I just made myself sick. Not intentionally, but it had to be done. I’ve had this collection of body care products sitting for several years under my bathroom sink, just collecting dust. Some of these things have been sitting there for at least 6 years (some over 8!). Most of them contain a whole slew of gross chemical ingredients, and in particular the one I can’t stomach the most – fragrance (parfum). Some of them were so-called “organic” products that just didn’t work well (like deodorant).
I’ve been making my own body care goods for a few years now. The only thing I still buy is shampoo because I haven’t made the time to go no ‘poo yet (and when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know). So why didn’t I toss the nasty stuff sooner? Because I know there is no good way to dispose of products that contain unhealthy, polluting ingredients. So today was the day to just say F it. I’m going to get rid of you once and for all, jerk products! I grabbed a plastic bag (another yucky conveyance of the modern world) and in glopped the old shampoo, conditioner, and lotion.
pretty, isn't it?
In this mess of conventional body care products was baby shampoo. I don’t have a baby, so let me ‘splain. A few years ago, my ophthalmologist told me to use it to clean out my eyes (they were a little gunky, I guess). I never got into that habit, so there sat this giant bottle of generic baby shampoo in the cabinet. I took a peek at the ingredients of this yellow tinged goo and was not at all surprised, yet still appalled, that the product included Parfum (Fragrance). As I’ve mentioned many times before, this one ingredient is probably my least favorite, and unfortunately it’s in just about everything. Fragrance is one of the dirtiest of dirty cosmetic ingredients around. So what I want to know is, why is there fragrance in a product made for babies? Aren’t babies supposed to smell naturally delicious? Why on earth would we want to cover up that inborn sweetness, all the while exposing tiny developing humans to unknown chemicals?
Here’s where we get to my one holiday wish. The only gift I really want is for everyone to stop using products containing fragrance. It’s really not so hard to do once you know where to look. Turn around your shampoo bottle, your lotion, your deodorant, your laundry detergent, your fabric softener (oh please, don’t use fabric softener!). Look down that long list of ingredients to the one that reads “Fragrance” or “Parfum.” Now toss it. You’ll only be doing this once because from now on you are going to use products that do not include the word “Fragrance” in the label. Take note: products labeled “fragrance free” or “unscented,” can still contain masking fragrances loaded with trade secret protected chemicals.
If you like products with a scent, only buy goods that contain pure essential oils. The brands I trust are John Masters Organics, Suki, Dr. Bronner’s, and Dr. Hauschka. Local Brooklyn brands that I like include Meow Meow Tweet and Sprout. And of course, my own products, Raganella’s Botanical Solutions! (And if you’re into perfume, check out Herbal Alchemy). I’m sure there are other good companies making products without synthetic ingredients, I hope you’ll report back to me with your favorites.
For more info about Fragrance, check out this article from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
no icky stuff in here!