Years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Immediately, she started making significant changes to her life. She started eating better. She changed the products she was using in her daily life.
The more I listened to her talk about these changes, the more confused I became.
“If the doctors are having you make all of these changes to curb the risks that may be adding to your symptoms, why don’t we all make these changes before we get cancer?”
Of course, she didn’t have an answer. But it did start me thinking.
And thus, I began my journey to clean up my daily routine.
I was like most women, always buying the latest, greatest products. I mixed and matched every time I went to the store. If there was a better promise, I tried it.
But I never really thought about what manufacturers put into their products. It was always about the promises they made. (And I’ve been conscious about what foods I put IN my body for years! I’d just never converted that thinking to what I put ON my body … that took a while longer.)
What I learned over time is: Marketing is completely separate from being good for you.
Here’s an example.
Let’s talk toothpaste for a moment.
Years ago, when the internet was still relatively new, I started having problems with canker sores. I’d had one pop up in my mouth here and there throughout my life. But suddenly, I would get three, four, five at a time. And if you’ve ever lived with one for a few days, you know it can be quite painful.
I’d had it. Nobody seemed to know the reason why. So I jumped on a search engine and started looking around. It took a bit to find something, but I did find a couple of reports linking canker sores to SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s an ingredient manufacturers put in to make their products suds.
It was part of the original sales message delivered by Claude Hopkins back around the turn of the century. In order to sell more toothpaste, he added suds so you could “feel” it working.
Yep, no concern for what it did to your body. It was all about sales. And almost a hundred years later, I was paying the price.
Of course, now, you can find a wealth of information on the problem with SLS – here’s a good write-up here. But the short of it is, SLS can cause harm to our skin, be an irritant, and produce allergic reactions. SLS can be considered dangerous with contact for long periods of time, which is why there is such a small amount in toothpaste, and you’re advised never to use more than a pea-sized amount.
So guess what? I changed toothpaste. I went on a search for a natural product that won’t harm your health. And I found it in a telesummit I attended a few years ago. The dentist being interviewed spoke of this very thing. And his solution was creating his own brand, one so natural you can eat the entire tube and not suffer consequences. Yep, I was hooked.
How do I know it was the SLS? I forgot toothpaste when I traveled one time a few years ago. I bought a tube and overlooked if it had SLS. Within a day, I had two canker sores. Yep, that was enough evidence for me.
Let’s talk about other items in my morning routine
Several years ago, I saw an ad for something brand new. It was called a Boom stick, and it was specially formulated for women as they age.
I ordered my first Boom Color, and I was sold. I love it! Outside of mascara, it’s the only thing I’ve worn throughout staying in place. (And I was super bummed I missed buying their Boom Mascara released just a few weeks ago. I was busy with caretaking issues with my mother, and it was sold out before I could buy it. I’m just waiting for it to be back in stock.)
They are also on a pro age revolution – and I love what they say as a company. They use safe ingredients that won’t harm you or the environment, use no animal testing, are ethically and sustainably sourced, and are making earth-friendly changes all the time. I feel good about using them, and the results are in the way their products make my skin look and feel. Give their products a try – you’re going to love them.
I take a lot of supplements. Through my holistic practitioner, she has me on a variety of different vitamins to help create a healthier me.
A lot of them I order from companies she’s recommended. But some I’ve found on my own. That leads me to another company I highly recommend.
It’s called Truvani, created by Vani Hari, aka TheFoodBabe.
I have followed her for years. When she sold her first book, I bought it. Her second one too.
When she introduced her very first product of the Truvani line – Turmeric – I jumped on board and have been sold on her products ever since.
I can’t live without moisturizer. I have bottles at every sink in my house. I use it after handwashing, and slather it on after my morning shower.
I was buying a big bottle of some fancy body moisturizer at Costco. It had all the right buzzwords on it – natural, plant-based, etc. Then I checked with the EWG database and found out it lingered in the danger zone. Ahh!
I want to touch on one more problem you’ll find as you start cleaning up all the products you use.
It costs a lot of money. A LOT!
I often refer to this as going down the rabbit hole. When you learn about the effects of using a product or buying a particular food brand, you make a change. And invariably organic, non-GMO, natural products cost more than others that can be mass-produced using chemicals and questionable practices. So it takes a chunk out of your budget.
The more you learn, the more you want to make changes. And at some point, you throw up your hands in frustration. You could quite literally go bankrupt, exchanging all the questionable items in your daily life, and replacing them with higher quality products.
It’s about choices. Sometimes you just have to choose. So I do this in baby steps, monitoring what I can buy, and what good and bad really mean.
Remember, I use a lot of moisturizer. I have a bottle of lotion at every sink in the house. I slather it on after a shower. I rub it in after scrubbing my hands. And I’ve been doing that a lot thanks to the pandemic.
So I did my research and found Aveeno isn’t bad. It’s much better than a lot of smaller brands that claim they’re “natural.” Plus, you can get two giant bottles of it at Costco. That puts it in the winner column for me, at least for right now. Will I change again in the future? Definitely. But it’s what I’m doing right now, getting great results.
Pay attention to the ingredients – not the marketing
It’s difficult NOT to pay attention to all the hype in advertising. Anti-aging is used again and again and again in almost everything.
You need a serum to stop the wrinkles. You need a toner to firm up your skin. You need this and that to do magical things.
But what if it was a lot simpler than that?
Eat good food. Use exceptional products – very few of them. Just the ones that have natural ingredients that won’t harm your skin in the first place.
I write this up to share with you that you can make small changes along the way and they really can have a significant impact.
I’ve been moving towards cleaner living, whole-food plant-based eating, for over twenty-five years.
Do. This. Slowly.
Massive change will never stick.
But you can make one change today, and make it permanent in a few weeks. Then make one more change.
In twenty-five years, it really adds up.