If you’ve ever enjoyed the fresh flavors of Thai or Vietnamese food, you know how delicious lemongrass can be. But its culinary uses are just the beginning. Lemongrass essential oil is one of my favorite oils to use in everyday life and to add to shampoos, soaps, lotions, and more. Here’s why I love this bright, citrusy ingredient.
Who doesn’t like something colorful? I know I do. Take a look at your shampoos, soaps, lotions, and cosmetics and you’ll see a rainbow of lovely shades. Unfortunately, most manufacturers rely on artificial dyes to fill their products with color. Here’s everything you need to know about artificial colorants, and why they’re worth avoiding wherever you can:
Here’s a quick quiz: what used to be a way to control cockroach and lice infestations, and is now in our drinking water? The answer: fluoride.
Fluoride is difficult to avoid. It’s in our water, our juice, our wine and beer, and even in baby formula. While water fluoridation has been banned in most European countries, it’s everywhere in the American food supply. This is extremely troubling, as over-consumption of it has been linked to a number of very serious issues. Here are four of the most worrisome:
Bacteria, mold, and yeast are a fact of life. Sometimes they’re beneficial, but when it comes to health and beauty products? No thank you. Preservatives are a vital part of making sure your lotion, soap, or shampoo lasts long enough for you to use it.
Unfortunately, preservatives are also an area where you can run into trouble if you use conventional products. Take parabens, for example. While this widely used class of preservatives does extend shelf life, it is also associated with a number of troubling health concerns.
There are many nasty ingredients out there, but in this post I want to touch on two that I find particularly bad: Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol. Otherwise known as PEG and PG, these ingredients are found in your car, in your food, in your pharmaceuticals, and (you guessed it) in your personal care products. All this exposure is bad news if you value your health. Here’s why:
Most of the natural ingredients I use in my products aren’t something you already have in your kitchen. Olive oil, however, is a fantastic exception. It’s no secret that this oil is just as beneficial for cosmetic purposes as it is for culinary, but you might be surprised at just how many different ways there are to use this flexible, nourishing oil. Here are a few of my favorites:
Ingredients to Avoid: Aluminum
If you’re like me, deodorant is probably something you use every day, but not something you think too much about. Take a closer look at the ingredients on your favorite antiperspirant, though, and you’ll notice something that’s definitely worth some thought: aluminum. Aluminum is everywhere in our lives, but if your goal is to protect your health it’s something worth avoiding. Here’s why:
I used to think that apricots were only good for snacking, but when I started researching natural beauty ingredients I learned that this little fruit has much more to offer. With a little work apricot seeds can be made into an oil with incredible benefits for the skin and hair. Apricot Seed Oil is lightweight, has a beautiful fragrance, and is rich in nutrients that your body just loves. I never hesitate when I find a space for it in my products. Here’s why:
I’d like to take a minute to pay respect to a part of the body that’s often overlooked: the nose. Scientists estimate that the nose can distinguish between over 1 trillion different odors, making it the most sensitive organ in the body by far. Scent and memory are strongly combined, so with a single sniff your nose can transport you to some of the best times in your life. Your sense of smell is amazing.
So why abuse it with artificial fragrances?
I’m big on reducing waste. I compost my food scraps, I recycle my bottles and cans, and I take quick showers. So you can imagine how happy it makes me to use ingredients that derive from things that might otherwise be discarded. And if that ingredient also has amazing benefits for skin, hair, and overall health? Even better.