Favorite things: Clean Living Edition
We all know that what you eat impacts your body's functioning and how you feel. But what about all of the other products and materials that we don't ingest, but encounter in our day to day? Did you know that your skin is super absorbent, and that these ingredients affect our bodies as well?
We encounter and absorb a lot in our everyday environments. While we don't have control over it all, we can control the products we apply directly. I've personally been working on "cleaning up" my products over the past year (it can be a big transition!), and would love to share some of my new favorites with you here!
Facial Cleanser & Moisturizer
I have had (and continue to have!) a long history of acne and dry skin. While I survived my teenage years alright, my face actually hit its worst during my early 20's. I now understand the role that stress plays into this (i.e. working 25+ hours a week on top of a full time graduate program, simultaneous part-time graduate program, with break ups and new relationships thrown into the mix - Yay 20's!). But during the process of understanding this connection, I tried just about every topical acne treatment under the sun. From salicylic acid, to benzoyl peroxide, from retinol to chemical peels. Looking back I cringe at what I put my skin through, and all of the products I put into my system!
I've since learned that I don't want to strip the oils from my skin, and use oil-based cleansing instead. I experimented with several different types (rose hip seed, grape seed, coconut, avocado oil)... And found that my favorite is the Best Skin Ever Seabuckthorn oil blend from Living Libations. I feel so good about using this product (the feel, smell, everything!), and love the ease of using one simple product for both cleansing and moisturizing!
Like I mentioned above, I have always dealt with dry skin - on both my face and extremities. Peeling, flaking, itchiness- you name it. I have slathered countless lotions on my arms and legs. I never felt like I could stay on top of it, and was often left with sticky, slimy residues. Using lotions was a constant, and I never actually felt moisturized. And why is petroleum used in lotions anyway??
I've since simplified, and again have turned to oil. This time, coconut oil! While it can initially feel greasy, I feel good about putting it on my body and it leaves my skin feeling truly moisturized!
Who else has tried a "natural" deodorant and thought, 'well that was a waste of money'? I sure have! Probably fifty times over.. From sticky residues, to stained clothing, uncomfortable sensations, to straight up not working and not feeling or smelling fresh. I've been there.
But it was all worth it, because it eventually lead me to Schmidt's! I cannot sing the praises of this deodorant enough. So far I've tried Lavender + Sage, Charcoal + Magnesium, and Rose + Vanilla - and I've loved them all! An aluminum-free deodorant that works. 'Nuff said.
I'm fair-skinned. Like very fair-skinned. While I try to get some Vitamin D from the sun, the reality is that I still need A LOT of sunscreen if I'm going to enjoy the outdoors in the sunshine. But while their goal is to be protective, nasty ingredients get put into sunscreens too. It's overwhelming. I personally turn to the Environmental Working Group, who rates sunscreens and the individual ingredients they contain. Check out their 2017 sunscreen report, and see how your sunscreen measures up! It's an extra step, it usually costs a little more, but not much in the long run when you think about your body absorbing those ingredients!
I have used and liked Alba Botanica mineral sunscreens recently, but am going to try out Badger next (whose products have even better scores from EWG!).
This one is admittedly new territory for me. I love the outdoors and spending time outside. But I do not love bugs swarming, buzzing, and biting me. And I won't pretend like I've never been driven to use DEET before. But I'm working on it, and working on transitioning my products in this category as well! I made up a batch of Don't Waste the Crumbs' essential oil bug spray recipe towards the end of the summer. I used a mix of eucalyptus and wintergreen oils - two of my favorites! The jury is honestly still out on this one, as I didn't put it to the test in peak season, but I'll update you once I do!