It’s been a few weeks without the high-fat dairy and so far, so good. cutting it out seems to have made Mr P’s ailments do a disappearing act. In my last post I alluded to a quest for cleaner living and a search for alternative products to those we tend to use everyday without giving it a thought. That search has started and has been an enlightening adventure already.
Each and every single day we consume a chemical or an additive that our body simply does not need. And why? because it has become normal and accepted to do so and its a legal and cheaper way to mass produce a product that we use. Chemicals that lather up to a soapy substance we use to clean ourselves all in the name of aesthetics, additives that preserve our food for longer in the fridge so that we continue to enjoy its visual appeal for longer; they’re not necessary – not one bit! You’d have to be blissfully ignorant or living in a bit of a bubble not to know that these things can and do have adverse effects on our health, but it’s this ignorance that has allowed so many companies to continue manufacturing products in the way that they do. By applying a bit of time, common sense and more informed decisions, we can all enjoy the benefits of removing these things from our lives.
My most treasured and precious little being relies on me to care for her everyday until she’s old enough to make these decisions herself, so I decided to start with removing the rubbish from her life before it plagues it. Everyday, like many mucky children, she has a bath. And like many mums, for the past 3 years I have used the tried, tested and trusted leading baby bath products; until recently. I thought I’d take a look at some of the ingredients on the back of the bottle and was a bit surprised to say the least.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – A cheap chemical and known skin irritant. Also allows other chemicals to penetrate skin more deeply and enter the bloodstream.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine – Coconut derived product which is often labelled as organic. Allergen/irritant.
And many other ingredients that can be potentially contaminated with or breaking down into chemicals linked to cancer or other significant health problems.
And we put this on our babies!
I know it’s easy to say that ‘it never did me any harm’ and ‘mums have been using these products for years and their kids are fine’, but are they? How do we know that early exposure to such chemicals and certain lifestyle choices are not to blame for the growing number of people with food intolerances and skin allergies or worse? We don’t. I immediately stopped using the aforementioned product for fear of what I’d already contaminated Peanuts little body with, and was suddenly overcome with guilt, but I knew that it wasn’t my fault and soon started searching for the alternative. I had heard of Burt’s Bees during my time as a journalist and the name always stuck in my head so I decided to start there.
If you’ve never heard of the company, give them a search online and you’ll be greeted with beautiful images of bees and honeycombs that instantly let you know that this is good, natural stuff. Established in 1984, Burt’s Bees is now a global success story and one unlike most cosmetics brands. Burt’s Bees was founded on the principal that the bottom line has 3 elements – people, profit and the planet and without one, the other two would collapse. It’s vital to look after every one and its something that Burt’s Bees call The Greater Good and its the way that they hope to change the world.
I got hold of the Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash to try out and as soon as I popped it open, the smell was intoxicating. Not for any chemical falsities that filled the air, but for its gorgeous and natural aroma that I was comforted in knowing, came from a natural source. You don’t need a lot for it to make an impact, and a little squeeze into the bath made plenty of bubbles to Peanut to play in. This product also doubles as a shampoo, which concerned me, as Peanut has very long and wavy hair that takes a bit of maintenance on a daily basis. As the bottle says, it’s no tear formula was true to word and we were able to wash Peanuts hair, trouble free. Brushing her hair after the bath, we noticed how lovely a soft her hair was and how incredibly delicious she smelt. I was one very happy mum!
You may think with so many chemicals around in children’s products, this kind of thing isn’t right and why is it legal? The levels are within what are considered to be safe but that in itself is a contradiction as many are used without knowledge of whether they are safe for the human body. It is estimated that the average woman absorbs around 200 chemicals into her body everyday, all in the name of beauty. But when did it become more important to hide our wrinkles or cover up natures way than to ensure we live a longer and healthier life?
Food for thought
*Further info on common chemicals found in cosmetics can be found at PureZing