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Monday, October 14, 2013

Why This is of Utmost Importance!

I have been asked by quite a few people why I'm doing this.

"Why are you making everything at home?"
"Are you going all granola?"
"Why does it matter what's in this stuff?"
"If it was bad for you, they wouldn't be able to sell it, so why should I be worried?"

To quickly answer these questions...
1.  Because I control what goes into everything (and it's way cheaper).
2.  No, taking poisons out of the house is not considered "going all granola..." It's considered being safe.
3.  It matters because if it's in the air, you're breathing it; if it's on surfaces, you're touching (or eating) it; and if it's on your skin, you're constantly absorbing it into your body.
4.  Yes, companies are still able to sell dangerous products to you...there is nothing illegal about that.  Not only do they sell you the poisons, but they tell you that you NEED them in order to be healthy.  FAIL!

Let's look at a quick rundown of a couple products...

TOOTHPASTE!  This has to be safe, right?  I mean, it goes in your mouth.  Of course we're all ignoring the fact that toothpaste has a disclaimer on the package that says to contact poison control if swallowed...but whatever.  

The first dangerous ingredient found in toothpaste is sodium fluoride.  I can find hundreds of "granola" websites that will tell you all about the dangers of NaF...but because the larger percentage of my audience isn't of the "hippie" persuasion, I'll use a commonly visited website for this information: livestrong.  Let's look past the fact that sodium fluoride is one of the main ingredients in rat poison and was used by the Nazis to sterilize prisoners, and look at THIS LINK.  We see three sections: toothpaste, water treatment, and industrial uses.  Sure, we can extol the dental benefits and talk about water...both things that, at some point, are in YOUR MOUTH.  Now, let's look at the first sentence of the "industrial uses" section: 

Because sodium fluoride is poisonous it is commonly used in pesticides, including fungicides and insecticides.

Um...why are we brushing our teeth with something commonly used in products that were specifically developed to KILL things?  Yes, NaF is used in a much higher concentration in those products; however, you are putting it into your body multiple times a day, and at this point, probably hoping that your kidneys and liver will just "take care of it."  Oh, and did I mention that it's a key component in sarin nerve gas? do the math.

Next fun product?  FD&C Blue Dye 1 and 2Here is a chemical information sheet on these.  Food coloring...vegetable dye...not considered hazardous...scroll down to the first aid precautions.  Here are the guidelines for ingestion:

Call Poison Control immediately. Rinse mouth with cold water. Give victim 1-2 cups of water or milk to drink.
Induce vomiting immediately. 
And yet we eat it in many things daily, it's in our toothpaste, and it's even used to dye know, so they look like they're "fresh and in season," when they really aren't.   These dyes are made from step above crude oil (and in fact, were originally made from coal tar).  They have been known to cause asthma attacks, nausea, headaches, fatigue, nervousness, lack of concentration, and cancer.  But hey, if you're okay with those, keep on with the dye!
The next ingredient of toothpaste is sodium lauryl sulfate.  Sounds all natural, right?  Right.   Aha!  We've all seen the increasing popularity of sulfate-free shampoo lately, yes?  It is a surfactant (foaming agent) that is used to disperse ingredients and make your toothpaste all foamy and bubbly.  SLS has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption...and those are the "safer" problems.  In fact, when researchers are in testing phases of body products, they use SLS to irritate the skin before trying out their product on it.  Enough said.

 ANTIPERSPIRANT!  This is something that virtually everyone in western cultures starts wearing around the onset of puberty.  Why so young?  Because when puberty hits, the sebaceous glands go batty producing oil and sweat.  That combined with the bacteria on the skin (and let's face it: 12-year olds aren't the best at personal hygiene) makes so a 6th-7th grade classroom smells like a whole bunch of dirty butt, feet, and a little skunk spray mixed in.  Enter: antiperspirant.  You rub it all over your armpits and suddenly, VOILA!  Your pits are dry and not of the stink.  But how does it work?  Well, for the most part, your putting aluminum in your skin, which is plugging up the sweat glands and pores.  

Now here's the deal on the aluminum: the stance of researchers and safety personnel seems to be "let's wait and see."  It shouldn't be hard to decide...aluminum doesn't belong in pore- and gland-clogging areas.  

Parabens--disrupt hormones.

Propylene Glycol--made from petroleum oil...that was discussed up under blue dye.

Triclosan--well, the FDA classifies this as a pesticide...need I say more?

Butylated Hydroxytoluene--causes hyperactivity in children and is considered a carcinogen.  It has been linked to biochemical cellular-level damage.  The Skin Deep site ranks it as a high toxic hazard.  So...we're using this...why again?

So really, LOOK at your product labels!  Look up every single ingredient.  If it touches your skin at any point, it is being sucked into your body.  Next week I'll do another post about shampoo and laundry detergent...YEP!  They're equally (if not more) scary!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Toothpaste's been awhile!  I'm trying to find more things to replace in the house with natural alternatives--and I'm at a bit of a standstill because I've replaced all of the major products and most of the minor products in our house already!  (So, YAY and boo at the same time LOL!)  That being said, if you have an ideas of things to try, things you have tried and like, or things that you want to replaces but don't know how to go about it, leave it in the comments so I can try to figure something out!

On to today's item: TOOTHPASTE!

What this is: a natural toothpaste that is close to commercial toothpaste consistency, that whitens your teeth without using chemical abrasives and detergents (yes, you read that correctly--your commercial toothpaste has DETERGENT in it).

What this isn't: a super-sweet identical replacement for your current commercial toothpaste.  It is somewhat sweet, but it's also incredibly salty because of the baking soda.  It took me about 10 seconds to get used to the salty flavor...but whatever.  You're brushing your teeth with it--not eating it LOL!

So what do you need?

6 Tbsp organic unrefined virgin coconut oil
6 Tbsp baking soda
Around 1 tsp of stevia
Around 20-30 drops peppermint essential oil
Around 10-15 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Put the coconut oil into a bowl and whip it on a medium speed until fluffy (when you whip coconut oil, it turns into the consistency of a fluffy body butter--as a side note, if you do this and keep it temperature stable, you can use just this part as lotion).  Once fluffy, add in the baking soda and stevia.  Mix until just combined.  Now add the oils and mix one more time until blended.  Put it in a container and use it to brush your teeth!

As a side note, whip the coconut oil as little as needed--if you go to long, it will turn into liquid oil.  Of course if it does, stick it in the fridge for 20-30 minutes and it will turn solid again.  I put ours in some old baby food jars, which are the perfect size!

Sorry, there's no way to take a great-looking picture of two jars of white fluff LOL!

Have fun and happy brushing!