Contributing for Pretty Fluffy | Cruelty Free Living
Like Serena, being cruelty free is a big part of my lifestyle too, and I am so excited that she has started this new column on the blog! How can any product be worth the harm and suffering of innocent animals? In my book it just can't be justified. I make it a priority not only to check the ingredient labels on my products for chemicals, but also for cruelty free logos. Most products will print it right on the label. If I don't see it, I get my smartphone out and do a quick check. What's great is that a lot of brands that are organic, natural, non-toxic, and vegan are more often than not, cruelty free as well, and vise versa. You just have to check the label. Which makes shopping a little easier for all of us!
Being animal lovers yourselves, I am sure you understand why I shop cruelty free. But what about the other stuff? Shopping for organic and non-toxic items is really important to me as well, and I try also to incorporate as many vegan products as possible too. After all, when shopping for beauty and skin products, our goal is too look pretty and feel great, right? So why do we use products with harsh toxins in them that aren't good for our health, body, or skin. The more chemicals and the less natural ingredients, the more energy our bodies have to spend trying to break them down and detox them out of our systems. Then, those toxins can come out through our skin, causing the total opposite result of what we were actually wanting to achieve.
I haven't always shopped this way, and up until a little over a year an a half ago I had no clue about any of this. I wasn't even aware of how toxic I myself had become because of it. And believe me I was tox-iick! There were so many bad things in the products that I lathered on my face/skin/hair every single day. I've never been one to use a whole lot of products, but even just my bare necessities were packed with stuff. Now I go about my daily routine a little differently, and I'm learning along the way. I love hearing and learning from you guys too, so please feel free to share any of your advice, experiences, and favorite products! The more we can teach and share with one another, the better off we'll be in the long run.
Here are the top 5 ingredients* I avoid:
Parabens (i.e. Butylparaben) - skin and eye irritant; endocrine disruptor linked to breast and ovarian cancer; environmental contaminant.
Paraffins - petrochemical bleached with carcinogen acrolyn; releases carcinogens benzene and toluene upon heating; caused kidney or renal system tumor in animals; environmental toxin.
Propylene Glycol - eye irritations and conjunctivitis, as well as upper respiratory tract irritation.
SLS (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates) - skin irritant, water contaminant, may be contaminated with carcinogen 1, 4-Dioxane.
Aluminum - strong human neurotoxicant; causes irritation of eyes, skin, and lungs; endocrine disruptor; linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer; causes birth disorders in animals. This is often found in anti-perspirant. Did you know that aluminum is what causes ugly yellow sweat stains? Sweat is naturally clear, being that it is only salt and water.
*There are many other toxic ingredient to lookout for when shopping for products for your body and home. If you are interested you can download a full list of harmful beauty ingredients here.
Below are some of my favorite body products that I use on a daily basis. You can find them online or in your local natural food + vitamin stores. Enjoy!
1. Scotch Naturals WaterColors
Cruelty-free, Non-toxic, Paraben Free, Vegan
Scotch has a beautiful collection of water-based nail polishes in elegant and trendy shades. My favorite is, Neat, which is a milky pale pink. It goes with everything and has a fresh clean look to it. More here.
2. EOS Organic Mint Lip Balm
Cruelty Free, Organic
I keep this little sphere in my purse and use it daily. It glides on smooth and has a nice minty feel. If your dog loves mint, make sure you keep this little gem out of reach. Coco Bean has one tiny weakness that gets her into trouble and it's this mint lip balm. If she smells it she will dig around until she finds it. My poor EOS sphere has been her victim 3 times. Luckily it's certified organic so it's not that big of a deal, well, minus the teeth marks! More here and here.
3. Dr. Bronner's Organic Spearmint Peppermint Shaving Gel
Cruelty Free, Organic, Vegan
Who doesn't want minty-fresh smooth legs? That's what I thought! I'm a sucker for anything mint, and it's such a pleasant smell to wake up to in the morning. At first I thought it would be weird shaving, sans foamy-cream, but it's actually quite fantastic. More here.
4. Griffin Remedy Omega 3 Grapefruit Body Wash
Cruelty Free, Paraben Free, Vegan
I am prone to dry skin when it comes to fancy body washes. I have very sensitive skin as well, so for me, the less ingredients the better! This grapefruit body wash is packed with omega 3s and is super moisturizing. The scent is light and not too overbearing, and has quickly become my #1 favorite. More here.
5. Nature's Gate Tea Tree & Biotin Shampoo & Conditioner
Cruelty Free, Paraben Free, Phthalate Free, SLS Free, Vegan
I've been bouncing from product to product for what seems like forever, searching for the perfect brand of shampoo and conditioner, and I have finally found it. Both the Tea Tree and the Biotin are without a doubt the best thing I have ever put on my hair, and I am picky. It leaves my hair so bouncy and shiny. Not to toot my own horn, but my hair has never looked better! FYI - Hair products often revamp their look and packaging. When this happens, do a double check to make sure the ingredients didn't change either. More here and here.
6. Soapwalla Organic Deodorant Cream
Cruelty Free, Aluminum Free, Non-toxic, Natural, Vegan
When switched over to also using non-toxic products, deodorant was my hardest battle. I had no idea that the many deodorants that I had used throughout my life were full of aluminum. Really? That's what was clogging my sweat glands so that I wouldn't perspire... and then just hanging out in there? No way! I knew I had to switch. I had numerous trial and errors with sticks, roll ons, and creams. It was wearing me out and leaving me frustrated. I wanted something that A) Was free of chemicals and that terrible aluminum craziness. B) Didn't make me stink... obviously! C) Had a 'pretty' natural scent. I wanted to smell like a girl, not mountain man Joe. Soapwalla is a winner on every level. It's natural scent is a fresh lavender/peppermint mixture that lasts all day long, even through workouts. It may seem strange ordering it on Etsy, but it should totally win some sort of prestigious deodorant award. Seriously, best deodorant ever. More here.
7. Ojio Extra Virgin Raw Organic Coconut Oil
Cruelty Free, 100% Raw, Vegan
Besides being a staple in my kitchen pantry, coconut oil also happens to be my secret beauty weapon! I use this baby as a body lotion, deep conditioning hair treatment, makeup remover, sunscreen, burn and cut cream, and even lip balm. If your monthly budget starts getting tight, try replacing some of the above products with a jar of this or a similar brand. A little bit goes a long way, so you wont run out for a while. It really is nature's all-in-one! More here.
8. Jāson Sea Fresh Toothpaste
Cruelty Free, Free of Fluoride, SLS, Preservatives, Saccharin, Propylene Glycol, and Gluten
I'm always on the lookout for fluoride free toothpastes, and this one has been my favorite thus far. It's foamy and minty and makes my mouth feel squeaky clean! More here.