Around the time I stopped blogging, mid-2017, I experienced a horribly uncomfortable case of dermatitis, an inflammation of the skin with symptoms such as itchiness, rash, scaling, and peeling. Unfortunately this was caused by a body cleansing product that I had been using off and on for years. It was a higher end brand, and formulated to be delicate on the skin. What I didn’t realize was that it included some known skin irritant chemicals as well as fragrance. I began to research what “fragrance” actually is and I was blown away by how unsafe these additives in cosmetics can be! Here’s a link to an article on safecosmetics.com on fragrance in products.
I’ve always considered myself to have sensitive skin, even as a kid, baby lotion and body wash and facial soap bars all irritated my skin – turning it red, raw, flaking, itchy, and tender. After I learned that these everyday cosmetics products (skincare, body cleansing, makeup, etc.) almost always have at least one known skin irritant included in their formulations, I had a moment of disgust. These brands don’t mention a warning that their products may have unsafe ingredients, even when they market products for sensitive or delicate skin issues (they love to use hot words like “natural”, “gentle”, “green”, “clean”, “clear”, and so many more manipulative terms). However, they still have harsh chemicals in their formulas.
I felt like I’ve been gullible all my life, assuming if something wasn’t safe they wouldn’t even allow these things to be sold in stores to unaware consumers. This even goes for unassuming products to be used on children, starting at the newborn stage. When my youngest child was born in 2012, I quickly noticed he was having mild to severe skin irritation from everything we used on him, from diapers and skin care to laundry detergents and textiles. I tried to switch to all the “gentle and delicate” baby care products, but they were still harsh on him. Thankfully I discovered The Honest Company when they first launched their diaper subscription service. It was actually in one of those boxes that I purchased Jessica Alba’s book, The Honest Life, and after reading her relationship with a safe and clean lifestyle, I knew this was something I had to do for the better health of my family.
In the years since, I have developed a passion to educate myself on what harmful chemicals in products actually are, researching the science and studies behind these chemicals, learning how to read ingredient lists on products, and understanding how to find natural or safer alternatives to the everyday items we use in our household, as well as on and in our bodies. Our cleaner lifestyle is so much more conscious and purposeful than before, we’ve even started looking into sustainable and biodegradable items for our home. Throughout this whole journey, I’ve made it a point to educate my children on why we research before purchasing, why we think about our needs before impulse buying stuff in stores, and why we want to surround ourselves with safe and healthy things. It’s much easier to do this lifestyle when those around you understand the importance of it, and can help think of ideas on how to improve our everyday living.
One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was to share what I’ve been learning and how I’m implementing all of it into our life. I think, at first, this type of information can feel overwhelming and a little confusing on where and how to start making changes. So, hopefully, I can help others looking to take a similar journey to cleaner conscious living. It doesn’t need to happen all at once, you don’t need to go through your house and throw out everything unsafe right away. If you take the time to educate yourself on why something isn’t good for you or the environment, it’s much easier to see what you should do instead, plus it’s easier to feel proud of your choices when you’ve got the facts to lead you in the right direction.