February 01, 2018 3 min read

It has been some time since I first took a good hard look at the aerosol deodorant I used every day and wondered what it contained.  I was a university student and fitness fanatic playing several sports, and up until that point I had naively never considered what might be lurking in a product that a New Zealand women’s sports team was being used to promote on television. 

Next was body lotion, after looking at the long list of scientific sounding ingredients on the back of the bottle, and figuring that as I was covering the greatest amount of skin on my body with this product I should probably tick this off next.  I spent hours in supermarkets and pharmacies reading the ingredients labels on products, trying to decipher what seemed like another language and feeling disappointed with what was available.
Since then I have replaced every product I use with a healthier, natural option.  The payoff has been that the products I use are cruelty free, natural and/or organic, are transparent with the ingredients they use, are kinder to the environment and in many cases produced by small or family owned businesses, and my skin and health have thanked me for it.

It can seem a daunting task to move away from long term products but there are
different ways to approach it and what is right for others might not work for you. 
I have heard of people who have gone cold turkey and emptied their make-up bag, shower and bathroom of products and started over.  While this is quite a straight forward approach, depending on how many products you use regularly it might be a bit of cash to outlay in one hit.

I took a more measured approach to the process for several reasons;

  1. Things like makeup can take time to replace as they may require colour matching of foundations, blushers, eyeshadows etc and also finding a range that works with your skin type.
  2. I prioritised which products I felt were the most toxic due to the chemicals they contained and replaced these first.
  3. I test ran different products and brands until I found ones that I love using and that worked best on my sensitive skin.
  4. I started my daughter off as I meant to continue… Children’s and especially baby's skin is a lot more sensitive, plus their little bodies are more susceptible to the chemicals used in mainstream products.
  5. Aside from being free from nasties, I also wanted to make sure any product I used was not tested on animals, was environmentally responsible and did what it said it was going to do.

I did take the outright step of reducing the toxin load in our house by switching to only natural cleaning and laundry products and essential oils, this was a simple switch and actually means I use fewer products and no nasty chemicals!

These days we are fortunate that there are truly natural alternatives for just about every product we can think of.  Not only do they look and smell good, they work well too which is an essential criteria for obvious reasons.  Now thanks to social media we are also able to read up on the products and the companies that produce them and select ones that line up with our personal values.

So it doesn’t matter whether you decide to dive in boots and all, work through your house room by room, or maybe you are just looking to start a new skin care regime or replace your make-up with something that ticks all the right boxes. 

Remember even if you are only at the research stage, as with any journey, the most important part is taking a first step.