As we examine the impact of the clothes we buy, we can't help but examine the impact of another important part of our regular spending - beauty products. The average person uses tons of cosmetic products everyday - shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, hairspray, makeup, perfume, etc. Unfortunately it has become the norm for cosmetic companies to put harmful chemicals in these products to cover up bad smells, ensure a product has a long shelf life, create a particular feel or colour, release a strong scent...the list could go on! These chemicals can cause skin irritation, hormone and internal organ dysfunction, neurotoxicity, pollute our natural environment and are often ruthlessly tested on animals.
With so many of us using multiple cosmetic products everyday, what begins as a small amount of harmful ingredients in one product, quickly accumulates to large doses being absorbed into our bodies and washed down our drains. In fact, over 1 328 cosmetic product ingredients have been banned in the European Union and Canada because of concerns that they "may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive ills". Only 10 are banned in the US.
This can all be quite overwhelming, but fear not! There are a wealth of natural cosmetics available in a diversity of price ranges. Natural cosmetics are derived in part or whole from natural sources, without synthetic materials. Because of this they nourish instead of irritate our bodies. They do not cause internal dysfunction and are gentle on the planet. Check out www.safecosmetics.org for an abundance of detailed and reliable information about the cosmetic industry.
Our quick tips on getting a more "natural" cosmetic routine:
- Simplify - What is necessary? What is simply tricky advertising, with no proven benefit to your body?
- Read the label - Even the term "natural" does not guarantee a product is truly toxin-free, know your dirty dozen and find brands committed to transparency and readable labels.
- Do-It-Yourself - We love Trash is for Tossers for simple, clean body care recipes.
Some of My New Neighbour's favourites...
Apple Island Naturals
Currently Loving: Purple Haze (Lavendar) Bath and Body Oil
Each time I use my bath and body oil I get that invigorating 'post-spa feeling'. Apple Island Naturals has an outstanding commitment to sourcing locally; using only ethical Canadian suppliers for all ingredients and is thoughtfully made in British Columbia. The products are affordable, long-lasting and can be purchased in Calgary at The Natural Art of Skincare.
Rocky Mountain Soap Company
Currently Loving: Pomegranate Day Cream
Rocky Mountain Soap Company is a staple for local, natural skincare in Alberta and beyond. Based in Canmore, AB with locations all over Western Canada and an online store, they make buying quality natural products simple. Their staff are kind and always happy to assist with their wide range of products.
As a make up minimalist, I love ease of application and feel of RMS products. Many of their items are made with a coconut oil base using fully recyclable packaging. Their product line has a 'cult following' in the beauty industry and once you experience RMS, it's easy to see why. Currently, there aren't any retailers in the Calgary area but their products are well worth ordering online.
Eminence Organic Skin Care
Currently Loving: Blueberry Soy Night Recovery Cream
Eminence uses sustainable, biodynamic farming practices to create handmade natural products that are pure enough to eat! The omission of harmful fillers ensures their products are ultra concentrated. This means a little goes a long way, so your Eminence product will last a very long time. Typically for me, it takes 6 months to finish off a moisturizer and about a year before I run out of their cleanser. Eminence has a massive range of items for all skin types, try their Product Recommender to see which products are right for you.
Moodybee Lip Balm
Currently Loving: Vanilla Peppermint Beeswax Lip Balm
Moodybee is a perfectly pepperminted beeswax lip balm made by a beekeeper in Kimberley, BC. The balm is touted to be the "best lip balm ever" and we whole heartedly agree! The smooth application and subtle scent have us keeping one in every pocket, pouch and drawer.
Currently Loving: Wintergreen Remineralizing Toothpaste
If you're going to enter the natural toothpaste game, you're going to have to come with an open mind and willing taste buds. Leaving behind big-brand toxic toothpastes for a more natural option means leaving behind what you're used to and trying something new for the long term health of your body and the environment. After a long search, Nelson Naturals is my top choice for natural toothpaste. With an easily understood and unique ingredient list, recyclable packaging and small-batch Canadian production, it has easily become my go-to.