Building a Non-Toxic Life – Part 1: Prioritizing

Every so often I get a call from a person who is completely overwhelmed by the discovery that their house and their lives are filled with toxins. This encompasses cleaning products, laundry detergents, furniture, and of course…personal beauty products.

They want to eliminate the toxins from their lives but don’t know where to start, or how best to prioritize. Panic has set in, and they are on the verge of throwing everything they own out the window! Of course doing that is not practical, economical or ecologically helpful.

Some planning is in order. Here are some suggestions for how to start.

Change whatever you are running out of now. It’s much easier to investigate and make changes one item at a time.  It’s easier to develop a research process that works for you and less wasteful this way as well.

Pick whatever may bring the next biggest reward. Toxicity runs on a continuum, so not everything may need to go, and some changes will reap greater benefits than others.

  • If there are young children in the household, focus on products that they use. Developing bodies and brains are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of toxins.
  • Switching to unscented laundry products can have a huge impact for everyone in the family, since clothing, sheets and towels come in contact with your skin 24/7. “Fragrance” includes thousands of toxic chemicals.
  • Change your body lotion or any product that you put all over your body. We, of course, suggest Herbaliz creams and lotions! They not only have no toxins, they also include herbs that work to improve your health.
  • Changing shampoo and hair conditioner can help, especially if you wash your hair in the shower, because the products will rinse over your whole body. Hair conditioners are among the most toxic body care products.

Other thoughts to help break the process down into manageable bites include making one change a month or picking one toxin to focus on.

The important thing is to not get so overwhelmed that you don’t do anything.

Coming months will be about resources and more specific actions that can help you reach your goals. In the meantime do one thing!

Moving into Fall with Herbaliz

As we transition into fall and cooler weather, it’s time to take stock of how to best adjust our body care from the hot and lazy days of summer.

The pace quickens with work and back to school schedules, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on self-care.

Herbaliz Lip BalmMy suggestion for a basic one-two-three skin care regime is a facial cleanser, a moisturizing lotion, and lip balm (Full disclosure: I always have lip balm with me!) All of our products specify which skin types they are best suited for, and that should be noted when making a choice.

Depending on your home environment, you can start thinking about adding in some specialty creams which address drier air and nighttime skin therapy. Real Green Cream is perfect for this purpose.

When we start to add back more clothing, skin has less opportunity to breathe. Our shower gel is non-drying (and now comes in a 16-ounce size), and can be followed up with the Aloe and Shea Lotion.

The start of the academic year can be stressful. For those teens who have (or are beginning to have) acne, our moisturizing gel is an excellent way to enhance the health of skin. It features antiseptic properties and an organic aloe vera component.

New beginnings can promote anxiety, so I am a big fan of our lavender products. Lavender is recognized for its calming qualities. Aromatherapy is one of Herbaliz’s specialties, so don’t forget to check our on-the-go diffusers that can help with mental clarity.

traditional-sachetHomes need a fresh start as well! Open up the windows! Indoor air pollution is a source of numerous problems. Our antibacterial soap is great for the whole family. Consider placing some herbal sachets in rooms, or dressers and closets as you begin to switch from summer to fall clothing. After changing the sheets and pillow cases on your bed, try a linen spray to give your bedroom a special ambiance.

Echinacea in the garden.I’m looking forward to observing the changes in my garden. The echinacea is hanging in there, as you can see. Calendula has already given up because of the heat, while sage and oregano are expanding with vigor.

That is the beauty of the seasons!

Hair and Skin Care to Survive the Heat

August can be a challenging time to stay fresh and keep our skin and hair looking great. Customers often ask me if they should change their beauty routines during the very warm weather.

Here are some suggestions and guidelines…

moisturizing gelFirstly, if a cream feels too heavy during this time of year, switch to a lighter moisturizer like our Moisturizing Gel. It has an aloe base and won’t clog pores.  If you are sleeping in an air conditioned room, you may be fine with a richer product at night.

Our Facial Cleanser can be used several times during the day if you feel your skin is dirty or grimy from perspiration and sweat. Cleansing Grains can target the T-zone, which may be more prone to blackheads and breakouts.

To refresh during the day, an occasional spritz with a Moisture Mist is a must. A rose version if your skin is usually dry; the skin refresher option if you are prone to breakouts.

If you have only tried one of our shampoos, now is the time to check out the sampler. I particularly like the “Cedar and Sage” when it gets warm.

Our “Frizz Tamer” will help those fighting the impact of increased humidity. The Herbal Vinegar Hair Rinse is a cleansing detangler after a day at the beach or the pool, especially nice if you would rather not shampoo again.

sunburn reliefIf you have overdone your time in the sun, we have a Sunburn Relief product that will come to the rescue. As for pesky insect bites, help is on the way with our remedy of undiluted essential oils.

I find that I need to exfoliate more during the warm months. Our salt scrub gets the process going. Finish off with the Herbal Silk Body Powder made without talc or GMOs.

Then sit down with a long, cool drink and a great book!