We all want to look good and smell great, and we buy products to do just that.  We spray ourselves with perfumes and rub creams into our hair and skin.  We'll try cosmetic products because we want the best image possible.  We want to receive all the benefits the products we use promote, but we don't pay attention to the chemicals inside these products.

As a result of the chemicals in these products, many people develop skin reactions.  Skin reactions are developed from the use of perfumes, deodorants, shampoos, body sprays, body washes and bubble bath soaps. They are appealing because of their scent, accessiblity, cost and perceived benefit.  But, don't be fooled, most of our everyday products contain perfumes, preservatives and colors that are known skin irritants. And as a result, more and more people are experiencing skin reactions to these cosmetics.

Preservatives are chemicals found in the formula of many cosmetics today.  Paraben preservatives, in particular, are used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi on the skin. They also extend the shelf life of products.  Parabens are synthetic preservatives that have been around since the 1920s.  They work within a formula to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast, mold and fungi.  Unfortunately, recent studies have linked parabens to breast cancer and endocrine disruption issues.  They account as a small percentage within a product, but they are quite potent.  It is believed that the parabens can imitate the female hormone estrogen, when the product reaches the skin.  It absorbs into the skin, and will disperse throughout the body via the bloodstream.  But now, with research mounting against the effects of synthetic parabens, most companies are offrering paraben free products, and opting to include more natural and organic ingredients.  

Perfumes and fragrances smell good and may attract potential mates, but, they also contain chemicals that can cause allergic reactions.  Products with strong odors or scents, contain chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOC).  These chemicals can destroy brain cells and cause cancer.

Below is a list of alternatives to the chemical laden cosmetic products sold in stores today.

1. Bodywash and bubble bath: Although they smell great and give you a good feeling, the chemicals they contain penetrate the skin and lungs.  They contain detergents such as sodium laureth sulphate, and cocamidoprophyl, and preservatives like tetradodium EDTA.   As an alternative, use vegetable or glycerin based soaps.  You can even make your own vegetable and glyercin soaps.



Soap Glycerine Jasmine 4 Ounces
Amazon Price: $2.04 $1.21 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 10, 2013)

You can also purchase castile soap.  It contains natural ingredients and is gentler on the skin, doesn't cause skin reactions and is inexpensive.


Dr Bronners Magic Pure-Castile Soap Baby-Mild 32 oz
Amazon Price: $16.99 $10.57 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 10, 2013)

Purchase essential oils, such as, lavendar, orange or lemon and dilute 4-10 drops of the essential oil in a tablespoon  of milk, then pour it into the bath.  This will help distribute the oils evenly around the bath.

2. Oral care: Gently brush your teeth for 2 minutes.  The brand of the toothpaste is not the issue, neither is the paste, what matters most is how long and thorough you brush.  So brush longer and gentler.  Use a soft toothbrush and don't use a lot of toothpaste; a pea sized amount is good.  You can also dilute the toothpaste in cooled boiled water.

3. Deodorants:  Although they keep pores from letting out odorous sweat from the body, many are aluminum based and highly toxic and irritating to the skin.   The best advice is to avoid using aerosol sprays and switch to solid sticks.  Avoid colored deodorants also.  The derived colors are easily absorbed into the skin. As an alternative try witch hazel.  Soak a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply to your armpits. Cornstarch can also be used. And lastly, try mixing your own body spray consisting of essential oils and water  Just mix 5-10 drops of an essential oil with 4 oz of water.

These are just a few of the ways you can clean your body, smell great and be safe all at the same time.  Replacing the cosmetics we use everyday is a great choice, but may not be easy.  We are so accustomed to same chemical laden products we find on the shelves that change will be hard.  But, changing to more healthy options is worth researching and trying.  Start off replacing one item at a time, and eventually you'll wonder why it took so long.  Your body will feel fresher, cleaner and you'll feel even better!