’Cause mine is.
I saw this article on MSN last month because—thank you!—they were kind enough to link back to us. But I didn’t really give it a proper read until yesterday morning when I got to thinking about toothpaste.
You know how it goes with this stuff. For some reason you obsess over the chemicals in your eye cream but then dutifully ignore something else—like toothpaste, which I happen to put right in my mouth at least twice a day (since this is one area of hygiene I have not forsaken).
So what’s in conventional toothpaste? Oh, just the same stuff in that body wash I threw out eons ago. Things like triclosan, an endocrine disrupter that accumulates in nature. We talked a lot about it in the book (if you’ve read it, throw down a review, would ya?). It’s actually such a powerful “germ” killer that it was once relegated just to surgery rooms, where killing germs is, well, important. But now it’s used, oh, everywhere. It’s in anti-acne products, deodorant, antiperspirant, hand sanitizer and, yup, toothpaste.
Other nasty ingredients in toothpastes include surfactants like our old foe sodium lauryl sulfate, which is often contaminated with a carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane. And of course, there are mystery flavorings that are probably made down the hall from the synthetic fragrance we also avoid.
Meanwhile, I know many of you are way ahead of me on this. So, are you still using Crest? And if not, what’s your favorite clean alternative?
I’m a bit in love with this ominous old German Colgate ad.
Hello everyone! Meet Lola and her lovely routine! She is a green juice, essential oil and Lotus Wei fan…aka a girl after our own hearts. Read on…
Current weather: The most bizarre NYC spring ever – too cold, too rainy, too gray, but seems to be getting better
Hair: pixy-short, super-fine, thin, oily.
Skin: Olive, combination (though tending towards very dry, especially during winter/spring), super-sensitive/eczema-y. It can be a source of annoyance, but also of many compliments due to nice texture and even tone (when not freaking out).
Favorite star or icon from the past: Jane Russell. Image via
In the shower…
A big part of my morning is not exactly skincare-related, but it has a huge impact on how I look and feel. I start every morning with a large green juice, full of gorgeous greens, ginger, lime and a green apple for a touch of sweetness. It makes me feel fantastic, gives a wonderful burst of energy and I always feel worse when I skip it for whatever reason. I have also been trying to embrace holistic wellness, so I take a whole bunch of herbs and supplements to help deal with my horrible, chronic migraines, give me energy and boost my immune system. Since I started doing this, my migraines got much better (and I am using a lot fewer drugs), I have much more energy, a better outlook and am able to fight off colds much, much better. I won’t mention the full list, but some of the herbals I would recommend for boosting energy and immunity and helping to deal with stress are Rhodiola Rosea, Astragalus and Ashwagandha. I use Gaia Herbs – they are organic and have very impressive quality controls (and their pills are small enough and easy to swallow). After my juice-n’-pills breakfast, I hop in the shower. I wash my face with the gentle Nude Cleansing Wash. It foams, but very little and I like the smell. A few times a week I use the One Love Organics Microderma scrub. It’s quite gentle, smells like oats (in a good way) and makes my skin silky-smooth. I wash my hair with the Acure Organics Shampoo and I alternate between Pure Mint + Echinacea and Argan and Lemongrass. I also brush my teeth in the shower (weird, I know!). I used to be a Tom’s of Maine fan, but I recently noticed that their toothpaste has sulfates. Even the kids’ version! Don’t know how I missed that, but it annoyed me enough to switch. I switched to the Melvita toothpaste for myself and my son. It’s organic and I really love it. I am a bit concerned about the lack of fluoride, but we’ll see how I get on. I use moisturizing Nubian Heritage soaps or 100% Pure Blood Orange Shower Gel only on the bits that need cleaning. When I have the time (so not often), I also use one of my DIY body scrubs. I combine organic, coarse brown sugar with honey and a mix of oils (I usually use jojoba and coconut) and add in essential oils. I tend to go citrus-heavy as that is my favorite scent. Another recipe I use is mixing old coffee grounds with coconut oil and orange essential oil. It smells heavenly and coffee is great for the skin. I usually make a batch of scrub and store it in the shower in sealable preserves jars.
Outside the shower…
I spray on my Thai Crystal deodorant
first thing out of the shower to give it chance to dry. I have tried other natural deodorants before, but Soapwalla gave me a wicked rash and other ones just didn’t work. TC seems to do the trick, though I am yet to test it in sweltering New York summer (should it ever come). I tend to skip body lotion unless I have lizard skin and if I do, it’s usually whatever is lying around. More often than not, I prefer to use body oils, as they smell lovely and tend to stay on my skin for much longer. My favorite right now is Tallulah Jane Halona
. It’s a gorgeous ginger-cintrus scent that doubles as a gentle perfume. For my face, I love oils and serums and am currently in love with the Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment oil
and think this will be a lasting love affair. I have been testing the OLO Love Springs Eternal serum
, but I find that it’s not moisturing enough for my skin, so I usually layer it under the Dr. Alkaitis. If my skin is feeling extra-dry and flaky, I might use either the Dr. Alkaitis Skin Savior balm or the Dr. Alkaitis day cream
over the oil/serum. I rarely use eye cream (usually I just use the same oils on my eyes), but if I do, it’s either the Kahina
or Dr. Alkaitis eye creams.
Because my hair is so short, I never blow dry – I just run a wide-toothed comb though it to get it in place. I have a super-sensitive scalp and conventional styling products made it break out, itch and otherwise made my life a living hell. This was a huge problem because us, short-haired girls, really need product. I couldn’t use John Masters because it was far too greasy and heavy for my super-fine hair, but then I discovered Giovanni Wicked Texture. Initially I thought it was the answer to all my prayers, since it is free from the usual suspects like sulfates, phthalates, synthetic phragrances, parabens and, most importantly, petrochemicals (I found them to be the #1 culprit for scalp sensitivities), is vegan, organic and manages to provide the same kind of hold and definition as its conventional, nasty-toxy counterparts. I since realized that it does have silicone, so prolonged use can weigh down my hair, but I feel that it is definitely the best, mostly-clean hair product out there.
I don’t use makeup unless I go out at night and since I use makeup so rarely, I haven’t really bothered switching from my dirty make-up. That said, all my mascaras have run out, so I am going to try the Organic Glam mascara from Organic Pharmacy
. I am hoping it’ll work as well as my Chantecaille. I also recently started using RMS Un-covereup
and Living Luminizer
. I love them, my skin loves them, so if I am feeling splotchy, I sometimes use just the Un-coverup or both of them during the day. I also don’t believe in using perfume in the workplace – I am tremendously sensitive to smell, so I could never expose others to my scents, however lovely I might think they are. That said, if I am feeling headachy, I might roll on some 21 Drops Headache essential oil blend
. It smells lovely (while being thoroughly unobtrusive) and I find that it does actually kind of work. I also like the Lotus Wei
Inner Peace mist. It helps me chill if I am extra-stressed and the gentle scent lingers on my clothes and doubles as perfume.
Thanks, Lola! Has anyone else been enjoying greens in the AM and feeling the results like Lola? How about the amazing herbal supplement success for decreased migraines?!
Regular readers will know we’re kind of nuts about baking soda, so Alexandra thought it would be cool to share with everyone just how much you can do with the magical white powder!
Over at GOOD her post just went up. Here’s a sampling:
Even the ancient Egyptians—and what beauty post would be complete without them?—used a compound similar to baking soda as soap. The stuff is antiseptic, antifungal, and lightly exfoliating. It will take the stains off your coffee mug and your not-so-pearly whites, and can be consumed internally to ease your tummy ache. And fridge odors aren’t the only smells it absorbs so don’t turn your nose up, and bring on the baking soda!
Spot-Treat Acne Our favorite natural acne remedy is clay, like this green tea one we swear by. But in a bind, making a little paste from baking soda and water and applying it to an unwelcomed visitor will help dry it out. We don’t recommend this for deep cysts, but for more surface afflictions, it works like a charm.
Cleanse Your Hair If you’re looking to join the ranks of non-shampooers (we know a few), to reduce how often shampoo, or simply to get rid of some product build-up on your roots, look no further than baking soda. Just fill a glass with warm water and dissolve about a tablespoon of baking soda into it. Take that to the shower, and after wetting your hair pour the mixture through. Comb it well before rinsing—your hair will feel a little coated and slippery until it’s fully rinsed out.
And five more, at GOOD.
Illustrations by Brianna Harden