THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN CONTROL.
The easiest way to take control is to simplify. To start, let's talk about your beauty routine. Women, on average, put over 500 chemicals into their bodies everyday. If you're pregnant, you're putting those chemicals into your unborn child's body as well. Toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, hand soap, lotion, hairspray, mousse, tanning lotion, nail polish, perfume, eye shadow, mascara, and so on... many of these products are laden with toxic chemicals that are bad for you and for the environment.
One thing you could do is research the ingredients in your products using the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database or check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and choose products that have safer ingredients. These are excellent resources, but it most certainly takes time to research every. single. product. From my own personal journey I've found that even when I purchase products from "eco-friendly" brands they can still have suspect ingredients and formulations.
I've found that the easiest way to really control and know what I'm using it to make natural beauty products myself, or purchase products from someone I trust, and even more simply - just don't use it!
For instance, I haven't painted my nails since my wedding over 2.5 years ago, and I don't miss having to fuss over chipped nails or inhale that strong polish scent. Some years ago I noticed scented lotions would give me a rash, so for a while I only used fragrance free lotions, now I only use coconut oil. I haven't worn perfume for years, and I don't miss it. My hair is not styled and held into place by hairspray, I just let it flow in the wind. I never dye my hair (anything with that strong of a smell is probably toxic) - and my hair dresser always compliments me on how healthy my hair is! BTW, I simplified my routine long before I had a baby, it wasn't just a new mom thing, and I love it.
By letting these parts of my beauty routine be simple I have found more time to do the things that really matter, like getting my beauty sleep! See, you need fewer beauty products by just getting your beauty sleep!
Beauty sleep by Rod Radtke Photography
I understand that there are a lot of myths and barriers to going "all natural," so let's take a look at some of those.
Myth #1: Natural products don't work as well.
Truth: The products you have been using have probably built up in/on your body, and you may have become dependant on them. I noticed that when I switched to a natural, aluminum-free deodorant that I was stinky for a couple weeks. Once you give your body the chance to cleanse itself of the chemical build-up you will find homemade and natural products just as, if not more, effective.
Myth #2: It takes too much time to make products, and natural products are more expensive.
Truth: Purchasing some basic ingredients, especially in bulk, is very cost effective and simple. Baking soda, corn starch and coconut oil are not difficult to find and are inexpensive. Once you make a product once, it is simple to continue. Plus, homemade cosmetics make great gifts!
Myth #3: It's my personal choice.
Truth: To a point this is absolutely true, you can choose what products and chemicals you use in your home and put on your body. At some point, however, what you choose to do affects others in a potentially negative way. Perfume, for instance, can be very strong and will linger on everything you wear and everything (or everyone) you touch, and even in the air of confined spaces - like a home or a bathroom. Many people are allergic to fragrances. While it is your personal choice to wear it, you have to realize the impact it might have on other people around you. As we spend most of our time indoors, and indoor air quality is very important to our health. Plus, you don't want to be the Dwight that causes the Pam's in your life to throw up. (<3 The Office)
Myth #4: I've been using this product for years and I survived.
Truth: You've survived (so far), but why is surviving the standard? How about thriving, and living a clean, healthful life? These toxic chemicals do their damage by continuous, long-term exposure, and if you use the same product day after day and year after year, that exposure adds up. In addition, keep in mind that while the small daily exposure might not harm you, our little ones have a much lower body mass and thus the exposure is much great for fetuses, babies and young children.
On the path to simplify your life you can simplify your beauty routine: eliminate those things you don't need and make what you do, create a healthy home environment for your family and for those people you come into contact with, save money, and most importantly - you can let your natural, God-given beauty shine!
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:3-4