Thursday, April 30, 2015

From This To That. Swapping Out Your Toxic Products: Shampoo

     Making the switch from toxic products to organic ones can be expensive! So rather then breaking the bank I continue to use all my previous purchases until they are finished then I swap them out for a safer, healthier organic alternative. This way you still get a better bang for your buck, the only draw back being that it can be a bit of a lengthy process, it might be a while till you've completely swapped out your toxic stash for all organic products.
     About a month ago I ran out of my shampoo and made my first swap. So I've had a good four weeks to test it out and give a mini review. 
         (Check out my list of ingredients to avoid to see what's lurking In your shampoo)

I swapped out my Neutrogena T/Gel Original Therapy Shampoo for Calia Natural Hydrating Shampoo
(I also bought the accompanying conditioner)
I'll start off by telling you a bit about my hair. It's about twenty inches long with a slight wave, it's really fine but I have a lot of it so it gives the illusion of being thicker then it actually is. I tend to get an oily scalp and can't make it past three days without washing. I don't colour it at all and tend to avoid heat styling as much as possible. If I do want to style it I'll let it air dry then I might curl it. It's generally pretty healthy although I do have psoriasis on my scalp and I do find that it does break off easily. I've switched my hair elastics and have started to leave it in a low pony or braid instead of my usual messy bun in attempts to offset the fast rate of oilyness. At one point I was dealing with a lot of hair fall put due to a chemotherapy drug I am taking for a chronic illness, if you've read my about me page you'll know I have IV infusions every six weeks and that drug is part of it, it's since been lowered because of side effects. I was also experiencing vomiting unfortunately I can't go off it completely. But since its been lowered I've been experiencing less fall out.
     I first heard about Calia Naturals over on a fellow Canadian green beauty enthusiasts YouTube channel by the lovely Sarah Nagel called Holistic Habits she is so down to earth and has the most amazing hair!
I am talking serious Repunzel hair here!
Jealous much? I know I am!

     On to the review! I contacted the owners of Calia Naturals and told them a bit about my hair type and what I stuggle with and asked which products they would recommend for my situation. They got back to me within 24 hours and suggested the Natural Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner. You can purchase their products directly through their website or browse through their stocklist to see if they sell at a location near you. 
     I am lucky enough to have a local store in my area that carries Calia so naturally I went right on over and picked up both the shampoo and conditioner for $9.99 each. 

Calia Natural Hydrating Shampoo: Aqua, Elaeis guineenis (Palm oil), Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Pinus banksiana (Pine) extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) extract, Chamomilla recutita (Matricaria) flower extract, Urtica dioca (nettle) leaf extract, Trifolium pretense (Clover) flower extract, Camelia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf extract, Equisetum arvense (Horse Tail) extract, Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil, Gylcerin, Citric Acid, Lavandula augustifolia (Lavender) oil, Citrus Bergamia (Bergamont) oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) oil. No animal testing, no animal by products, no sulfates, no DEA (diethanolamine) no sodium chloride (salt) no propylene glycol, 100% Canadian, Hypo allergenic, Environmently friendly

     As mentioned previously this my first natural shampoo so I had no idea what to expect, I was surprised to find out that it does not foam nearly as much as conventional shampoos does which makes sense, since it doesn't contain any chemical foaming agents. Fear not though because it does foam, I also find if you wash your hair twice which is recommended for oily hair that it foams more on the second wash. Keep in mind that the amount of foam in your shampoo does not in any way affect the soaps ability to clean your hair, mind over matter. Even though it's recommended to wash and repeat for oily hair which I do have, I did find my self repeating this step to get that familiar, comforting feeling that a more intense lather gives you which I am more accustomed to with the use of a conventional shampoo.
     I have recently cut it down to one wash only to test out the effect on oily hair and I am glad to say that I can go just as long with out washing as I did when washed twice. And the lack of lather didn't make me run the other way either! I do however still find it difficult to go past the three day mark with out washing my hair although I am glad to say I have occasionally gotten away with it. Plus it smells great!
     My hair seems to be stronger and feels and appears thicker, and healthier, which is definitely a bonus! I didn't expect it to completely get rid of my psoriasis, but it did seem to soothe it, and I did experience a little less itching though not enough to stop using my prescribed topical lotion.
     Calia Naturals do not make any claims that the use of any of their products will produce these results, they do however include some beneficial ingredients to help calm and soothe scalp irritations.  
     Will I repurchase? Yes, you defiantly can't beat the price and it does give great results, however I don't think it's achieved holy grail status as I would love to find a natural shampoo that can get me past the three day mark, I'll always keep some on hand. If your swapping out you're shampoo give Calia Naturals a go! They also have a great selection of skin care and essential oils!
Check back soon for part two where I'll be reviewing the accompanying conditioner.
     What are your favorite natural shampoos?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Earthpaste-Amazingly Natural Toothpaste: A Review

     After researching alternatives to conventional toothpastes and reading many reviews and watching several videos, in which Earthpaste was featured in a considerable amount of, I decided to quit my conventional toothpaste cold turkey, no toe dipping for this girl. I jumped in with both feet which resulted in my very first purchase of a completely all natural toothpaste, Earthpaste.

About Earthpaste:
"Earthpaste began because we couldn’t find a natural toothpaste we loved for our families. We wanted a toothpaste that was as natural as possible, so we started with hydrated Redmond Clay and added Xylitol, essential oils, and Real Salt. And that’s it. Earthpaste is amazingly natural toothpaste 
     Earthpaste delivers all the benefits you expect from a toothpaste without any chemicals or unnatural additives. It’s toothpaste unlike any other you’ve experienced – you’ll see the difference on your brush and feel the diference in your mouth. 
     Earthpaste’s list of ingredients is unique, but the things we left out are just as important. Most brands of toothpaste contain foaming agents like SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), and chemicals like titanium dioxide to make the paste bright white. Not Earthpaste. It isn’t just safe to swallow – each ingredient in Earthpaste has been used to support healthy systems."
     Part of what sold me on Earthpaste was that there was only 5 ingredients, and essential oils all of the safe and completely natural. Let's take a look shall we?!
"Ingredients: Purrified water - To hydrate the clay into a creamy paste.
Food Grade Redmond Clay - A polishing cleanser with antibacterial properties that have been used for centuries to promote digestive health.
Xylitol - A natural sweetener that has shown to promote healthy teeth.
Redmond Real Salt - To enhance the flavour and lend antibacterial properties associated with sea salt.
Tea Tree Oil - A natural, essential oil, commonly used to promote healthy skin, supports oral health with excellent anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
Menthol - Found in peppermint and wintergreen Earthpaste, leaves your breath fresh and mouth feeling clean.
Essential oils
These oils are used for favouring and a wide variety of other health benefits listed below.
Peppermint - Will make your breath smell fresh, and its wildly used to promote stress relief and support digestion.
Wintergreen - Lends a sweet, minty flavour and has been used to promote dental health.
Cinnamon - Brings a familiar, spicy flavour along with its reputation as an antioxidant used to promote healthy immune function."
                                                On to the review!
     First of all I want to say that I am in LOVE with this toothpaste! It's pretty much the same as conventional toothpaste in the sense that that it comes in a tube and a box, but the similarities end there! Earthpaste comes in 5 unique flavours, Cinnamon, Lemon Twist, Spearmint, Peppermint, and finally Wintergreen their newest flavour.
      I am extremely sensitive when it comes to taste and texture so Peppermint was an obvious no brainer, plus I found it oddly comforting to have something familiar be carried over from my old toothpaste to a new healthier version. Yeah I am kind of nostalgic like that give me a break change isn't always easy! When it comes to toothpaste I often find that the peppermint can be much too strong and with that comes an unfortunate burning sensation. With Earthpaste I am extremely glad to say that, that is not the case at all. The peppermint Is gentle, yet it still gives you that minty fresh clean feeling that your probably more accustomed to. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that I could drink anything afterwards and not get a funky aftertaste. Earthpaste one, conventional toothpaste zero.
     I'll I was slightly concerned about the fact that Earthpaste does not foam, but what it does do is increase saliva production so I find that the paste glides effortlessly across your teeth. Increased saliva production is also a plus as it helps keep your teeth a lot cleaner while you sleep. Fear not increased saliva production does not mean you'll be a drooling zombie. Do zombies drool?
     As I mentioned earlier I am extremely sensitive to taste and texture. I am not all adventurous when it comes to food, I like to stick to what I know. The root of this stemming from severe childhood allergies, I have since outgrown. As previously mentioned Earthpaste has very few similarities to conventional toothpastes. One major extremely noticeable difference is that it's BROWN. 
My reaction went a little something like this..
Mind over matter people. Mind over matter.

     In all seriousness though, this is an awesome toothpaste! I really thought that switching from my conventional toothpaste, was going to be difficult that parting with the minty, foaming, and whitening goodness that is conventional toothpast would just be to much for me to handle. I am glad to say that was not the case. 
     Earthpaste cleans your teeth just as good or even better in my humble as it may be be, opnion. My sensitivities to hot and cold are gone, I have even noticed some yellow stains (left over from braces) are slowly disappearing (if your worried about whitening you can always add some backing soda to your routine once in a while) I also don't smoke, or drink coffee, wine or alcohol so that definitely helps with preventing any staining.
      In general my teeth just feel healthier cleaner and stronger, I find I even look forward to brushing. It just seems more fun and exciting when you know it's good for you, that your not putting your health at risk.
     I will definitely repurchase when finished! I purchased mine at a local health food store, check out the store nearest to you or find it online! Have you tried Earthpaste, or any other natural paste options? Let me know I'd love hear about them! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Everything You NEED to know about your toothpaste!

  Your toothpaste is toxic. Yeah you heard me, TOXIC. If this comes to you as a shock, feel free to take a minute.

     Not everybody has a skincare routine or makeup routine but one routine most of us (hopefully) have In common is that we do brush our teeth twice a day, 365 days a year. Here's the catch, I bet you didn't know that your toothpaste is TOXIC!  If your like me then you've most likely been going about your day blindly brushing in the morning and evening with whatever paste your dentist recommends. Hey, there professionals right? They obviously have my best interest and health In mind so it must be safe!
     Wrong! If you take a look at the back of your toothpaste you mind find something along the lines of this:
    "WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”
     What makes toothpaste so toxic? Let's take a look, shall we? Your every day conventional toothpaste contains harmful toxins such as:

Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) Is often found in personal care products. It's a common additive that creates that foam you love in soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, laundry detergent and even industrial grade cleaning products. If ingested, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, skin and eye irritation are possible side effects. Has also been linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and a skin irritant. 

Sodium Fluoride once used as an insecticide and a rodenticide. Sideffects include, brain damage, damage to the thyroid gland, bones, gastrointestinal tract, pineal gland and has links to certain cancers. Fluoride is not just in toothpaste but can be found in several dental treatments, and is also added to our water supply.

Triclosan Is an additive  antibacterial used to prevent bacterial contamination. Used in a wide range of products such as, soap, cosmetics, furniture, toys, personal care products, cookware, let her, paper and plastic, and rubber. Recent studies have linked Triclosan to be a skin irritant, disruption of endocrine,  adverse effects to the thyroid hormone, antibiotic resistance and negative impact on aquatic ecosystems (products containing Triclosan  often end up in our water system, being flushed or washed down the drain. For example soap).

DEA or Diethanolamine Is a common foaming agent used in wide variety of personal care products. Research indicates that DEA is a hormone disruptor, side effects with the endocrine system. Constant exposure can possibly lead to liver and kidney cancer. And possibly a carcinogen when combined with other chemicals. 

Propylene Glycol Is a solvent that can be found in industrial products such as engine coolants, paint, anti-freeze, varnishes, Enamels, and even in airplane de-icers. Propylene Glycol Is also found in numerous personal care products and even food. Exposure can result In skin irritation, and build up of acid in the body. Even though there are not many studies indicating the toxicity In propylene glycol, do you really want to put something in your mouth that's used in anti-freeze?
                                     Moral Of The Story?
              Check out my next post for some safer alternatives!
                             Hope your having a great week!