the preferred substances known to work quite well, and they still do. The best sea salt available, is hand-harvested sea salt unrefined and full of minerals, gentle to human tissue. It is good for health to avoid all substances that are overly refined and stripped of nutrients. White refined seasalt is considered no better then table salt.
From Australia comes a very special essential oil that is found in many natural products, It is called tea tree oil, known for centuries for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. In the Australian outback it is more precious than most western remedies..The problem with most toothpastes is that the therapeutic effect of the beneficial ingredients gets lost in complex chemical formulas, If you can't pronounce it, you should probably stay away from it. A good alternative is all-natural toothpowder.
The human skin absorbs whatever substance you place on it. Many beauty and skin care products are full of petroleum by-products (which do not, contrary to popular belief, make your skin more smooth.) One of the secrets of beautiful smooth skin are the essential fatty acids, found in the natural oils of raw nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seed oil and flax or hemp seed oil are the best oils to take in your daily diet. These oils are the gold mines of health and nutrition and they should always be taken raw, not cooked. They contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are essential to health.
Now as far as what is the body oil par excellence, the ancient Egyptians used the oil of the sweet almond. This light, golden oil must be cold pressed and unrefined to have the natural vitamin E and have healing properties. This nourishing oil can be used for massage or in formulas to make natural balms. There are a few quality natural balms on the market today and the ingredients are getting better. However, always read the ingredients list, and ask questions.
Anything aromatherapy is popular right now, and this has made to surface an extensive amount of knowledge and practical information with regards to the health and healing aspects of essential oils, True, therapeutic quality essential oils, (which should not be confused with 'fragrance oils') are the steam distilled essences of plants, flowers, trees... In a world that is constantly assaulted by toxic substances, pure essential oils bring us back to the natural world and subdue our daily stresses and conflicts. They work not only on our noses, but deeply on our nervous system all the way to the cellular level. Gardens and orchards and wild woods are the birthplaces of these fine aromas, and essential oils capture what nature has to offer, for our health and well-being.
For years many of us who are into sports or martial arts were familiar with Tiger Balm. It smelled strong, stained our skin reddish brown and helped our sore muscles. However, some of the ingredients were not what we wanted to put on our bodies.The base is petroleum and now there is concern about camphor, one of the active ingredients. A good muscle balm should have a pure base of natural oil and beeswax, blended with the time tested essential oils of ginger, birch and eucalyptus, which are known to be effective for sore and strained muscles, with the added benefit of their spicy aroma.
When looking for an effective, quality lip balm, seek out all-natural products containing essential oils such as chamomile: an expensive, wonderfully healing essence which greatly improves the general health and condition of any type of skin but is especially valuable for care of the delicate skin on the lips. Other great lip care essential oils are tea tree and benzoin, known to heal cracked skin and increase elasticity. Jojoba, a natural plant wax, contributes sunscreening properties. Some essential oils are not really appropriate for the lips, notably citrus oils which are drying and can cause sun sensitization. Some so-called natural lip balms contain flavours, which are not generally from natural sources or may contain chemicals. Be a label detective!
Ingredients and formulation are important, but so is packaging. How much more plastic can we send to the landfill? Also, not all plastics are of food grade quality. Many plastics are known to be toxic to humans. It is for these reasons that conscious companies provide recyclable glass containers or re-usable non-plastic containers. After all, how we treat the Earth and ourselves reflects on us for generations to come.
100% All-natural body products reflect a deep concern for our health, our well-being, and the blue planet that hosts our existence. Enjoy life and do smell the flowers!
article by: Spirit Bear Body Care
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