Hello my loves!
If you've been around here ("here" being the virtual Feminine Fancy world) for a while, you know that I have an affinity/bit of an obsession with beauty. Skincare, makeup, and the beauty in the world around us.
Unfortunately, when it comes to many of the products that we use to beautify ourselves and our homes, we're actually, unintentionally lathering on and inhaling toxins that are seriously harmful to our overall health.
As women especially, it's so important that we keep toxins out of our routines as much as possible. Since, as my mother always says, we have a lot of "moving parts." What we put on our body and the toxins we ingest or absorb through lotions, perfumes, body washes, and more, can affect not only us, but the babies we nurse, the spouses who slumber soundly next to us, and anyone else who dwells in our environment.
Once I realized just how many toxic ingredients were in everything from my feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons, to my toothpaste and skincare, I've tried my best to eliminate toxins wherever I can.
Of course, I'm not perfect, and it has been difficult to purge myself of my Bath & Body Works collection of body washes, lotions and their amazing scented candles. But there are some things I've switched over to being all natural and I can honestly say that I feel the positive effect it has had on my body.
So in today's post I want to share some information with you about the insane ingredients that are legally allowed to be in our beauty and feminine products and some of my favorite all natural alternatives.
FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS
A few months ago, I made a video called "Hygiene Tips Every Woman Should Know" and in it, I disclosed my personal struggle with my period and menstrual cycle. If you haven't watched that video yet I would seriously suggest it, not because of what I say, but because the comment section is arguably the most uplifting and helpful comment section on any video ever. Feminine hygiene is something that is more widely discussed now, but that we still keep very "hush hush" about in regards to what we all use. I don't know about you, but I don't really talk to my friends about whether or not they use feminine washes...
Because of this somewhat taboo topic, we don't know or find out what's helpful and harmful for a very long time.
So, to start, let's go over the basics.
Some feminine hygiene products essentials are:
According to the Women's Voices For The Earth website, "Chemicals of concern commonly used in feminine care products include carcinogens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors, and allergens. Vaginal tissue is much more absorptive than other skin, making the presence of hormone-disrupting and other toxic chemicals in feminine care products especially concerning."
Equally concerning is the fact that according to the WVE, "Black and Latina women are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals in feminine care products, as they’re much more frequent users of feminine cleansing products like douche, wipes, and sprays."
Some of the toxins included in these products are:
Dioxins- Known as a human carcinogens, dioxins are a byproduct of the bleaching process that happens in the production of tampons. While the presence of dioxins are not as common today, they are still there in a smaller capacity. And can accumulate in your body over time. If you begin using tampons at age 13, let's say, and continue well through your adult life, that's decades of inserting dioxins into your bloodstream without even knowing it.
Formaldehyde- Yes, THAT formaldehyde. It's also a carcinogen that is released from the preservatives included in the tampon.
Fragrance- While it might seem harmless, and even necessary to include scented products in your feminine hygiene, it's actually quite harmful and quite unnecessary. Because companies don't have to list the ingredients chemicals used in their products, they can label it under "fragrance." So while you're thinking it's helping your femininity to smell like peony & rose, it's actually hurting.
BPA- BPA is a hormone disrupting chemical produced from plastic and has also been linked to cancer.
So how can we avoid these toxins?
First, we can transition to organic cotton tampons. I try to use organic products in everything that I do. From my skincare to my vegetables. If you're unsure of exactly what something being organic means, it's another way of saying that the product hasn't been doused in chemicals or preservatives in order to keep it smelling or looking perfect. By using organic tampons and pads, you're limiting your exposure to any pesticides or dyes that were included in the tampon-making process.
Organic Tampon Brands:
Another way to avoid this, is to avoid tampons altogether. There are many alternatives to tampons today that weren't around 10-15 years ago. Products like The Diva Cup and Thinx Underwear, make it easy to have coverage during your period, while keeping toxic ingredients at Bay.
When it comes to feminine washes, it's my belief that no one really needs them, unless you have an underlying condition. Your private area is a self-cleaning oven, and as such, really doesn't need additional help. The thing is, what you eat and drink will determine your scent and the overall health of your nether regions. Eating a diet that's high in fruits and vegetables will aid in doing whatever it is that feminine washes claim they do. That said, I do know of some new all natural feminine hygiene brands that people were raving about in the comments. So if you are living a healthy lifestyle and you're still feeling like you'd like to be a little bit "fresher" down south, Honey Post seems like the best one to check out.
SKINCARE AND BODY WASH
Watch any "Feminine Hygiene' video on YouTube, and you'll see hundreds of thumbnails of pretty girls holding up body wash bottles that are pink, scented and covered in flowers. And let's be honest, I love the scent of a good Bath & Body Works body wash as much as the next girl, but when I found out that my favorite sudsy washes were chock full of harmful ingredients, I switched to more natural alternatives.
And yes, I know that shower time is also self-care time so you want to enjoy the luxury of lots of bubble and foamy lathers, and you still can! Without the harmful, cancer-causing chemicals.
The first all natural brand I've been been obsessing over lately is EO. Not only are they local to me, but the owner happens to be the mother of one of my favorite singers...so I trust her. I have been loving the French Lavender Shower Gel, Rose Lemon Bath Salts, and the French Lavender Body Lotion. I don't know what it is about these scents, but they're incredibly luxurious in addition to being organic, sustainably-farmed and plant-based. What more could you want?!
I keep my skincare routine pretty simple these days, as my change in diet (eliminating dairy and gluten) has pretty much solved my inflammation issues. But I still remain true to some specific brands and products.
First, of course, is Dermaplus. They are a San Francisco based skincare facility offering facials and their own manufactured products. They are plant based and made with the finest ingredients that are enriched with vitamins, botanicals, antioxidants and essential oils.
I've been using their products for quite some time and my skin has always thrived with them. They are on the pricier side, but if you've struggled with acne, you know how important it is to find something that works for you and this is what has worked for me!
My exact Dermaplus morning skincare routine is:
Step 1: Chamomile Cleanser
Step 2: Purifying Toner
Step 3: Moisturizer
Step 4: SPF 30
At night, I simply swap the 3rd and 4th step for the AlphaBeta exfoliating serum.
Unfortunately, the best and least toxic products will often be more expensive. But whenever I find myself complaining about high prices of such products, my mom always reminds me how my health is my wealth. And if I have to spend a little bit more on non-toxic beauty, then I should.
Here's the big one.
I know that as feminine women we all love our body sprays and perfumes and I won't say you have to rid yourself of these things entirely. But I will say that you should limit how much you're spraying and where you're spraying it.
For example, I once saw on a tv show (some dating show on TLC) a young woman spraying her lady parts with perfume prior to going out on a date. Please DON'T do this. We've already discussed the dangers of having perfumes near your vaginal tissue and this is simply an unnecessary practice.
One of the most effective ways I've transitioned to non-toxic scents is by switching up my deodorant and transitioning from perfumes to essential oils.
Some of my favorite natural deodorants are:
While I haven't begun using all-natural perfume quite yet, I did some digging (Googling) and found some articles listing out the best all-natural perfume brands out there. See here.
Well loves, that's all I have for you in today's post! I hope you enjoyed it and it has enlightened you a bit about how easy it is to switch to products that aren't harmful for you or your loved ones!
If you'd like me to do a follow up on non-toxic home products such as dish soaps, surface cleaners, candles and more, comment below!