I began reading a lot about the ingredients in our beauty products, as well as the chemicals in our food, during my sophomore year in college. My curiosity was sparked when the Environmental Working Group (EWG) launched their Skin Deep database in 2004, and when I discovered the Seafood Watch consumer guides—at that time I was living in Boston where seafood was a large part of my daily diet, so this was of interest to me.
These resources made me more conscious of what I was putting into and onto my body. At first, I monitored my products here and there but mostly continued using many of the same brands due to a lack of availability of something purer.
As I delved deeper into my studies and later my career, my experience working with individuals suffering from progressive neurological conditions really had me questioning what other factors were at play—especially as my patients continued to get younger, and early onset of particular diseases seemed to be on the rise. This led me to further research the chemicals in our food and beauty products, and their potential links to diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
I also became increasingly paranoid as I saw the awful reality of these diseases and the people they struck, which made me realize that nobody is immune and that it's not always genetics. It also made more sense to me to use ingredients that were natural.
We all use so many products that are harmful to us, but it wasn't until recently that people truly began questioning what was in them. Organizations like the EWG, among others, made it easier for me to gauge the safety of the products I was using—but often, even organic products contained ingredients that I was uncertain of, and when they were completely chemical-free, they were too pricey for me to afford.
I eventually tired of the struggle to find what I was looking for and began playing with recipes of my own, which led to me making many of my own products that I use daily. I've gone as far as making my own laundry detergent, shampoo, and hand soaps, but as better products have come onto the market in these areas, I simply decided they would do, especially as I discovered homemade versions of these products, in particular, spoiled rather quickly.
While it's been a challenge to not become obsessive compulsive about every ingredient in the things I use, over the years I've come to find a healthy balance between using homemade beauty products and store bought items. And while I believe it's important to be conscious of the things that we're putting onto our bodies, I've also learned that it's equally as important to not let fear drive our decisions or the choices we make. If there's a product out there that you love or that makes you happy, then let it. The goal, at least for me, is to simply be aware of the things that I'm using, how often I use them, and striking a healthy balance that works for me.
I believe in making choices that make my mind, body, and soul feel happy and free. And sometimes that means indulging—just a little—in something that may not be 100% pure.
Love + Light,
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